How do you know it's time to update your headshot? First, let's take a look as to why you should have one.
Let's face it: Whether we like it or not, this is the digital age, and oftentimes our first impression of a business lies solely in whether or not there is the ability to put a face with that entity. A good professional headshot/ business portrait can create a look of professionalism and give your online (or otherwise) presence a sense of legitimacy. I recently came across an interesting bit of information last night, stating that 60% of consumers are more likely to contact a business when there is an image associated with it. An image that clearly reflects your personality and business can have very positive effects on inquiries!
So...you already have a business portrait??
Think it is time to maybe get a new one??
Let's look a bit of some of the telltale signs that it's time:
1)Your business portrait was taken with an iphone.....
Ok, I admit...technology has come a very long way, and some may find it perfectly acceptable to snap a quick shot with the phone and call it a day. However, a professional understands lighting, posing, and ways to make you look your best. A polished, well done portrait, whether formal or more relaxed, can convey what you are aiming to say your audience.
2) Your look has changed....
Has your hair changed?
Do you wear glasses (or not) now?
Have you had a significant weight change?
How about your personal style?
Pale versus super summer tan??
All of these things change naturally over time.
If your business portrait happens to be the "workforce entry" portrait that you had made when you graduated college...and you look nothing like that person in the photo..it's probably time. People get comfortable and resist change, I know. But!!! If you have one profile photo on social media, and a potential client would not be able to pick you out of a lineup after seeing that photo.... it can give the impression of being insincere, and it's time to freshen things up a bit. Staying current can help you put your best face forward.
3) The general rule of thumb is, if it has been more than two years since updating your business portrait, it is time for a change. Even better...once a year. And guess what? If you are using it for business....its tax deductible!
"OK Nichole, I need a new business portrait. Now what???"
So glad you asked!! LOL!
Let's start with clothing choices:
First rule of thumb is that clothing choices should never distract from that fabulous face of yours! Go ahead and argue with me that your face isn't beautiful. I disagree!
Back to my point..... Here are a few bullet points for a quick reference:
Clothing should FIT!!! Yes, I want to be able to see your body shape. Why? Loose, baggy clothing, as comfy as it may be, can be terribly unflattering on camera, and make you appear larger than you really are, or (dare I say it???)....sloppy. That never leaves a good impression. Neatness counts.
Speaking of neatness. Clothing should be clean and wrinkle free.
Solid colors work best. Avoid the dreaded striped shirt. I am a huge fan of stripes...I own lots, but try to avoid them in portraits. Very distracting...remember...it's about YOU.
In general, long sleeves are perfection! Ladies, you want to avoid cap sleeves. When cropping an image, it can leave an awkward patch of skin, and can be a distraction. Depending on your profession, you could even go sleeveless. If you are interested in a personal branding session, you are welcome to bring a few different options. Different wardrobe styles can say very different things....we can aim for a shot of the serious you, the more relaxed you, the fun-loving you...
When it comes to color, pick something that works for your complexion and eye color. Dark gray is universally flattering, and it always helps to choose a color that compliments your eye color: (brown - gray, blue - blue, green- green). Avoid colors that are too close to your skintone. Instead, choose colors that are darker or lighter than your skintone. The contrast will help draw attention upward to your friendly face.
Another note on color: Unless it fits your brand, bright colors may not be the best choice. Many bright colors, such as neons and corals, tend to put a color cast on skin. No bueno.
A word on shoes: If you think you will want a full body portrait that shows your footwear, shoes should be clean, scuff-free, and match your clothing selection. Tennis shoes, unless they fit your brand, tend to stick out like a sore thumb. Especially runners that have been around the block...and let's face it, the color combinations that sneaker manufacturers put on runners these days...would be a challenge to match a professional outfit. (Otherwise...I LOVE my runners...love them)
Now that I have that covered, let's move on........
Prepping for your Portrait Session:
Here are a few guidelines to ensure you put your best face forward. In bullet format, again, because I like lists. Haha.
About a week or so before your scheduled session, get a hair trimmed up. This might not be the best time to experiment.
Get your personal grooming in check. That means...shave if you have to, clean up the lines if you are bearded, de-fuzz (the camera picks up everything...ask me how I know...really, go ahead), get those eyebrows looking neat, whiten teeth if you feel it's needed.
Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water the day and evening before your session. Perhaps avoid those nightcaps (or maybe stick to just one...then rehydrate). Your skin with thank you.
Get plenty of sleep the night before. No need to bring extra baggage to your session if you can avoid it. (And if you do....don't sweat it, I have ways of dealing with such things if you prefer).
That's it, folks!
I hope that you found some of this information helpful.