Professional headshots are quickly becoming one of the fastest growing style of photography in my portfolio. And yet, some of you may ask: 'What is a professional headshot?' and 'Why would I need one?'
According to Wikipedia a headshot is a specific type of portrait (usually a photograph) that realistically demonstrates a person's appearance for branding or casting. Many headshots are promotional pictures of actors, models, authors, etc. And this was true, up until only a few years ago, when us people who were not pursuing a career in acting or modelling could go about our business without a care in the world.
Since the rise of social medial platforms, and especially professional websites like LinkedIn, a professional headshot has become a must on any respectable person's CV.
This is my professional headshot.
And here are a few examples of when you might need a professional headshot ...
Perhaps you are a young professional, looking to climb the career ladder and land your dream job? Your CV is strong and maybe you have even applied for various positions? But does your LinkedIn profile picture match your CV? It is a truth universally acknowledged that in today's day most potential employers will check out your social media profile before they offer you an interview ... Does your profile picture stand out enough? And does it convey the right message?
Let's try another example ... You are an established professional, with many years of experience behind you and a successful career. You might be a solicitor, an architect, a consultant ... You are at the peak of your career! But is your profile picture up to date? Or are you still using one taken 10 years ago? (You'll be surprised how many of you there are out there!) And while looking young can sometimes be desirable, your younger self did not have the experience, the confidence and the success that you have now ...
One more example ... You might be a mum running a successful shop on Easy whilst also juggling children and family life. You might think a professional headshot is not needed; but you'll be surprised how a good portrait showing your friendly, fun and creative side can increase your sales. It is a well known fact that customers prefer to buy from someone they know. Allowing your customers to see what you look like and creating that bond between them and you, will definitely encourage them to buy more!
Can you match the headshots below to the examples above?
look-a-bil-i-ty (noun) A measurement of the ability of an image to secure the attention of an onlooker (Peter Hurley)
Individuals are not the only ones who benefit from having a good professional headshot ... Companies do too! Most businesses nowadays have a website, and each website will have an "About Us" page, or a "Meet the Team" page. What does yours look like? Are the headshot photographs recent? Are they taken in the same style? You'll be surprised how many websites I come across with completely mismatched and unprofessional headshots ... Selfies, holiday snapshots, and my all-time favourite: the photo taken against an office door with poor overhead lighting giving a hint of Halloween!
My job as a headshot photographer is to give your photographs what Peter Hurley calls lookability! It's the ability of a photograph to clearly stand out and convey a message which will make the onlooker stop and look at your photograph.
So without further ado, head over to your LinkedIn profile and have a look at your profile picture. Are you happy with it? Does it convey the right message to the right onlooker? (Be that a potential employer or a new client). And if it doesn't, head over to my Contact page, and we can have a chat about how I can help you ...
Keep an eye out for my next blog showing some behind the scenes footage from a recent headshot photo session. While a good headshot is a serious matter; the session itself is actually hilariously fun.