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The importance of headshots for your personal or professional image has never been more important. With the rise of LinkedIn as a source for business and communication, your prospective clients want to know more about you as a person. The first and the strongest first impression will be your headshot. Why? Outside of the fact that it is the first thing they should see on any profile, in today’s world a picture is truly worth 1000 words. Nowadays we don’t have the time to read, so that picture may also be worth even more than your words.
Types of Headshots
A professional image taken in a business suit in front of a portrait backdrop. This is an ideal portrait for those in professions like law and banking. This type of headshot gives the impression that you are traditional and knowledgeable.
A professional image taken in front of a backdrop that is meaningful to you or your business. Headshots that are formal/informal can give a wider range of impressions, providing more information and personality. How you are dressed and where you are photographed will define that impression. This type of headshot is ideal for people who require the impression of creativity, individuality, friendliness, or a less traditional approach to doing business.
An unprofessional self-created image or even one made by an amateur photographer. Selfie’s had their place a little while back as a way to rebel against the traditional formal headshot. What selfie’s now actually say is that you don’t care enough about your image to present your self professionally. True, they give a fun impression, but what might work for your personal online presence, doesn’t necessarily work for your professional presence. We all want to look successful, not matter what we do for a living. Selfie’s just don’t have that ability.
What You Need To Know About Headshots
- Don’t just dress for success, dress for the camera – No matter how formal or informal you plan on being in your headshot, dressing for the camera is critical. Stay away from stripes and tiny tight patterns. Cameras can wreak havoc with these. It’s also good to stay away from extremely white or black clothing, unless your profession requires it.
- Flatter your body type – No two people are alike so advice here can run on longer than a blog post should. It is enough to say that you should dress to accent what you want to show and hide what you don’t. By the way, we all have clips and other things to “adjust” clothing to look best on camera so don’t take offense if your photographer wants to make use of them.
- Bring more than one outfit – Try different outfits that are very different from each other so you can either wear more than one or pick the one that works best. Obviously, this may not apply to people who wear a specific uniform as part of their profession.
- Lighting is important – Whether your headshot will be done in a studio or outside, make sure the photographer knows how to light you. Always be suspect of a photographer who doesn’t play with the lights. Outside shots can be more difficult to light because you are dependent on the time of day and the weather.
A good photographer will advise you on all of the things you need to know. Be involved with the shoot and evaluate your photographer while he or she is evaluating and photographing you. Are they helpful and seem genuinely interested in creating a good photograph of you? Do they get to know you, ask what you what makes you feel comfortable? Do they look like they know their equipment? Do they have a way for you to review the photographs they are taking?
We live in a world of first impressions and nothing will say more about you than your headshot. How it is done and who does it will ultimately help establish exactly what impression your headshot will make.