10 Tips to Make the Perfect First Impression for Your Business Headshot
We think if you follow the tips and suggestions below that you'll be able to make a great first impression!
Your face is a part of your business brand. It’s on your Facebook page, Instagram, LinkedIn, your website, and blogs. It may even be on your business cards, flyers, lawn signs, and banners. If someone is meeting you for coffee, would they be able to spot you in a crowd based on your headshot?
1. How do I choose the right photographer?
Do your homework and check out their gallery of headshots. The photographer should have enough examples to give you a clear idea of the style of work that they do. If you’re looking for a clean, well lit backdrop, you’ll need to make sure they have a studio and proper lighting.
2. What should I expect to pay for my headshots?
Headshot pricing varies greatly, so make sure you know exactly what you’re receiving. Most headshots include one or two images (fully edited) and the usage release for a very reasonable price. This will usually include one look. If you need more than one look, or a complete rebranding, the investment will go up. And there will be additional fees for hair and makeup if you elect to get it professionally done. Ask questions before your session!
3. How often should I get my headshots updated?
We recommend getting your headshots updated every two years or when you have a new look- whichever comes first. Obviously, if you get a headshot and you really don’t like it, go ahead and get it updated. It’s worth it to be confident in your first impression. You’ll also want to update your headshot if you have a major hairstyle or hair color change, a weight loss or gain, or if you’ve gotten glasses. Another reason to update your headshot is if you have a career change that requires a different look.
4. How do I decide which style of headshot I want?
If you have a creative job, you may want an informal, fun headshot. If you’re a business professional, you may want a more formal look. It’s easy enough to get one shot in a suit and a more informal look with it off. Here are some background choices. It’s nice to know your preference in advance so the photographer can be set up and ready to go when you arrive. Some like a white, clean, bright background Or a grey background. We love a black background when they are well lit. There should be a subtle hair light that makes the subject not get lost in the dark background.
Our other favorite is an environmental headshot. It is a modern style where the background accentuates your branding. For example if you are a physician, you have the hospital or office in the background. The background should be sufficiently blurry to make the subject the center of focus.
5. But what if I hate it?
Most people don’t want to be over photoshopped. They want a natural look that is flattering. Communicate to your photographer the style you want. Do you want it clean and natural or more glamorous? We always say that we can make you look ten years younger with a little touch up, but the point of your headshot is recognition. Let your photographer know if you feel that you’ve been over-edited and they can make adjustments.
6. Should I pay for the hair and makeup service?
That is a personal decision based on your confidence in your hair styling and makeup. If you’re not happy with the styling, you won’t be happy with the headshot. We always suggest going for a matte look, because the professional lighting can accentuate shiny skin. If you don’t wear makeup, but you would like it for the image, it would be much more cost effective to get the makeup done professionally. They can give you a subtle look.
7. What should I wear?
We highly recommend wearing solids. It doesn’t have to be grey or black, though. Think of your branding and colors and dress accordingly. We also prefer long sleeves. We want the eye to go to your face, not your shoulders and arms- even if they look great!
8. But I really need to lose 10 pounds first!!
Let the photographer know your concerns and they can pose you to flatter your figure. They can also make subtle adjustments in Photoshop to slim you down.
9. But I have to go to work first!
Pack a bag with the essentials to freshen your hair and makeup. We would also recommend that you bring a toothbrush and floss, as well as eye drops.
10. Just set the goal of getting it scheduled today!
Getting a professional headshot done is something that even the most detail-orientated person will put off. If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to making the perfect first impression!