Why a Professional Headshot?
If you’re asking that question, you’re probably considering less than a professional headshot. So, what are your options?
- A Selfie Headshot — not a great idea. Need I say more?
- Copy-and-paste your face from an existing image — people actually do that
- Recruit a friend to take your photo — also not the ideal
- Hire a professional headshot photographer
Can we agree options #1, #2, and #3 are bad ideas?
A professional headshot photographer — a portrait photographer specializing in headshots — can create images of you that look great (because you didn’t compromise), will get you noticed, communicating to potential business connections, colleagues, and future employers that you are capable, approachable and professional.
Do You Really Need a Professional Headshot?
Not many years ago headshots were reserved for models and actors whose images were printed on comp cards, used as a tool to sell themselves on prospective jobs. Today, headshots have evolved to fill corporate and personal branding needs digitally.
So, do you need a headshot? If your likeness is or will be on the web or in print, the answer is yes. Don’t compromise. First impressions do matter. As you search and learn about headshot photography and see galleries of images, you’ll develop an eye for great headshots. That’s where to start — See My Work
Professional Headshot Tips
Getting your headshots taken should be an uncomplicated experience. Essentially, two things really matter:
- Know what you want and
- Know your photographer
What will your photos be used for — A professional directory? A website? LinkedIn or other social platforms? What do you expect your headshots to do for you — Build your brand? Create product sales? Build credibility?
The most reliable way to select a photographer is through a referral. What if you don’t have a recommendation? Begin by using the web to research headshot photographers near you. Look for satisfied clients on Google and Yelp reviews. Does the photographer’s portfolio resonate with your style? Is the photographer open to a no-charge consult before you lock in a date?
Where to Get Professional Headshots
- Look for a photographer’s sample gallery from an actual headshot session
- Do you understand the photographer’s headshot process and rates ?
- Has the photographer explained how to get the most from your portraits? — Makeup & hair, backgrounds, location, the time allocated to your session.
- Do you have a positive comfort level?
Professional Headshot Background
Currently, the most popular headshot backgrounds are solid gray, black, and white colors. Remember, a headshot features the face and needs to be simple and non-distracting. Other parts of the body —from head-and-shoulders down — will not be in the frame. I would be cautious of a photographer who calls half-length portraits with busy backgrounds a “headshot”.
Best Colors to Wear for a Professional Headshot
Generally, these are the key points:
- Avoid short sleeves
- Darker colors are preferable; avoid white and sheer items
- Dress in a way that best represents you and your organization. If you were meeting a client, what would you wear?
- Women, please read our makeup and additional recommendations