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The Importance of Professional Headshots

By Edited May 8, 2015 1 0

Who are you?

Headshots are useful in many areas and are necessary to create professional engagement between you and your potential prospects. However, before seeking out a photographer you must first define what your visual voice looks like. How do you want to present yourself to the world? What image style suites you best for your specific genre of business? Too many times we rush ourselves just to get the item off our to-do list. I recommend that you spend some time here, as it will definitely help to enhance your professional image. 

Professional Headshots

We're all familiar with the various styles of headshots... Actor headshots, Realtor Headshots, or Lawyer/Banker headshots. One would think that creating images of these general types would be rather easy, but as a photographer the attention to detail is crucial. One commonality I have found after taking hundreds of photos of bankers, lawyers, realtors and actors is that none of them are super excited about getting their headshot taken. (Well maybe actors are, but we all know they are a rare breed.) My job is to create an image that draws out a happy, trustworthy, confident person who is going to take their career or business to the next level. It can be difficult when it has already been a “typical Monday” and your shoot is scheduled for later that day. You have already gotten up way too early, have a stain on your shirt, or you’re having a bad hair day. Don’t fret! Your photographer should be able to take care of all those little things. We have tons of tricks up our sleeves besides large quantities of alcohol.  

Professional headshots - Actor
Credit: Chris Floyd
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens For Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
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Photographer Selection

Do your homework! Don’t ask a photographer to shoot like another. If you don’t see similar images on their site that you like, then don't hire them. You probably won’t have a good shoot. I have turned down jobs in the past where I was asked to shoot in a style that I was not comfortable with.  Sometimes a photographer's shooting style and a client's ideas just don't fit.

Photographer Responsibilities

Understand the theme of the shot. The photographer should provide an example of what the shot will look like when done.

For example, the typical business look, has had a tendency to be a bit more corporate. Lately, the “looks” are becoming less corporate and more artistic. Honestly, my actor style is my preference for all professional headshots. When you are viewing a headshot, it needs to be real and authentic. Try this the next time you are talking with someone face to face. Notice the following:

  1. The background is out of focus
  2. Their ears, cheeks, and some hair are out of focus

We are all visually impaired. In photography lingo we are living in a world “wide open.” Meaning our photographic aperture is wide open and always set to f1.2 or f 2.8!!

 This is one of the photography tricks to making sure your professional headshots look like you!

Bring on the Photoshop!

Photoshop “airbrushing” is overly used in photography today especially in the area of headshots. Don’t get me wrong, I have made a good living with Photoshop and love it for many reasons. However, if we are trying to achieve a headshot that looks like you actual do, you will be hard pressed to walk into a casting call or interview with your face blurred and zero skin detail. I use Photoshop here just to enhance the God given beauty that was given to you. 

Relationships

Remember, it is the photographer’s responsibility to make you feel comfortable, but if you are hurried or your thoughts are elsewhere it will show in the image.   Rarely do I have to contend with connection issues because I can establish goals and a relaxing environment fairly fast. Professional headshots are your key to an awesome first impression. Relax and have fun!

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