Sharing my Five Tips for Great Corporate Headshots
Posted on 21st June 2020 at 09:52
Some people wonder why they need a professional photographer for their headshots - it's knowing the tips below that will give you the answer.
Five things to think about for your headshots
1. Don't use any old photo
Most business people know now that they need an actual photo on their LinkedIn profile, Facebook or Instagram logos. A blank egg head is mainly out of the window.
However, there still seem to be some who think it's ok to have a picture of their pet (are the animals doing the work?) or to have a holiday photo or wedding photo.
We take so much time thinking about what we will wear and how to present ourselves when we go to our first meetings, it always seems bizarre to me that business people would think it's ok to present themselves in shorts and a Tshirt or in a wedding tux for their profile picture. They wouldn't turn up for a meeting like that!
Viewers of your profile take a millisecond to make their minds up about you, all based on your profile picture. And research shows that those views continue even when they meet you in person! So it pays to get it right.
2. Use an up to date headshot
I know that everyone hates having their photograph taken and so avoid it, and often we like pictures that are a number of years out of date because we look younger....but that's not helpful in terms of presenting your current self to the real world.
I always look up the person I'm meeting (even in the current Covid-19 world) so I have the 'heads up' on them. It is a bit of a shock when you can't recognise them in a cafe (or on a zoom call) because they are ten years older, have completely different hair or less hair!
Up to date photos help people connect with you, and know that you are serious about your business because you have invested in keeping up to date with your brand image. It also indicates a confidence in who you are and what you are about.
I believe it is really important to have up to date profile pictures for all your on line presence. That means updating them roughly every two years, and definitely every time you have a change in appearance such as losing weight or changing your hairstyle.
3. Prepare for your headshot
There are several elements to this, the most important is clothes. The most common question I am asked is 'what should I wear for my headshot?'
I do advise talking to your photographer well in advance of the shoot to discuss whether a change of clothes are an option on the day. I always suggest several different colours, styles and necklines to get a variety of 'looks.'
For men this might be a change of shirts (colour/pattern) and the addition of a tie/jacket/jumper. For women this would be a variety of tops/jackets/scarves and we would also discuss jewellery. Don't experiment with style or be gimmicky. But do think about colours of your brand/website and how what you are wearing sits with this.
The key is to know what you are taking to the shoot and ensure it feels like you, is ironed and fits! Then all is left is to get a good night's sleep and turn up relaxed and confident.
4. Look relaxed in your headshot
I hear you scoff as you read that and say 'how can I look relaxed in my headshot? I hate having my photo taken!'
The answer is that if you have done your preparation, you are a good way there. Knowing and being happy with what you are wearing is a big part, and if you have prepared this you will have had time to get ready calmly and confidently. You will have talked to your photographer before hand and feel confident that they are able to show you at your best, so you can relax: you are in the hands of a professional photographer. I always ask my clients about their business, their brand and how they want to come across. This is really important as to attract who you want to, you need to know what you represent and how you need to 'be.'
So I coach you through this on the shoot, and direct you in terms of posing. How to hold your hands, your arms, your legs and even what to think about! A tilt of the head or a smaller smile makes a huge difference in terms of how you come across. By working on all this we get engaging, confident and relaxed headshots.
5. It's all about the light...and the background!
Flattering headshot photography is all about the light and location. Poor lighting or a distracting background can be disastrous, so you need a photographer that understands light. This applies to studio as well as natural light or environmental photography...you have to get it right!
I specialise in natural light photography, on location. As a professional photographer based in Windsor I usually find locations in and around the Ascot, Windsor and Virginia Water areas that are perfect for this type of photography. When on location, I always choose a position where the light is flattering at our given location, and move us around if it is not!
Equally ensuring that the background is appropriate to what your do, but not distracting, is a bit of an art. Again, I would move you around before taking a single image, until I was sure the image was just right for what we are trying to achieve. I wouldn't take loads of photos and hope for the best or think about photoshopping a mistake afterwards. That is just lazy and a waste of time...not to mention I hate sitting in front of the computer for hours on Photoshop!
A good profile picture is the cornerstone of your personal brand - a selfie just won't do! Find out more about how I can help create your best first impression with your business headshot photography.
If you are still not sure about investing in photography, check out my blog post on why choose professional photography for your business...or to chat about how I can help enhance your brand with professional headshot photography, give me a call on 07793 205155 or contact me
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