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Why you need a headshot? 5 Top Tips choosing the right photographer

In any business a headshot is there to help you connect with clients and potential employers, It's your shop window online. Your headshot is all about you and your personal branding, you are 100% your brand. Your headshot is one of the main images in your control to put in the public domain, that represents your brand and professionalism.

If you look stuffy and unapproachable you will lose potential business and if you look unprofessional prospective clients or employers will not take a second glance. That is due to how the human brain is wired, and how we judge people. Your profile image on 99% of websites or social media sites is the first thing people will see as it is normally placed top left of the page. So, it has to stand out for the right reasons.

What does this mean? Social media sites are normally lead with a profile image. If you do not add a profile image people will think your profile is unfinished and not bother looking. If you have a profile image that looks unprofessional you will be thought of that way. If you use a company logo you become faceless and unapproachable.

It is important to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Socially as human beings we can look at a face for less than a second, we can judge someone's age, gender, race, emotional state, and even their trustworthiness. You may be under the impression that it takes weeks of getting to know someone before you can trust them, but your brain has already done the job of decoding their personality within the first second of meeting them face-to-face.

First impressions count and as humans we are designed to connect to each other via expression. So, having a professional headshot projecting genuine expression gives a look of confidence and approachability, and the viewer will connect with you straight away. This helps in other ways as well on social media websites such as LinkedIn. Stats tell us that you are 11 times more likely to have your profile looked at with a professional headshot. If you put this into perspective LinkedIn is a gateway to your website which makes it a good platform to increase sales of products and services. You need to stand out to capitalise on this revenue stream.

You Never Get A Second Chance To Make A First Impression

So What Makes a Good Headshot?

A good headshot is all about a couple of key elements.

Firstly, you need to dress appropriately for the type of look you want to use the headshot for. No point wearing tee-shirt and baseball cap, if you are working within a professional environment, such as a lawyer. Nine times out of ten you would never dress like that to meet a client. Don't get me wrong I'm sure there must be lawyers out there that do. It all comes down to marketing yourself. Just as you would in your business think about your target audience, the people and companies you want to attract. Dress to impress them in the first instance. But talk to your photographer he or she will be able to guide you and will give you options to get the best out of what you want to achieve.

Secondly you want to look confident and approachable, you need to get the viewer to connect with you. The lines between smug and cheesy are very thin. A human being will take less than second to judge you on your facial expression. This is the bit you may find difficult, because a lot of people hate being in front of the camera. This is where top tip No1 comes into play. It's the photographers job to get the best out of you and coach you in front of the camera. Helping you relax and forget about the camera being there, a good headshot photographer will get you messing with the camera and not the other way around. Once you have relaxed, this is the time the awesome shots happen.

Having a professional headshot done is never about someone rocking up with a camera. Making you stand against a wall and telling you to smile. If your photographer tells you to do that you have picked the wrong photographer. It is important to keep your headshot up to date. Nothing is more disconcerting than finding out at a first meeting that the person in the photograph is actually ten years older and looks nothing like their headshot! It's recommended that you update your headshot every two - three years.

"Having a professional headshot projecting genuine expression gives a look of confidence and approachability"

5 Tips on choosing the right Headshot Photographer

  • Have you chosen the right photographer?

The most important thing when choosing a professional headshot photographer, is choosing one you connect with. Not everyone is confident when being photographed. Choosing a photographer that connects with you the person in front of the camera breaking down your anxieties about being photographed is important. Great headshot photography is all about creating genuine expression and connecting with the viewer. Your headshot is all about you, and you need to work with a photographer that understands that.

  • Once you have┬áchosen┬áthe right photographer...

When you think you have found the right photographer, do your research. Look at their portfolio on their website. Read the testimonials to see what others are saying. Make sure you are happy with the style of photography they shoot. If you know other people that have used that photographer, ask them about their experience. And don't be afraid to ask the photographer questions. Any professional photographer worth their salt will be happy to help, with any questions.

  • Does your photographer have the right equipment?

An important consideration is equipment - does your chosen photographer have the right equipment. Having the appropriate range of equipment to create a suitable image is a must for any professional photographer. This will obviously include the camera, but also different lenses, lighting, studio equipment etc. A professional photographer will understand what is required for different types of photography. Turning up with an iPhone and making you Stand against a wall is a big No...

  • It's all about you!

Your headshot should be clean, crisp and modern style, with no distracting background. You should keep jewellery down to a minimum, if you want to wear earrings. Keep them simple wear something like studs. Do not wear clothing with heavy bright patterns. No hats or scarfs unless they are part of a uniform. Turn up to your appointment hair and make-up ready. Having said that, no heavy make-up. keep it simple. If you're not confident with make-up, ask your photographer if he or she can supply a make-up artist for you. A good professional photographer will offer this service for an additional fee.

  • Posing and Post production

Listen and work with the photographer. A good headshot photographer will know the importance of posing. Different body shapes, skin colours and clothing types will lend themselves better to different poses, and a professional photographer will know how to get you looking at your best, and how to accentuate your best features, and minimise those you are less confident about.

A professional photographer will edit your photograph. Most of the hard work has already been done in selecting the appropriate equipment, lighting, clothing and pose for the photograph. However, there is always just a little bit of magic that can be done at the last stage to ensure that the colour range and balance is just right, skin blemishes are appropriately edited, and the image is presented in the best possible way.

Headshot and commercial photography studio.

Contact Details

DW Images Photography, 52 Avon Grove, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK3 7BT

T. 01908 630137 M. 07733 260132

Email photography@dw-images.com

Created By
David Wellbelove
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Credits:

Photography by David Wellbelove

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