In today’s culture driven by social media we all love to click away and check people out before we meet them. So what’s the first thing we all look at? The HEADSHOT, of course. First impressions today are not formed when we meet and shake hands. Our impression of the person is subconsciously there already, based on the image we have already seen - online. Your potential employer or client will click on your LinkedIn and create an impression about you. You want the impression that will land you a meeting or a job interview, right?
The idea that only actors and models need a professional headshot is seriously outdated. It is crucial today to understand your headshot as an extension of your personal brand. Whether you are a student, an entrepreneur, or an artist - you need a headshot that represents you, your values and your work.
Yes, it’s time to seriously rethink that cropped iPhone photo taken by your friend which you use as your headshot. Investing in your headshot is investing in the success of your personal brand.
Below are tips on getting a headshot you will be proud to show to the world.
Before The Shoot
1. Think about your brand.
Tell the photographer more about yourself, your work and your personal brand. Know how you would like to look and be clear where you will use the headshot. A headshot for LinkedIn and your resume should not be confused with a headshot used for match.com.
2. Be well-rested.
Always sleep well before a photoshoot. Rested eyes make better photos. Try not to be tempted by that glass of wine the night before. Stay in and stick to water. Camera will see the difference.
3. Wear clothing that flatters you.
Choose colors that accentuate your eye or hair color. Keep jewelry to a minimum. If you wear glasses, bring them to the shoot, try with and without. Refrain from neon bright colors, frills or busy patterns. Bring several outfits to the shoot, the photographer will help you. Better safe than sorry.
4. Don't overlook hair and makeup.
Ladies, do your makeup and hair like you are going to a ‘meet the parents’ dinner with your boyfriend. Choose light eyeliners, eye shadows, and lipsticks. A shade or two darker than your skin tone will bring out your features. Avoid heavy makeup. Gents, Your hair is most flattering 1-2 weeks after the cut, so please don’t cut your hair the day before the shoot.
On The Shoot
1. Be confident an friendly.
A good headshot shows you in a confident yet friendly way. You want to look serious about what you do but friendly in the way you do it. You want people to like you. Employers and clients to contact you.
2. Don't worry and have fun.
If you love your smile, share it. If you don’t, not a problem. A good photographer can make you smile with your eyes. Remember, people are drawn to happy people. If you look optimistic, they will be drawn to you.
3. Be natural and showcase your personality.
Don’t forget the most important thing - be natural, be you. Be the best of you.
About the Author
JETA B is a photographer based in New York City. She collaborates with artists, entrepreneurs and startups to give their visual branding a real kick. Connect with her on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.