This is Bob. Bob has a small business. He has many returning customers and some new referrals. Lately, Bob has found that his customer base is getting smaller. Someone suggested he expanded his presence online. There’s not much information about Bob online, but if someone does look for him, his old shot from years ago comes up in the search results.
If you do any kind of work, then you reach out to people online, people look for you online, or both. These are potential clients, partners, employers, collaborators, people you want to connect with. And if you have a picture, that’s the first and strongest impression they’ll get. If you don’t have a picture, you won’t cause much of an impression, while your competitors will. Seeing your face makes you real, and also gives people an idea of who you really are. It’s just a picture, and it can give all sorts of wrong impressions… which is why you need to make it a good one!
Our fellow headshot photographer Nina Parker brings it straight to the point: “Anyone can take a selfie or push a button on a camera. Working with a headshot specialist offers you MUCH more, the opportunity to be in the driver’s seat to customize your business images so they are representing you online 24/7.” This is the most important thing about your decision to get a professional headshot: it will represent you. In many cases, it will be someone’s first contact with you. And you want that headshot to say exactly what it needs to say.
A great headshot photographer will help you bring your best self to the picture. She will make you comfortable in front of the camera, and will catch your best angles, with the light that works for you. She will give you an orientation on what to wear, look out for details that you might have not thought about, make sure you’re looking neat and polished, and then get you relaxed so you can just be yourself and connect with the viewer.
A professional headshot will show a lively version of you, connected with the viewer, real. The photographer will draw less attention to your less interesting features, emphasize communication, and the post processing should be so natural that it’s not visible there was actual retouching. Just an honest, refined, well placed image of you.
Your headshot will show you as a professional in your field. You will look confident and yet approachable; and it will give an idea of some traces of your personality. It shouldn’t look like a school picture, or like something you cut out from a shot at your uncle’s wedding. It shouldn’t look like a selfie you took in your bathroom, or even in your backyard; it should look like you care about the relationship with your clients. You should look like a million dollars, and yet perfectly comfortable in your own skin. You should look like someone worth meeting, and worth hiring.
So don’t be like Bob. Make sure you get a professional headshot.