Professional headshots are definitely an investment, both financially and for your professional career, but they’re well worth it! A high-quality headshot can help you make a great first impression, whether you’re applying for a job or promoting your own business. Here are a few ways to get the most out of your professional headshots.
Use a variety of expressions
Every single shot you take doesn’t have to be a deadly serious expression. Of course, you want to look professional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t crack a smile or even laugh now and then. And definitely don’t use the same forced smile for every image. The more variety you have in your expressions, the more choices you’ll have later. A more serious headshot may be suitable for a job application, while an image that’s a little more casual may look better for social media or your blog.
Keep it simple
When it comes to background, you want something that will help you stand out but won’t draw attention away from the main focus of the photo: you. Talk to your photographer about the kind of backgrounds you think would suit your needs, and they can suggest the perfect locations or in-studio backdrops to get the look you’re going for.
Leave your look to the pros
Hair and makeup for photos may be different from what you may do in your daily routine. If you don’t wear makeup often or are unsure what to do, it’s a great idea to get both your hair and makeup professionally done before your shoot, so you know you’ll look your best.
And guys, this advice goes for you too—consider stopping into the barbershop before your photos so your hair is looking sharp!
Choose the right outfit
No matter what your line of work, your clothing will be front and center in your headshots and will probably be the first thing people notice when they look at your images. Avoid any patterns or graphics that can be distracting and stick to solid, neutral colors. Ladies, try to avoid statement necklaces or any large pieces of jewelry that will draw attention away from your face.
Turn up the tunes
One of the main things that keeps people from getting professional headshots is nerves. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I’m just not photogenic” or “I don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera.” Have no fear! It’s your photographer’s job to help you feel at ease, and one way to do that is to play some of your favorite music. Create a playlist of songs that help you relax—or songs that get you pumped up. Whatever works for you!
Know your target audience
Before you go in to your photo session, do some research on what type of headshots fit well with your business or industry. Look at the websites of companies you’d like to work for and study the photos of their employees. And if you’re starting your own business, search for similar companies to give you an idea of what sort of tone to strike. If you’re unsure, err on the conservative side.
The more effort and thought you put into your images, the more you’ll get out of them. After all, your headshots are an investment in your professional future!