In today’s world, both business and personal, we are surrounded by visuals like never before. Our social media profiles are filled with photographs and videos of our lives, we are constantly inundated with ads and pop-ups from brands trying to sell to us, and business marketers know that content with images, charts or videos bring the most conversions. If quality visuals are key elements to our personal lives and corporate business, shouldn’t it also be essential in our professional life? Below we discuss 5 ways a professional headshot can be advantageous to your career and put you on the launchpad to success.
It’s an introduction
Your headshot is your introduction and first impression. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are hunting grounds for recruiters and prospects alike. People not only use these platforms to present themselves as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), but it’s also an opportunity to learn about and connect with new people throughout the world. Recruiters in particular utilize social media to discover new talent and learn about their skills, personality and ambitions. Before meeting with someone for the first time, recruiters will do a quick Internet search to find out more about prospects in advance. Going the extra mile and having a polished, professional headshot that represents you well, you’ve already made a positive impression on anyone who has discovered your profile. Keep in mind the implications of not having a polished headshot. Maybe your avatar is a blurry selfie from last year’s holiday party. What kind of impression does that give? How does that represent the personal brand you’re building?
Why are headshots important to have ready?
Having an updated headshot is crucial. The first that comes to mind is social media – your avatar is the first thing people see on your profile. Or, your current employer could request a headshot for their website or as part of a blog or social media post about you or written by you. Special company announcements or press releases may go out that require your headshot as well. Sending along a selfie or having your friend take a quick photo against a blank wall not only shows lack of preparation but a lack of professionalism as well. Having a high quality headshot ready to send at a moment’s notice shows you think ahead and represents who you are and your personality.
It’s a worthwhile investment
Choosing to get a professional headshot is choosing to invest in your future. And, a quality headshot does more than just make you look good in the eyes of recruiters or potential employers. It infuses confidence in your own professional capabilities. Recruiters will see you as strong, confident and put together, and knowing you were prepared can ease your stress and inspire you to be as confident and professional as that photo implies. To be clear, a headshot is a financial investment as well, but one that will undoubtedly be worth the cost. Thinking beyond the initial investment, if you land that job or secure that project, which leads to a promotion, the professional benefit and ROI will far outweigh what you paid up front. If you look at your headshot as your first introduction, a representation of who you are to potential connections or employers, do you think you’re representing yourself well? If you were on the other side, would you be impressed by you? Take the time to invest in yourself and your future, and I guarantee you will be happy with the results.
Getting Ready For Your Session
Before heading in to the studio, think about all the things that make up your personal brand and what you want others to take away from a glance at your profile page. Jot down some key words and phrases and bring them to your shoot. Think about what exemplifies your personal brand to you. Are you an actor? A musician? A writer? Are there props that could help tell your story? Bring them along.
We can take many different shots-in different outfits-so you’ll have a series to choose from. You may want to tailor your profile picture based on the social media platform you’re using. Remember to have fun! A relaxed, comfortable subject naturally exudes confidence. Get plenty of sleep the night before and drink plenty of water.
What To Wear
It’s important that your look matches the image you’re trying to convey. What you wear on a daily basis is a good place to start. Solid colors are always a good choice, as are tops with strong collars and necklines. Even though you’ll only be shot from the shoulders up, it’s important that you’re pulled together from head to toe-you may want to include 3/4 or full body shots in your collection. Aim for clothes that compliment your skin and eye tones, most important is that you wear something that you feel great in! Bring in all your favorites and we’ll lay them out and choose what we like.
Keep makeup to minimum. Go very light with this. You want to look natural. If you have a makeup artist that you’d like to bring along, go for it. I have a stylist for hair and make up that I’m happy to bring in on your shoot (this is an extra fee paid to the artist. See rates page). She will take great care of you during your session. Jewelry should also be kept very simple. We don’t want anything to distract from your face and expression so best not to wear any. We have an amazing hair and makeup stylist that can join your session for you if you prefer to leave to a pro!