With the start of the new year, many of us are looking forward to how we will grow our careers in 2019. How will we make the year ahead better and more exciting than the year behind? Whatever your goals, they will require connecting with other people. In the digital age of social media, that first impression often takes place online. Clients, contacts, and recruiters are going to decide whether to further their contact with you based on your website or profile.

So, what can you do to stand out from the crowd? Professional headshots, well tuned to your personal or company brand, make a monumental difference in your ability to jump off the results page. But it takes more than just throwing a selfie up on your profile. Here are 5 do’s and don’ts to help you craft the perfect headshot:

  1. DO consider your brand and the tone you want to set. Are you a lawyer who need to project confidence and authority? A doctor who needs to show caring and empathy? Maybe you’re a party planner who needs to look glamorous and fun. Whatever you do, your headshot needs to, through styling, posing, and expression, reflect the subtle undertones that would normally be apparent in a face to face meeting.
  2. DO consider your brand colors when choosing wardrobe, backdrops, etc. You want your headshot to look at home on your website and profile pages, and colors that clash or are wildly different will detract from that.
  3. DO ensure that the images are of high technical quality in terms of lighting, exposure, and color balance. A poor image capture simply cannot be made into a professional looking headshot.
  4. DO make sure that your images are properly formatted for the context you are going to put them in. The wrong color profile will make an image look muddy and dull. Images that are uploaded at a larger size than they are going to be displayed at can actually end up looking out of focus. A very large file size can make your website slow to load, making it more likely that the viewer will loose interest and move on to a different site.
  5. Whatever you do, DON’T let your profile go with no picture at all!!! Studies have shown over and over again that profiles with a picture are exponentially more likely to be viewed. We live in an incredibly visual society, and most people expect to be able to put a face to the person they are working with, even if they haven’t actually met. On that note, it is also important that your headshot be up to date.

Now that we’ve established what goes into a quality headshot, how do you go about actually producing one? You could always do it yourself, and there is no reason you can’t produce your own quality headshot…. so long as you understand light, exposure, color design, posing and body language, ICC color profiles, image resolution algorithms, etc, etc, etc.

Let’s assume for a moment that you don’t. What are your options? You could do the research and figure it out for yourself, and probably come up with a pretty good headshot, but it’s going to cost you a LOT of time. You could settle for a substandard headshot, but then you’re stuck with a substandard headshot, and that costs you impression value. OR you could hire a professional photographer to produce your headshots for you.

A professional photographer is literally in the business of understanding everything that goes into producing a quality headshot. They know how to translate what you want your first impression to be into a visual image with professionalism and impact. Here are a few things to consider when hiring a photographer to produce your headshots:

  1. What steps do they take to make sure your headshots match your brand?
  2. Will they conduct the session at your office, or do you have to travel to their studio?
  3. Do they provide image files formatted for your website and social media?
  4. Do they retouch your images?
  5. Do they provide on-site image selection at the end of the session?
  6. How long does it take to get the final images back?
  7. How many images are included in the price?
  8. Is there group pricing and/or day rates available for whole offices?
  9. Do they provide a commercial use license for the images? (A general copyright release is not sufficient if you need to use your images in any commercial advertising.)

At Through the Lens Images, I have built my headshot packages around personalization and convenience. I offer a specialized pricing model, exclusive to my headshot line, with options for both individuals and businesses, as well as options for either traditional backdrops or “lifestyle” sets that showcase you in your place of business. I come to you for your session, and you get to see your images, with basic processing, on the spot at the end of your session so that you can select your images. The cost includes three images per person and those images are fully retouched, formatted, and delivered to you by email within a week of your session. The final image set you receive includes three copies of each image (high resolution, website, and social media) and a full commercial use release.

My goal is to make your experience as low-maintenance as possible, while also providing you with quality images that honestly represent you and your career/business.

Call (571)882-9153, or email sarah@throughthelensimages.com for your complimentary, no obligation consultation.