I recently hosted a charity event at a local hotel and had the opportunity to work with some wonderful people who came out to support our charitable mission. As a gift for their generosity and time, I provided a free headshot. During the event I enjoyed talking with our attendees and getting to learn more about them. I was not surprised to hear many of them say to me, “I hate having my picture taken” or “I’ve never had a headshot I liked”. As you can guess, my goal was to change all that and to prove to them that even in a situation like this, where they are not being photographed in my studio with a full light setup and all the usual equipment, etc…a great headshot isn’t about all of that. To make a great portrait of someone it involves a lot of things.
First, it’s about taking the time to talk with them, ask them questions and get to know something about who they are and what they do. If you can’t connect with someone, even for a few minutes, then you won’t be able to bring out their genuine personality. This business is all about relationships. Having a good time and connecting with my customers is the main reason that I love what I do. Second, shooting a quality portrait involves knowledge of the craft; lighting, posing, managing your surroundings and of course, how to use that very expensive camera that you own! Lastly, it takes a willingness to fail and to keep trying new things. If you take a shot and it isn’t working, then try something else (example: Some people are just more comfortable standing for their portraits rather than sitting. Once you make that adjustment, the difference can be immediately apparent.
Many people don’t put much stock in updating their headshots and some, well…they just don’t bother. However, I can tell you that you should have a professional headshot taken and you should update it every couple of years so it provides a proper reflection of you, as you change and evolve over time. In my “other life” I am a professional Recruiter/HR Business Partner. I am amazed at how many professionals I see on LinkedIn without a photo at all! Statistics have proven that people are very leery of connecting with someone who does not have a photo on their profile, be it LinkedIn or any other social media platform. However, with LinkedIn, if you don’t have one, it’s almost a glaring statement to announce “I’m hiding” or “I really don’t want to talk to/connect with anyone”. So, if that’s the case, then why did you create a profile in the first place? It’s especially critical if you’re job-searching, either passively or actively. LinkedIn is the #1 resource for recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers to peruse when sourcing for talent. If they run a keyword search for a position and your profile comes up, along with 200+ others, odds are they will pass on all the profiles without photos to help narrow the search field. We want to know who we’re potentially reaching out to. Same goes for anyone who may be trying to connect with you for professional networking purposes.
There are so many uses for a great headshot: Social media profile pics, company website, company newsletters, marketing materials, branding materials, business cards, resume/CV, newspaper articles, media, your own personal website (business-owner), school (college applications), election campaigns, etc…
If you’re in need of a new or updated headshot call me today! Let’s talk about your needs and create a plan to help you put your best face forward!
*Learn more about our professional headshot and branding sessions HERE.