I've heard someone say that head shots are photographs with purpose and I couldn’t agree more! A good headshot defines your brand & helps in creating that first impression before you even meet your client in person. Beware that you make an impression on your client each time they see your status update on social media, or reach for your business card to call you before they even meet you in person, so the image you use is the key to how they see you. According to a body language expert, Vanessa Van Edwards, first impressions are immediate, accurate & permanent. And there is a lot more to a good headshot than lighting, posing & wardrobe.
Here are 3 aspects I found very essential when considering having your professional headshot taken:
1. The Purpose
Updating our headshots is not something we think to do often. Once we have our headshot taken, we tend to sit in our comfort zone and forget all about the purpose it serves. Typically you should have your headshot taken whenever your outer look changes to reflect your current look. Cutting, growing or dyeing your hair, getting new glasses or contact lenses, gaining or loosing weight are good indicators to getting a new headshot. And if your look doesn’t visibly change, make sure to update your headshot once a year.
2. Wardrobe & Grooming.
It is quite obvious that clean & tidy is the proper way to introduce yourself to the world. It’s all about making that first impression or reminding your followers of the essence of your presence. Make sure that your wardrobe represents the type of work you do and is in line with your position in the business. Avoid distracting patterns, logos, strong colors, unless it’s a part of your uniform. It’s safe to stick to primary colors, like black, grey, white. Also ensure your clothes fit you properly.
Be careful how much makeup you use. According to research women wearing makeup are seen more competent, likable, attractive and trustworthy. Too much makeup, however, decreases trustworthiness. Use this knowledge to your advantage. My recommendation is to go with a professional hair and makeup. A good hair & makeup artist will help you determine how much to apply and the style of makeup for the type of look you are going for.
3. Body Language.
This is probably the most important aspect of your headshot, so pay attention to your body language & micro expressions. Researchers proved that visual interpretation of headshots alone could be incredibly accurate, same as the very first impression you make on someone you see for the first time before you even speak up!
Show emotional connection with the viewer by keeping yourself open, while facing the camera & connecting with your eyes. While crossing arms in front of your chest seem to show confidence & authority, from body language perspective it might be perceived as an emotional barrier between you and the viewer. Consider whether you are closing down your body language with crossed arms or opening up with hands to the side.
A slight smile is recommended to show a sense of warmth. The nature of your business will determine the appropriateness of your smile, so smile purposefully! The bottom line is, decide what is suitable for what you are trying to communicate.
Now that you know the key factors to a perfect headshot, review your business presence and contact me today to get your headshot up to date!