The Headshot: Tell Your Story The Right Way
If you are trying to grow your network, build your business, and stand out from the crowd in your industry, one of your most important assets is your headshot photo.
Ask yourself, if the first time someone came across you was online, would they see an accurate portrayal of what you are like? Would everything point to your professionalism? When you don't have the chance to meet someone in person, you are relying on things like your website, business card, LinkedIn profile, and more, to make a great impression. Even when you do meet someone, the portrait they see of you later can say a lot about you.
I firmly believe that in order to stand out from the crowd and make that great first or second impression, the headshot is absolutely essential.
People are visual, they want to see what you look like! They want to make a connection with your business and the person behind the business. Show them your face, and they are more likely to trust you and want to work with you. But you need to show them your face in the right way. I work with each of my clients to make sure they wear the right clothing, have makeup if necessary, but the most important decision is one of basic image style.
There are two main styles of headshots that I offer, however within these the options can vary widely, leaving room for creativity to get the shot that you need. Most people fall into one of two styles.
The Studio Headshot
Some people need the traditional indoor studio look, with maybe a white, grey, or black background. When I take studio headshots, I bring a portable studio to my client's home or office.
Pros. Clean, free from distractions, flexible for a variety of mediums. It easily blends into a white background of a webpage, or is easily cut out to be overlayed onto another image.
Cons. Can be seen as stiff and less personal.
I enjoy these types of headshots very much because it is a very controlled environment and it is all about the person.
The On Location Headshot
Others are looking for a headshot that is less traditional, using a backdrop that conveys something either about them, or their work. It incorporates an element outside of a studio, whether that is an office, home, building, or a natural outdoor setting. Most of the time I am looking for a backdrop that is distraction free, with very pleasing out-of-focus shapes and colors.
Pros. Can be more personable, natural, and friendly, more like you could be in the room with them.
Cons. Not as flexible, you cannot easily use it it on a clean white surface and have the person stand out on their own.
Which style of headshot you choose ultimately comes down to what you need. Consider the style of your company, the clients you interact with, and think about what would work best in those situations.
No matter where you will use a headshot, it could be your website, your LinkedIn page, Facebook page, or printed media, have one that tells your story and shows you in the best possible light. Your headshot is likely one of the first ways that a person will learn about you, online or off. Make sure you are telling the right story. If you aren't, you may not get the chance to tell it to them again.