How To Take An Awesome Headshot

Let’s face it, having your photo taken is stressful. You know it’s an important part of promoting your business, but the outcome often falls short of your expectations. So how do you keep your headshot from looking like a DMV photo? Here are some tips for taking a business headshot that’s so awesome, you’ll want to hand out autographed 8-by-10-inch glossies.

Why Bother?

You’re the face of your business, so the impression you make reflects on how people perceive it. Business photos are an important part of that. A blurry photo with your hair out of place can give the impression you don’t pay attention to detail. That’s not a quality people want if they’re looking for a wedding planner.

Not convinced? Here are other things a great business photo can do:

  • Reveal your personality. A smile can make you look more approachable. A suit conveys a more professional outlook. Brightly colored glasses can mean you’re creative.
  • Establish credibility. People hire individuals, not companies. A photo helps establish yours as a real business backed by an actual person who will be there when they need them.
  • Reinforce your brand – Each time you use your photo on your website, your social media platforms, in an email or printed material, you anchor your brand to a consistent image.
  • Give people a heads-up – A photo helps prospective customers recognize you when you meet for the first time. That’s one less thing to worry about when establishing relationships.
  • Get results – You’ll get 21-times more views on LinkedIn if you have a professional photo. People retain 65% of the information if it’s paired with a relevant image, like your photo.

Say Cheese!

You can increase the chances of taking a good business photo by following a few simple guidelines.

  • Use a professional photographer – Invest in your business and hire a professional who’s trained in creating the right image. That includes lighting, background, and pose. Don’t trust a selfie. You might save money in the short-term but lose it later by leaving an unfavorable impression with customers.
  • Headshot or not? – Most business photos are headshots—your image from the shoulders up. That puts the emphasis on your face and eliminates distracting background details. But other options might be appropriate. For example, a landscape designer might consider a wider shot that showcases their work. 
  • What to wear? – Dress in the clothes you wear to meet a new client or in your business. For an accountant, that might be a suit and tie. For a restaurant owner, it might be a chef’s uniform. Avoid wearing big patterns or bold colors. You want them looking at you, not your clothes. 
  • Talk to your customer – One of the most stressful parts about taking a picture is not knowing what to do with your expression. Should you smile, show your teeth, use your hands, look directly at the camera? The answer depends on how you interact with your customers. Think of the camera as a customer and talk to it. Doing so will help put you at ease and create a more natural look.
  • Stay current – That photo taken when you were 20 may look great, but it will throw customers off when they meet you as a 42-year-old. Retake your photo occasionally to reflect how you look today.
  • Adjust your expectations – Allow enough time in your schedule for the shoot (then add a half hour). This isn’t something you can knock out in 15 minutes. Ask your photographer what to expect for your session. Arrive early so you have time to settle in and make any adjustments.

Capture just the right image for your business with an awesome headshot. Use these tips to save face and create a value asset for your business.