Raise your hand if you are using some type of online networking – this could be LinkedIn, Facebook, your website, etc. Did your raise your hand? I’m guessing you did. We are living in a digital age and that means that your future clients have instant access to what you look like, what your business is and can make a 2 second decision on whether they want to click on your profile and learn more about you or scroll on by.
In today’s world, your headshot is your digital business card. What does your headshot say about you? That you are confident? Approachable? Worth learning more about? Hopefully, all of the above. But if not, don’t worry, I’m here to offer some easy tips that you can implement to improve the way you are representing yourself online.
5 Tips to create a headshot photo to be proud of:
- Who will take your photo? I highly recommend commissioning a professional photographer for the job, but alternatively, you could have a friend take your photo. Or, as a last-ditch effort, take a selfie (which is still better than no photo at all – but PLEASE, no photos taken in the mirror!) When choosing a photographer, I recommend not shopping on price alone. Look at the photographer’s body of work in this area. Is it consistent? Does it have the quality and style you are seeking?
- Where will your photo be taken? Would you like your photo in your place of business? Outside? Or, in a professional studio? All of the above? When choosing your photographer be sure to ask if they are proficient in photographing in all of these locations and if they have access to a studio.
- Get yourself ready! So, you have your photographer and your session date is set! Now, it’s time to get yourself prepared to be in front of the camera. Two weeks before your session get your hair cut/colored if needed. This is not the time to make dramatic changes to your hairstyle/color. One week before, do any lip/brow waxing (if this is part of your regular beauty routine) to give the skin time to heal. Get a manicure so your nails are neat and neutral in color. Also, start gathering items you will wear for your photos. What should I wear??!! I get this question often. First, decide if your clothes will be business formal, business casual or casual. This can depend on your industry norms. Either way, I suggest bringing 3-4 outfits that make you feel beautiful. Choose colors that you love and complement your skin tone. You don’t always have to choose black, white or grey! Avoid small patterns and keep jewelry subtle.
- Day of session: For hair and makeup, I highly recommend a professional make up artist! These pros are trained on how to apply makeup for the camera. A good photographer will have a relationship with a professional make up artist and can set this up for you on site. If you choose to go the DIY route, keep things understated (not too much eyeliner or eyeshadow!) Glasses or no glasses? My rule of thumb is if you wear them every day or often, wear them in the photo. Most important – relax and enjoy your session! Let your photographer guide you into poses – they will know the best poses to flatter your body type.
- Crop it like it’s hot: Now that you have your image don’t put any weird or trendy filters on it. Phone app filters look fake and will make your photo look amateurish. If you hired a professional photographer, they will have edited your image to perfection. Make sure to crop your image appropriately for the platform you are using. (i.e. for LinkedIn, be sure that it is cropped so your face can be immediately recognized.)
I invite you to consider the image you are currently using for your personal brand and your business. Do you love it? Are you proud of it? Hopefully, you are! But if not, take these tips as an opportunity to improve how you are being represented. If I can be of any assistance, or if you would like to schedule a session for a photo that you will be proud to share – please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773.230.5441. You can view my work at shalimarbphotography.com and instagram.com/shalimarbportraits
Content provided by Women Belong member Shalimar Beekman