3 tips to professional headshots
Why professional headshots are important
Can’t you just use the one you took on your iPhone on your last boys/girls night out? I guess, but that begs the question… what does that signal to your prospective customers? In the digital world we live in today, your headshot is the first thing people see. And I have news for you, they are judging you. It’s human nature. That is why it’s so important to put your best face forward. (See what we did there? Never mind.)
This is your chance to stand out from the crowd and show your clients you mean business. Now, this leads us to the very point of this article. Why are “professional” headshots so important? Besides the obvious things like lighting, camera equipment, editing and final quality, a professional photographer is worth their weight in gold. They will know how to guide you through the process, how to coach you to look your best, what to wear, what will photograph best, etc.
Ok, so let’s get back to it. Here are 3 tips for getting the best headshots.
1. Get rest the night before your headshots are taken.
I know this sounds like a silly thing, but makeup is only going to go so far. If you are exhausted, you will look exhausted on camera. In fact, the camera is only going to make matters worse. Yes, they can “Photoshop” it, but that’s only going to present a version of yourself that you might not really be happy with.
Instead, plan for success. Get a solid night’s rest and come to your photoshoot ready to take the world by storm.
Now, here is a little bonus tip. If your headshot photographer doesn’t offer professional hair and makeup services, we highly recommend investing in this. Most pros are under $200 and can be on site during your photoshoot. I promise you, it will make all the difference in the world in the final results.
2. Wardrobe matters during headshot photography.
Garbage in equals garbage out. We’ve all heard that saying, although it usually applies to the world of IT. However, the same holds true here in the world of photography. If you show up with a crappy wardrobe selection, guess what? Your images will reflect that and you will hate your final photographs.
You have two choices here. For those of you who are fashionably challenged, feel free to go shopping. That’s right, we just gave you the green light to spend money. *disclaimer, we can’t be held responsible for the conversation with your significant other on this one. You got this!
In addition, most professional photographers will help you stylize your shoot by either giving you guidance or showing you some samples. This, again, is worth its weight in gold.
For your actual shoot, here are some things to consider doing.
- Bring more clothes than you think you will need. This allows the staff to mix and match to get the perfect look. Bring more ties, shirts, sweaters, etc.
- Avoid plaids. They just don’t photograph well. Solids are best.
- Iron your clothes. Sounds like common sense, but you would be surprised how many people show up with their clothes in a ball. Your photographer is a photographer, not a magician.
- Ask for help if you need it. We will typically have clients text/email us pictures of wardrobe so we can guide them.
3. Check out the portfolio of the headshot photographer.
Not all headshots are created equal. There is more to a professional headshot than just clicking the button. Do you like their style? Can you envision yourself in these pictures? If not, this is not the photographer for you. The reason you are going to a professional photographer in the first place is to get something professionally done. The photographer should offer you a plethora of images and the ability to fully retouch those images. Again, if they don’t offer these extra services, then what exactly are you paying for?
Here are some other things to consider.
How do they light their images? No, you don’t need to be a photographer to understand this. It’s pretty straight forward. Does the lighting look bright and airy or does it feel dark and dramatic? By the way, there is no right or wrong answer here. It comes down to what you like. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it. But if you LOVE it, that’s the photographer you should be gravitating towards.
Another way to think about this is: Will your image stand out when your potential customers see it online? Or will it look like everyone else’s headshot? Will people start emailing you saying, “Hey, saw your new picture, it looks amazing?” Or will there be crickets? This is why it matters.
Will the photographer retouch your final images? No matter who you are and no matter how beautiful you are, the camera and lighting will show imperfections. Those imperfections need to be fixed. Even supermodels with perfect skin get retouching on their images. This should be a value-added service that you do not have to pay extra for.
Full Color Headshot
Black and White Headshot
How many versions of the final image will the photographer deliver? For example, with our clients, we deliver 4 final versions of every image our clients select, all fully retouched. We deliver:
- a color version – full resolution
- a black and white version – full resolution
- a color version – web resolution
- a black and white version – web resolution.
The reason we do this is to ensure you don’t have to do any extra work to use your image on social media, vs website, vs printed marketing material, etc. Again, this should be a free value-added service.
Well, I hope this helps and at least points you in the right direction to getting the perfect headshot for you and your business.
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