We all need a headshot! Head shots are important for your career and business, yet they are often undervalued. First impressions are “everything” and a first impression decision is often made within the first 30 seconds of being seen on a website, social media platform, article, press release or anywhere that your head shot may appear. Your head shot should represent who you are, reflect your personality and help people want to work with you. So, here is the big question. What makes a great head shot?
Most importantly, your headshot needs to show the “real” you. It is essential that a potential employer or client views your headshot and instantly wants to know more about you. Your personality shows in your eyes, your smile, your posture and your countenance. Your head shot can and should be full of “personality”.
Every great shot grabs you with the eyes. Your eyes are the “window to your soul”. They will tell a story about who you are. Choosing a photographer that gets great focus and light in the eyes is essential.
3. Technical Aspects.
Pay close attention to technical aspects when choosing your photographer. Lighting, cropping, and focus can easily make or break a photo. With most careers, less glam and more simple is the way to go. There is a lot to think about including editing, background options (outdoor natural light versus studio portraits), etc. Your photographer will help you find the options that are best for you.
4. Know Your Audience.
What are you using your head shot for? If you’re an actor, you need a shot that casting directors will see a glimpse of your personality in an instance. Depending on your city or field of entertainment, you may want to create photos outdoors or in a studio. If you’re a realtor or consultant, you may need something a bit more business like and a studio headshot may be a suitable option for you. It may be important that your head shot is created in your workplace. The setting, the lighting, the clothing you choose and smile vs. no smile are considerations to make depending on your audience.
Wear what you feel confident in. Wearing colors that pop and blend well with your hair, skin and eye colors are key. We suggest using minimal patterns, simple necklines, and avoiding scarves and too much jewelry. It’s important that you are comfortable in your clothing while still looking professional.
Your headshot should look like you on your best day. Simple, minimal makeup can extenuate your natural beauty while still looking like “everyday you”.
Your headshot needs to look like you at this current moment! It is tempting to depend on an old favorite head shot of a “younger you” as we age, but it is important to represent your current look. Hair styles change, glasses may change and our faces are changing. Embrace who you are right now and celebrate your uniqueness by having new head shots created on a regular basis.
8. Be rested.
Make sure to plan a good nights sleep the night before your session. This will greatly affect your expression and energy. It will also help with your posture. Posture is one of the most important parts of creating a great image. Avoid any alcohol the day before your session. Your skin will look brighter and you will feel better to get the best photos!
Spend the money on a professional. This is incredibly important. As the saying goes, it is so true that “You get what you pay for”. Portraits are an investment, but the return is worth every penny. This is part of your “branding” and cutting corners will actually cost you more in the long run.
10. Have fun!
This should be a fun, enjoyable experience. You’re investing in someone to capture you and your natural personality. A great professional photographer will not only make this a fun experience, but will put you at ease and make you look better than you imagine. Creating your new head shot can be fun and make you feel special. It’s a great time to celebrate you!
JEAN JOHNSON PRODUCTIONS
LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER | PERSONAL ARTIST | FAMILY HISTORIAN
Capturing life’s most treasured moments…