Why You Need a Professional Head Shot.
Whether you like it or not people base their first impression on appearance. Don't believe it? Check out this article by Eric Wargo of the Association of Psychological Sciences on first impressions: How Many Seconds to a First Impression.
In today's world of technology and social media that means your potential clients get their first impression of you from your professional headshot photo on your website, LinkedIn or any other professional social media site. Don't let your experience and the professional knowledge you bring to your field be jeopardized by a poor headshot.
So what makes a great head shot? Think confidence and approachability. According to New York Head Shot Guru Peter Hurley, a look of confidence and approachability is the key to a great head shot. Think about it, who would like to do business with someone who looks nervous and unsure of themselves?
So how do you get the look?
The key is to hire a professional photographer! Forget about your friend who has a great camera, or your over filtered instagram selfie with a not so professional background.
It is the responsibility of the photographer to get a great expression out of you. Granted you need to be a willing participant, but a professional photographer will be able to coach you and get the look of confidence and approachability.
Sure, a studio lighting set up can be intimidating specially three feet from you face ;-) but a professional photographer will be able to put you at ease.
Look at the photographers work. Every professional photographer will have a website with their portfolio. All photographs should be well lit and properly composed, but also look at the facial expressions. Do the subjects look confident and approachable?
Meet with your photographer and discuss what look you are going for. Do you want outdoor or indoor shots? Determine if you feel comfortable with the photographer. You and the photographer will spent some time together trying to capture your look with the click of a button. Any photographer who is not willing to sit down with you for a few minutes is not one you should hire.
Once you selected a photographer you trust it is up to you to get ready for the shoot. Here are a few tips on how to get ready for your head shot.
- Put a little time and effort into your appearance.
- Make up should be clean and natural. If you are not that good at applying make-up consider a professional make-up artist.
- Your clothes should be neatly pressed and fit well.
- Avoid busy patterns and large lines/stripes. Choose something with flattering colors. You probably already know what looks good on you.
- Stick with darker colors instead of lighter colors, because the darker or mid-tone colors tend to put more emphasis on your eyes and smile, instead of the clothing.
- You may consider selecting a color that can help bring out the colors in your eyes. For example, for blue eyes consider consider a blue or grey top. For brown or green eyes earthy tones can be very complementary.
- Select an outfit that represents you best in your profession.
Most important: Don't think too hard about your headshot! Have fun with it and let your photographer put you in the best light and bring out the best in you.
Hope to see you soon ;-)