THE HEADSHOT MANIFESTO!
I’m passionate about ensuring everyone has a great headshot.
Weird? Maybe. Important? Yes. Why? Glad you asked!
As a photographer and long time business owner, it’s a constant frustration to see professionals of the world representing themselves with bad pictures. In the countless online feeds you’re no doubt subscribed to, your profile picture is requested for a reason. Humans are visual creatures; as such, the first thing we notice in your profile is your headshot. It’s our first impression of you. And yet most of us don’t take the time to ensure it’s done well.
As a company, your team shots should represent your level of professionalism, be consistent, and be current. No-one’s suggesting a new shoot every time a new team member starts if that seems too much (although plenty of our clients do exactly that), but once every six months is a great time-line to consider updating. It will cover any new personnel and give existing team members a chance to refresh theirs if they choose to.
And part of a larger team or not, as an individual it should form part of your annual budget. You change, your network changes, your fashion changes, and - in a world where it seems every medium is screaming for your headshot - it’s essential that you have a relevant (read: recent!) one of great quality; ready and waiting.
For the last 20 years I’ve captured countless faces for a variety of purposes, but only in the last few years have I really started to stress the importance of having a professional headshot taken to keep in touch with the expectations of the world around us.
This is for a number of reasons:
Whether I’m shooting teams into the dozens or taking a single profile picture, the plan is to get you in and out as quickly as possible; the process is about you, not the photographer. You do NOT want to be sitting for an hour in front of a camera in a stuffy studio while a shutter clicks hundreds of times; it’s not natural, you won’t enjoy it, and you’ll potentially end up with a dead-eyed image that you don’t like.
And what’s more, I come to you.
They all want you
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, your website, the board you sit on, that seminar you forgot that you are speaking at next week…they all want a decent headshot, and that’s just to name a few. And given you’re a professional and your personal brand is out there every minute of every single day, why isn’t your profile picture current, ready to go at a moment’s notice, and awesome?
And the list of excuses for not getting it done correctly?:
“I hate having my picture taken”
Me too, but somewhere early on I accepted that it’s an integral part of networking and branding. And when it comes time to do it, I focus on the outcome. (Oh, and nobody likes a whinger!) The process isn’t like is used to be; it’s literally a few minutes of your life to create a picture that goes on to have a life of its own for months, being the first point of call for countless connections - both professionally and personally - so it’s imperative that you accept it as a reality of the 2016 life and try to LOVE getting your picture taken. Sure, maybe the process isn’t your immediate cup of tea, but imagine what having a great headshot can do for your profile once it’s out in the digital ether. It makes you look more professional, it can lead to more business, it makes your brand consistent, and it will be quick and painless; I promise ;)
"It’s so expensive"
No. It’s not. The ROI is incalculable simply with its applications in pretty much every online portal these days. And if networking plays any role in your day to day - and it’s hard to imagine that it doesn’t - you should be updating your photo at least once a year to ensure that your clients, colleagues, and potential contacts have an honest representation of you to reference.
"My friend’s camera takes good pictures"
No. It doesn’t. If I give my realtor a scalpel, that doesn’t make him a surgeon. A friend or family member may have all the best intentions but, as a professional, you should engage a professional.
"I’ll just use a selfie"
In short, capturing your headshot professionally is easy, affordable, and essential. So get in touch today!
Creative Director @ ENGN (Singapore)