So what if you could get that first impression out of the way before your client walks through the door?
Every successful business professional knows that the customers ought to come first. Many people understand the importance of making a good first impression during an interview or client meeting, but what they may not realize is that that first impression likely already happened online. This is why it’s important to make sure the headshot you use is a good one.
Clean headshots show your clients who they’re supporting when they choose you over the competition. It puts a smiling face to your company’s name.
Having a professional headshot helps boost your confidence as well as the confidence others have in your professional abilities. A great headshot ensures you’re making the best impression possible, which makes you feel good about your personal brand and what other professionals are thinking when they see your image. Looking the part is just as important as playing the part, and a high-quality headshot helps you look the deal whether you’re just starting your career or you’re navigating the C-suite.
If a client is attaching your face to the company’s name, the picture they look at should show your core values. It is important to take your brand and brand values into account when working on your headshot photoshoot. A fun and playful photo might look beautiful, but the business can look out of place if you’re website and brand identity are corporate and more traditional.
From how you dress to the expression on your face, this all tells a story. Clients want passion and expertise to radiate off the screen as they explore your website. None of those things jumps out when they see a picture of you and half of your ex’s arm at Music Midtown.
So what can you do to ensure you have a headshot that’s working for you?
Give us your best face.
You want to look your best, but you also don’t want to look like you didn’t come from a 90s-era Glamour Shot photoshoot. Clients expect you to look just like your headshot and will be (unpleasantly) surprised when you show up looking totally different or 10 years older. It’s not about looking pretty, it’s about representing your brand, which means being authentically yourself, wrinkles included.
Think about lights, Camera and action.
Natural light gives a very real, “film” look, which I prefer. Studio lighting tends to be a little more polished, with a more neutral backdrop. If taking the photo indoors, set yourself up next to a window and turn off any lights in the room. Pick a time of day where non-directional light pours into the room (or use a north- or south-facing room). For headshots, try to light your scene quite evenly. Talk to your photographer about a classic beauty lighting setup. This works well, with one light above and a second light, or a reflector, supplying fill light from below.
You can also try turning your body 45 degrees away from the camera and toward the main light source (if the lighting setup allows for this).
If you’re outside, choose a shaded area for your photos, this means you should stay away from direct sunlight or spotty light.