A professional business photo or headshot photo is the first impression someone will have of you. It is important to take the time and make this investment in you, your business, and your brand. This image of you will also begin to communicate your brand with people that you want to do business with. So let’s dig in & talk about the who, the what, & the how to’s of a professional headshot photo session.
Let’s begin with the why…
Many people will often ask me why they even need a professional business photo. People like to do business with people that they like, know, & trust. A professional headshot photo is one way to begin to establish a relationship with a potential client. Remember, people buy people, then they buy into the business.
What should I wear for my business photo?
Another popular question that I always get asked is “What should I wear?”. My first answer is always “Wear what you feel comfortable in.” This could mean different ensembles for everyone. Here are a few more specific points to help determine what to wear.
- Avoid trendy clothing. Go for an outfit that is classic. Jewel tones are the most complimentary for most complexions. Ask yourself this, How would you dress to meet a client?
- Keep in mind that on occasion headshot photos are converted into black & white. Solid colors are best. Try to avoid patterns & bright colors.
- Be sure to ask your photographer what the background options will be so that you may coordinate your outfit(s) appropriately.
- You may also want to have lifestyle or environmental type photos done. For example, if you are a woodworker, you might want to consider having your photo taken in your workshop.
When scheduling a professional headshot photo session it’s also good to think about grooming aspects such as hair & nails.
- Wear your hair as you normally would. Don’t make any drastic changes within a few days of your photo session. If you ever had a major hairstyle change, you know that you need a few weeks to settle into it. A general trim or color is also something to consider. Men should be sure to be neatly shaven prior to their headshot session.
- If you are planning on having photos that show your hands or feet, a manicure and/or pedicure might also be in order. Who wants to say not to a pedi anyway!
Practice, Practice, Practice….
We have all heard the saying practice, practice, practice, right? Being in front of the camera can make anyone nervous. Take a few moments to stand in front of the mirror to practice your smile and different facial expressions. It might feel silly but you will feel more relaxed & comfortable on the day of your photo session. Practice a range of expressions. Start with a slight smile with no teeth showing, then move into a bigger smile with some teeth, then end with a full on smile. You will begin to feel what feels natural to you and is appropriate for the outcome you desire in your photos.
Have a conversation with your photographer…
Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your photographer to discuss any questions you may have or concerns. This will also help put you at ease. A few questions to ask your photographer might be:
- Talk about how the photos will be use. Places that a professional business photo might be used are social media profile photos, email signature, press releases, marketing material. This will also help determine the type of photo(s) that will suit your needs best.
- You may also want to consider sending the photographer a past headshot photo that you had done. You will be able to talk about what you liked, and what you didn’t like so the photographer knows ahead of time. If you are wanting to go for a new look, you can start a Pinterest board & share it with your photographer. This will be a great place to start for inspiration & a way to communicate what you are looking to achieve in a photo.
- Check with you photographer on what types of amenities they will have available for you on the day of the photo session. Does your photographer have a place for you to change? Is there space available to check your hair & makeup? Will they have hairspray or styling products available for you to use or should you bring your own?
You ARE worth the investment of a professional business photo…
Last but not least, you are worth the investment of a professional photo. If you want to be viewed as a professional make the investment. Selfies are fun, but save them for your personal social media channels. Take the time to invest in yourself, & others will see that as well & want to do business with you.