Updated: Feb 22, 2021
Let's face it, getting a new #headshot is not something most of us really love to do, but it's the best way to put your best foot forward in business. This article offers five effective tips on making sure your headshot investment sets you up for success.
Relax and be yourself. This is YOUR headshot, so the goal is to create a portrait that communicates who you are and says something about your personality--which means you have to just relax and be yourself! I know -- easier said than done, right? One of the reasons people don't end up liking their headshot is because during the session, they're trying too hard to be perfect. Perfect chin, perfect smile, perfect eyes, perfect hair..... before you know it, you've turned yourself into a statue instead of the awesome living, breathing human being that you are. It's ok to relax and offer a natural smile or even a gentle laugh! Try shooting from the opposite side from the one you think is best. Be a little creative. My best advice: Take a deep breath in and the slowly let it out to achieve a happier, more natural, authentic-looking you.
Remember to dress the part. Not every headshot has to be taken in a suit, but if a jacket is the standard dress code for your profession, go ahead and suit up appropriately for picture day. Whether you wear a jacket and tie, polo shirt, dress, or sweater/jeans, your wardrobe must project an appropriate air of professionalism for your career. (I once took a series of headshots at an office where four salesmen passed around one tie because they realized too late that they needed one!) Here's a good guide: Imagine yourself at an interview for an important promotion or client job, and standing next to you is your competition: Stand out, and dress for success. #dressforsuccess
Consider your style and palette. Not only is what you wear important, but you should consider how your color scheme and accessories will look in the photograph. Contrary to what many people say, you don't have to wear all neutrals! In fact, a well-placed pop of color can liven up your photo and can help communicate more about your personality. The key is not to overdo it. For example, men can wear a bright-colored tie to a suit jacket, and women can easily add a vibrant scarf or necklace, provided the rest of the outfit is more subdued. Also for women, brighter colors for dresses, blouses are also great, as are smaller prints, so long as jewelry and other accessories are kept to a minimum. In my book, the only wardrobe colors to stay away from are garish neons (which reflect back onto the skin) or all black or all white, which often look too harsh or can wash out skin tones.
Don't rush the process. Today we're used to snapping selfies in seconds, but remember that a great headshot takes well-placed lighting, a pleasing location, and plenty of options for #posing. Allow your #headshotphotographer to try different angles, creative posing and lighting to ensure you end up with the strongest, most flattering portrait. The final product will be well worth it.
Finally, hire a professional. Just about everyone has a camera these days, but you should trust your headshot to a professional with the experience and a range of technical equipment to make your session a success. Experienced headshot photographers are also able to guide you through the process to put you at ease and bring out your best.
Consider these tips as you plan out your next photo session and you'll be well on your way to investing in a great headshot. And if you have additional questions or comments, don't hesitate to reach out or leave me a comment below.