So you’re considering getting some new headshots to market either yourself as a business owner, entrepreneur, influencer, or indeed to showcase your whole team, but you want to convey the right message.
You may have also been using a mobile phone selfie for some time now, or you may have invested in professional headshots in the past, but felt that they looked stuffy or even too cheesy! and so now it’s time to get it right.
I totally get it. As business owners, we just want our profile photos on our website and social media to be friendly, welcoming and professional, but more importantly we want them to actually look like ourselves! and not with some uncomfortable-looking grin, which is more likely to repel your idea clients, rather than attract them!
So today, I wanted to give you my top 5 tips for ensuring that your next professional headshot session is a success and which forms part of the experience when I work with my own clients. Allowing you to really have fun at the session and enabling you to walk away with a set of headshots you’re proud of and which will bring you more business!
1. Spend time getting to know your photographer before your headshot session.
A huge tip to kick us off! It is so important to connect with your photographer before your headshot session. I really believe that great headshot photography comes from the subject being comfortable and totally open to the experience.
After you have viewed some prospective portfolios online, I recommend that you connect with the photographers. Either on the phone or via email/skype to find out more about their personality and the kind of service they offer. As well as loving their style, it is important to ensure that they are a great fit for you personality-wise and so an informal conversation allows you to make a more informed decision.
It is also a great opportunity to discuss your aspirations for your time together. Including your likes and dislikes, what you are planning to use the photos for and anything else that is personal to you. This all means that when it comes to your session, your photographer knows exactly what you are looking for and so can really meet your expectations.
2. Choose clothing that compliments your personality
Your headshot photographer will be able to guide you on this, but it is important to choose clothing that conveys the right message to your prospective clients. Maybe you have particular brand colours you would like to incorporate? Maybe you would like to mix it up between formal and more casual looks during the session, to allow you to use the headshots for different areas of the business? The main thing to remember is that your headshot should be a true representations of you on your best day, and should be identifiable as the same person they would meet, say, at a networking event.
3. Choose a comfortable location
With headshot photography, it isn’t always terribly important where the photographs are taken as the focus is always you. However, your photographer may like to give subtle hints of your working environment by using the available background space around your head and shoulders.
With my clients, I always use environmental backgrounds so to steer away from the plain white and black backgrounds that every other professional uses. We want to be standing out in the market and so choosing a background that everyone uses, would not be a great start.
However, I believe that a great location doesn’t stop at the aesthetics of the photos themselves. I believe a great location is also somewhere where you feel totally comfortable and relaxed and so puts you in the best position to achieve great photographs.
Some clients of mine choose to use their everyday workspace, whilst others choose on-location sessions where we can use the outdoors or maybe another location they particularly love (like a regular coffee shop or a favourite hotel). Whichever you choose, it must give you a comfortable feeling when you visualise being photographed there.
4. Plan your session around your busy diary
If you’re honest, you probably should be doing something else more pressing than reading this article! I totally get it. Time is often in short supply for busy business owners and so when it comes to planning your new headshots, you want to ensure that you choose a photographer who can work around your diary.
The last thing you want is to just ‘fit it in’, with not enough time to spare, leaving you feeling flustered when you arrive, uncomfortable during and a little deflated when you hurry off again to your next appointment, knowing in your heart of hearts it could’ve been so much better.
This is why all my headshot sessions are run a location which works for you, flexible to working week and with sessions at convenient times such a lunchtimes or after the working day.
Your headshot session should always be a relaxed experience and so choosing a photographer who can work with your diary is always the best way forward.
5. Have fun with it!
Taking all of the above points into consideration will allow you to just turn up on the day and enjoy the experience! Even if at the start of your enquiries, you were not really looking forward to your new headshot session, choosing a photographer who is a great fit and planning for success should leave you all set and excited for when shoot day comes around.
After all, we want the smiles in your headshots to be genuine and this is why all of today’s five points are key components in my own approach to working with clients. In experience, it just works, leaving many of my clients wanting to book in their next headshot refresh session straight after their first time!
And there you have it! By following the steps above you’ll be on track to creating striking new headshots for your business to be proud of. If you would love to learn more about how I work with clients, you’ll find everything you need to know, here.