Since returning to Brisbane, I’ve had a lovely steady stream of work, but have been pleasantly surprised how much of it has come from people wanting to update their headshot for their online presence.
This has led me to think more about headshots in general. It used to be that only actors and models had need for them. But these days most of us have some sort of online presence, and so they’re more relevant to more of us. And as for the actual shot, well the image that you use to promote yourself has great power – the power to connect you to your audience before they even meet you.
To stand out in a crowded marketplace, your headshot must speak volumes. About you, about your brand, and about your business.
So what makes a good headshot?
– on-location headshot for Christine, a personal trainer
Well firstly, it has to look like YOU. For this reason I do very little retouching of my headshot images. Sure I could shave a few kilos off, or make your nose smaller or your eyes a different colour, but I prefer to rely on my skills in posing people so they look their most attractive straight out of camera, without the need to spend a lot of time in Photoshop. My general rule is “if it won’t be there in two weeks, I’ll remove it”. Otherwise the image ends up not being you – you now, not from 15 years ago. Which leads me to my next point:
It needs to be RECENT. It is generally recommended that your headshot be updated every 2-3 years. Hair and clothing styles should be current, and you should also consider changes in styles of photography. It used to be the case that headshots were ubiquitously black and white. But the online environment has influenced the current trend of colour headshots in outdoor locations. As a primarily natural light photographer, I am experienced in techniques to make your face stand out from what would otherwise be busy and distracting backgrounds.
– studio setup and on-location headshots for a real estate team
And finally, it should speak to your MARKET. Do you want to appear friendly and approachable? Powerful and dominant? Intelligent and capable? The only way you can send this message in your portrait is through the expression on your face and your body language. Here is another example of where a professional with experience in posing comes in handy. I can coach you along the way so that you end up with the best pose, body language and expression to sell YOU.
I hope that this has been helpful. And now I feel reeeeeaallly guilty that I’ve not updated my own headshot for a long time…. Hmmmmmmm.
– very unprofessional selfie not following any of the above tips….
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