From an online standpoint – your headshot is your first impression. Are you asking yourself these questions prior to posting a headshot as your profile image? Those questions being…
- What do these pictures say about me?
- Will I be taken seriously in this industry with my vanity shots or is it better for clients if I’m more serious looking?
- What am I conveying by being photographed laughing at myself on camera when everyone else looks so stiff and formal?
This is where professional headshots come in.
How important is a professional headshot?
LinkedIn is one of the most popular ways to find new jobs. It’s no wonder that 93% of HR professionals and recruiters are turning to LinkedIn when they’re looking for someone with a set of desired skills, or connections in your industry network.
2 out 3 turn to Facebook and more than half use Twitter! This just proves how important it is these days have an eye-catching headshot–and not just any old picture from 10 years ago where you were sitting back at home watching The Office reruns (we know what we’d be doing). Your professional photo should show off who you really are – confident, assertive, about business…ready for anything!
Before heading out to that professional headshot session that you booked – think about the message you want to express when others look at your profile page.
Think about what you want to be seen as.
What are your skills? Do they match the qualities of a chef, educator, writer or something else entirely different and specific to you? Write down some keywords that would best describe yourself on an index card so when you meet up with your photographer, he/she can get a better sense of who you are and what type of “vibe” you want to portray.
Selection/options are a plus
Your photographer will usually take a few different shot in different outfits so you have a good selection of photos to use. Be sure to ask if your photographer accommodates outfit changes (most do) – and if they charge extra for it. Also – be specific about the platform you plan on using your headshots on.
Most studios will deliver photos at different resolutions and aspect ratios depending on the platform it will used on. If they deliver for every platform (Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) – this is a huge plus. It will be something you won’t have to do yourself after receiving them.
Match your look to the image you’re trying to convey.
You want to be sure your clothing is professional, but also flattering. You should wear solid colors and avoid very bold shades if you’re only wearing a top or blouse for the shoot-and it’s best to stay away from oversized prints that can make an outfit look dated.
We recommend tops with strong collars and necklines, which help create shape in photographs by drawing attention up towards your face instead of down into any unwanted areas. Dressing “professional” on a regular basis will make dressing like this (for a headshot session) – more natural over time.
Even though this is a professional shoot – and you’re taking photos to convey professionalism – you need to be sure you’re relaxed, having fun, and enjoying the process. Remember, a comfortable, relax subject naturally exudes confidence!
Let’s recap what we went over!
It’s a lot simpler than you may think – and your professional studio photographer will guide you through a lot of the process. But, you’ll only need to remember a few things before heading to that headshot appointment.
- How do you want to convey yourself? Very professional (suit/tie/jacket) – professional/casual (button-down w/tie – no jacket) – etc.
- Match color that compliments (skin tones, your brand, etc.) Avoid patterns (esp anything tightly striped – this can create the dreadful Moiré) – your photographer will have guidelines on patterns.
- Relax and enjoy the process – a comfortable person generally exudes confidence.
That’s it. Seriously. You now have a much better understand of what goes into preparing for a professional headshot session! Enjoy yourself and reap the benefits of having high quality professional headshots!
If you’d like – get to know us a little! We’re portrait photographers out of San Diego, California!