The first impression is crucial both for our business as well as for our personal life. This has become even more important in recent years. Any single piece of information taken from the web, whether it’s your professional headshot or just a photo from your backyard, has a grave impact on an individual.
Today most business niches have an online presence which means we have to pay more attention to our digital profiles. Not only that we have to look and behave in a certain way, but we also should prove our competences with a single image. The first thing that people consider when they check out your business website or LinkedIn profile is your professional headshot.
Now that we’ve decided that a simple photo makes the difference between success and failure, let’s see what you can do to make sure your image represents you in the most appropriate way.
Choose a Professional Photographer
Although it might be expensive, choosing a professional photographer is a good investment in your career. Select 3-5 professional photographers near you, go through their portfolios, websites, and clients’ reviews, and choose a photographer whose style matches yours. Make sure you choose somebody with experience in portraits, image editing, and business photography.
If you can’t afford a professional photo session, ask a colleague to help you. Taking a selfie as a professional headshot is the worse idea you can have. Instead of focusing on your posture and facial expression, you’ll focus on the camera. Besides, a second opinion might help a lot. Consider trying a good photo editor like Luminar 3 in case you opt for taking professional headshot by yourself. It’s easy to learn and use, and it will help you to sharpen image, get a perfect balance between contrast and brightness, and even different variations of the same photo using various presets.
Pay Attention to Posture
Have you noticed how good the celebrities look on the red carpet? It’s not that they are all beautiful, but they are all dressed according to the occasion, they all wear make-up, and they all have a good posture. Posture is essential in headshots. You don’t want to look sloppy in front of your clients. Keep your back straight and your shoulders back. Imagine you have a wall behind you, which doesn’t allow you to have a lousy posture. Use a real wall if it helps. Don’t forget to relax and feel the posture naturally.
Many people don’t know what to do with their hands when posing for a headshot. If you correct your posture first, it will be easier to find good hand poses. In some pictures, the hands don’t appear at all and this can be better, as body language can say too much about you. If you manage to use it in your favor, it’s fine, if not, it’s better without.
Attitude, Attitude, Attitude
A high-quality image and a good posture are essential, but they’re not enough. A professional headshot has to convey the right message. It needs to match your brand, your personality, and your career goals. Many people believe that hiding behind a neutral image or ticking all social requirements are all you need for a professional image. Well, people are bored with the conventional businessman image. They want creativity, charm, and honesty. Social media transformed us in unhappy people, disappointed and ashamed of our aspect. We’re surrounded by ‘perfect’ selfies, edited, and untrue. Times are changing and we start to value authenticity and character. Think of Steve Job’s image and style. Was he ever a traditional businessman? He didn’t even wear a suit!
So keep in mind that you matter as much as your job description. Show your best self, be relaxed and natural. Smile if you feel like it, wear comfortable clothes and make-up, and think of all those who will see and appreciate your portrait. Attitude comes from within.
A professional headshot makes a big impression on people who want to work with you. You need a high-quality image, which focuses on your face and has good contrast and exposure. You also need a good posture, which allows you to be relaxed and natural in front of the camera. While you are the main subject of a headshot, the composition may include a background adequate with your business. Still, keep in mind that a professional headshot is not all that matters. Your CV, brand biography, and achievements are much more important. People didn’t use Apple because Steve Jobs looked in a certain way. Build your business on results, improve yourself every day, and show people the real you.
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