6 TIPS FOR A GOOD HEADSHOT PICTURE
A good headshot is one of the single most important marketing tools for your business. As an example, if you use the social media platform LinkedIn you are using a platform that is being used by businesses and people in business like to see who they are or are potentially going to do business with.
You have probably heard the saying “people do business with people they Know, Like and Trust”. It is difficult to start this process if you don’t have a profile photo and or you have a photo that viewers cannot see clearly.
In 2006 Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov from Princeton University in the states, published research with regard to how long it takes to decide your first impression of who you are looking at.
The research found that it only takes 1/10th of a second for the viewer to form a first impression of the person they are looking at. In that 1/10th of a second they decide on your “Competence, Likeability and Influence”. That is frightening as this is all based on what the viewer sees, they have more than likely not had a conversation with you.
How can you improve that first impression?
You have to consider that your profile photo is important. Give it the same consideration as you did to your website and or literature and use a professional photographer.
The professional photographer will show you in your best light by using their skills to make you stand out, if you want viewers to take your seriously. Take a look at the profile photos on LinkedIn as an example. You will see all sorts, which ones stand out? Generally those that have been taken by a photographer who knows what he is doing, as opposed to someone taking a selfie or using a photo from a holiday, with the kids or one that hides the eyes or is just dark.
Here are 6 tips for improvement.
Use a professional Photographer
Spend some money on using a professional photographer, one that understands lighting and takes a headshot for a living. These images are going to cost you some money between £50-£100 but the cost will be worth it as this will enhance your business by viewers spending more time on your website and social media.
Using a friend with a decent camera, or a selfie with a phone camera is not going to benefit your business, viewers will make that first impression which may not be favorable.
Think about your personality, it’s more natural, if it is you. In post processing you may want some touch up undertaken like marks removed or wrinkles smoothed but don’t overdo this. Remember that some of your viewers may be meeting you and if you don’t resemble your photo they may think what else you have got to hide and it’s all about who you are.
They say that “the eyes are the window to the soul”. It’s true in a photo, viewers look at the eyes first. They need to be in focus, a slight squint (not wide open) with the catch lights from flash or studio lights visible in the iris. This makes them look alive.
What Constitutes a Good Headshot
A good headshot is from the chest up and framed well, have good lighting and a plain or blurred background. This makes you stand out, a quality camera will help achieve this, a phone camera won’t have the control.
What do you wear?
For business photos its simple business clothing, clothes that you are comfortable in, fits well and plain colors.
You don’t need to plaster the makeup on, look like yourself as you would be when going to work. You may need some foundation powder to remove or dull down the natural sheen of oil on your skin. If in doubt visit Costa’s before the shoot and keep the napkin, this will also do the trick. The important thing is that you don’t look fake in the photos and have to have them redone.
Try these tips for improved good headshot images. Want to know more, contact Martin now at MH Photography for more information.
by Hampshire Photographer Martin Harris