Headshots 101

Why You Need to Invest in a Professional Headshot

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Practically everyone should have a professional headshot. Whether you are a CEO, a Realtor, an Entrepreneur, an Actor, a Blogger, or a Barista – your face is your personal brand, and you need your best representation to make a solid impression. It isn’t just my job to give you an amazing headshot – it’s my job to help you understand why you need it. So here are five major reasons why you should take the plunge and book a headshot session today-ish.

1. It’s your first impression (or your next!)

A professional headshot shows you at your best, the way you want prospective clients to see you.

Within the first few seconds of seeing your picture or meeting you, people decide all kinds of things about you – from your level of intelligence to your socio-economic status. The saying, “Never judge a book by it’s cover,” is essentially meaningless in the real world. We are all judged or perceived by how we look and especially when it comes down to professional situations like job interviews, networking, prospective clients, etc. — A good headshot is your best chance to make an instant and positive first impression. Don’t waste it. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

While most career driven people understand the importance of professional appearance in person, so many of us fail to perpetuate that professionalism online – the very first place (or the next place) most professional contacts will see you.

 

Bad profile picture
Who's profile picture is this? His or hers?
Awkward selfie headshot
Not suitable for profile image
Tiny head headshot
Another terrible profile picture

2. You will use it everywhere!

It isn’t 1999 anymore, so headshots are not only found on Realtors signs and Lawyer ads in the Yellow Pages. In fact – some of you reading this might not even know what the Yellow Pages are.

We are living in the age of Social Media Marketing. Of the 7.7 billion people living here on Earth, approximately 55.1% (as of June, 2018) have internet access. That is over 4.2 billion! 2.77 billion of those are active on social networks and 61%, or almost 1.7 billion people, access those social networks from mobile devices.

Facebook: 2.27 monthly active users
YouTube: 1.9 billion
WhatsApp: 1.5 billion
Instagram: 1 billion
Twitter: 326 million
LinkedIn: 206 million

Social Media plays a crucial role in promoting your professional abilities and making an impact, making your headshot more important than ever. And since all social networking sites require a profile image, your headshot will have a huge presence on the web.

Let’s not forget all of the other places you will use your headshot, including on your own website under “Our Team” or “About Me,” on your custom business cards or other printed marketing materials, television mentions, blog articles, author descriptions, guest posts, career testimonials, magazines, email profile and signature…

Professional profile pictures

3. Your look will change.

Whether it’s your signature hairstyle or eyeglass frames that everybody knows you by, or that you’ve gained or lost a ton of weight – or maybe even that the photo you’re using now is 3 years out of date – your appearance will change.

When somebody has gotten their first impression of you online, and you look quite different when they finally meet you in person, that can be quite unsettling for them. You are the face of your business and people want to engage with those who take it seriously. 

4. Your team will change over time.

Whether because of new employees or new opportunities for others within your organization, you’ll want to update your team headshots with consistent looking, high quality images. A professional will be able to maintain that consistency over time with photos that are on brand.

5. Amateur looks Amateur.

You want your headshot to convey professionalism and personality and show you at your best and an amateur photo is definitely not your best.

But how will a pro photographer make that happen when you can just get a friend with a digital camera to snap a quick shot for free? An experienced photographer knows how to position you, choose the proper backdrop and lighting setups, and direct you for the best looking shot. It’s their craft. The post production, editing, cropping… it is our job to make people look great. Professionals seek professionals because they know the ins and outs of the job and are good at it. Would you trust the kid next door with an air pump for his bicycle to patch the flat tire on your SUV?

Having a professional headshot will ensure you look the part and will help you take yourself seriously. You will stand out from the crowd and stay top of mind.

A good headshot is an asset for your company and the personal side of your brand. People study faces – from visitors to your website to customers and suppliers – they will all make judgements about you and your business based on how the images look. It is the logo of your personal brand and represents your self image. Who do you make yourself out to be? If you want to make a change, a professional headshot is the simplest way to not only be noticed by those around you, but also to a wider spectrum of viewers like prospective recruiters, clients, and even those seeking a relationship.

As people we DO judge books by their covers – so why not give your book the best cover you can?