How to Get the Most Out of Your Headshot
These days you can’t really avoid having your image floating around online, no matter how hard you try.
How you come across on your website and social media is often the first impression people have of you, and you need to make it a good one. That’s why you’ve got to have a strong headshot that is high-quality (no selfies!), up-to-date (i.e., not from eight years ago), and will help to shape your personal brand in a positive way.
Below are my three tips on how to get a headshot that will help you make that great first impression with the people who matter.
three tips to get the most out of your headshot:
1. consider how you will use it
Before you have your individual headshot session, ask yourself these questions:
- Who are you trying to connect with?
- What’s the primary place you plan on using your headshot?
Having these goals outlined ahead of time will influence the overall style of your headshot – including where it’s shot, what you wear, and how you actually engage with the camera.
Also, the style of your website and other marketing materials should be factored into determining the overall style of your headshot. Is your website clean and minimalist? Then you may want to go with a simple white or black backdrop for your headshot. Or perhaps a more contextual shot outdoors or in your workplace would be more appropriate.
In short, be sure your headshot will be consistent with your brand.
2. consider what you want your headshot to convey
What do you want your headshot to say about you?
Are you going for a more serious, professional appearance? Or do you want to come across as casual and approachable? This will vary based on your industry and your intended use of the photo, and you’ll obviously have more flexibility in this area if you’re self-employed.
Depending on what message you’re trying to convey, you should be sure to choose your location and wardrobe wisely. Make sure everything is contributing to the overall look and feel you’re going for.
Keep in mind a headshot is different than a personal portrait, which allows for more context and character to shine through. I’ll dive into the differences between a headshot and a personal portrait session a bit more in another post.
3. don’t overthink it
If you’re like me, the first thing you do when someone tells you to try not to think about something is to think about it even more. But, seriously – don’t overthink your headshot.
Yes, you should consider the basic goals you have in mind for your headshot and select the appropriate style, location, and wardrobe beforehand.
But once the actual day rolls around, it’s time to just relax and check out of your brain for a little while. If you’re relaxed, it’s going to show up in your face and you’re going to like the results of your shoot a whole lot more.
Ultimately, it’s your photographer’s goal to help you get an image you’ll be proud to distribute widely. You hired them for a reason, so trust their guidance and let them work their magic. And let’s be honest: a little Photoshop love never hurt anybody.
Have you looked at your go-to headshot recently? Is it doing you justice? If it’s time for a little refresh, give me a shout and I’d love to help.