If you haven’t had professional headshots taken, you are missing out on a crucial piece of marketing material! Headshots are essential for giving a face to your company. Customers don’t invest their hard-earned money in just any product or service; they invest their money, loyalty, and influence in people they trust. To instill trust in your customers, you have to let them know who you are and what makes you different from the big box store or the competitor down the road.
Headshots give you the perfect opportunity to show your target audience what you’re all about and what you aim to accomplish with your business. When your audience is looking at your website or your social media accounts, they want to see the person behind the company. These days especially, your customer's first impression of your business will happen online. So if you’ve got a beautifully photographed headshot on your site, you are putting yourself and your business in the game.
Even if you don’t have a business of your own, taking professional headshots is equally essential for you for many of the same reasons. When you’re applying for jobs, a large part of vetting candidates now includes checking out their online presence. Websites such as LinkedIn are the perfect place to express yourself in your chosen career field so that potential employers can get a feel for who you are and what you can offer their company. A professionally photographed headshot reflects how seriously you take your career and gives you a leg up over other candidates using selfie-style photos instead.
What to Wear
What to wear for professional headshots depends a lot on your industry. A good rule of thumb is to look at your boss or a person you admire in your chosen industry and try to emulate (with your own twist) the style of clothing that they wear.
For example, if you’re working as a lawyer, doctor, or accountant, your field is typically more formal, so you may want to stick to a formal business look, including a suit or dress and jacket. If you’re in a more casual field, you can nix the jacket and go with nicely fitted slacks or skirts and a blouse or sweater that is flattering without being too loud. If you’re in a very artistic field, then you’ve got quite a bit of freedom to express yourself in your clothing choices. I recommend a nice pair of jeans and top.
When choosing the colors of your wardrobe, I recommend sticking with solid colors. I also recommend bringing a few different options, black, white, and a color that compliments your coloring (hair, eyes, and skin tone). Make sure that whatever you choose is clean, wrinkle-free, and something that you feel confident and comfortable in. If you feel good in your clothes, that will absolutely shine through in the photos. Make sure that the outfits you choose are flattering and fit you well. Clothing that is too baggy or distressed (even if intentional) does not show well in professional photos. Stay away from logos or writing on your clothing unless it is your business logo and you want that to be included in the images.
Accessories are an important part of your overall look for any photo, which is also true for headshots. Let’s talk jewelry first. When you're choosing the jewelry to wear in your photos, keep it simple! A statement piece is fine as long as it’s not distracting!
Jackets are a great accessory to bring along for your headshot session. Whether you choose to bring a suit jacket, a blazer, a denim jacket, or even a leather jacket, any of these options can give your outfit a little extra pop of color, texture, or style that will set your photos apart from the crowd.
Hats are not usually something I would recommend for a professional headshot, especially for clients who work in a highly formal field. However, for those who work in more casual or artistic fields, a hat can be a great accessory to add just a bit of fun to your photos.
Hair and Makeup
When you’re preparing for your headshot session, DO NOT cut your hair in the days before your appointment. If you want a new style before your session, try to give yourself at least a week to get used to your fresh cut and how to style it before your session takes place.
If you choose to have your hair professionally styled for your session, make sure that it is styled in a way that is natural to you. You want a look that is clean, professional, and looks like you would typically wear it. Make sure any facial hair is trimmed and well-groomed. Depending on your preference, you can choose to have your hair styled up or down, but if you want to have photos with both up-do and down hairstyles, you’ll want to let your photographer know. You’ll also want to start the session with your hair down and put it up halfway through the session.
You should do your makeup in a natural or an elevated everyday look. Don’t go too heavy with your makeup! Often, you see makeup gurus online saying that heavier makeup is needed for professional photoshoots. This may be true for fashion shoots, but for professional photos, heavy makeup will just appear too jarring. Don’t get any waxing or facials done in the days leading up to your session to give yourself the best look. Make sure you give your skin about a week between any of those services and your photo session.
If you’re having your makeup professionally applied, make sure that you choose a makeup artist that you trust, and tell them that you’re looking for a natural elevated everyday look, not super-enhanced or heavily applied. You want your makeup to accentuate your natural beauty and let your own individual features shine through!
Keep in mind that the purpose of a professional headshot is a marketing and sales tool. It’s not really meant to be artistic or high fashion. The goal is to show your role in your business or field and give the best first impression of who you are and what you do. So a photo that expresses who you are and what your business/job is all about is what you want!
If you’re ready to have your headshots done, we are excited to help you! Reach out today to set up your appointment and ask us any questions you may have!