Heads Up: Here’s Why You (Yes, You!) Need a Professional Headshot

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Say the word headshot, and many will imagine a glossy eight-by-ten portrait of a soap star. Still others may shudder at memories of awkward school pictures, complete with clichéd backdrops and shiny braces. The truth, however, is that a great headshot can be your short cut to a stellar first impression and improved business performance.

 

 

Professionals in fields as diverse as design, real estate, accounting, dentistry, and more, can benefit from a strategic photo shoot. Whether on a social media profile page or business website – or press release or pamphlet or mailer or news article – a headshot can be a hard-working business partner. But you don’t have to take our word for it.

Below, four top Dallas experts weigh in on the importance of headshots. Their insights may surprise you. We’ll also cover the do’s and don’t’s of personal photo shoots, and how best to source a photographer to suit your needs.

 

Social Media & Marketing

Cynthia Smoot
Partner, Gangway Advertising
Founder, Oh So Cynthia

“You’ve heard the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ What is your social media profile picture saying about you? Having a professional photograph allows you to put your best face forward, and set the tone for the statement you want to make for your profile or business. Fun and sassy? Sophisticated and professional? Does your photo match your business reputation? It should. 

“From a public relations standpoint, having professional images is an important step in getting your story published. Sending a press release isn’t enough. With today’s shrinking media budgets, many news outlets do not have a staff photographer, and will rely on you to provide professional high-resolution images for a story.”

 

Headshots: Laurie Graham (left) & Cynthia Smoot (right)

 

Branding & Communications

Mark Brinkerhoff
Founder, Think Brink Communications

“Professional headshots are always a worthwhile investment for those whose face represents their brand. It may appear on the About Us page of a website, or in a brochure or other materials that can be used for publicity or business development purposes.

“Online brand presence is hugely important. Utilization of an image that can become standard for your brand on social media and in search engine searches can not only elevate the profile and awareness of your brand, but can add to the authenticity and credibility of your business.”

 

Personal Style & Image

Laurie Graham
Fashion Stylist, Laurie Graham Style

“A professional headshot may be the very first impression a potential client will have of you, so it’s crucial that it reflects your brand in a positive light. With digital media being the predominant way we communicate with each other, it’s imperative to have a great headshot that exudes leadership, professionalism, and a positive image. From websites to Facebook and Twitter profile pictures, to media coverage, a strong headshot is something you need for almost every aspect of promoting yourself and your business.”

 

Professional Photography

Lara Bierner
Founder, Lara Bierner Photography

“First impressions happen quickly, and a good headshot can open the door for a second impression. It also shows that you mean business. Most clients who reach out to me are seeking to improve their professional look, and increase business through their websites or LinkedIn profiles.”

 

Headshot: Mark Brinkerhoff

 

Have the experts convinced you? If you’re now considering a professional headshot, let’s take a moment to cover a few do’s and don’t’s in the categories of wardrobe and setting.

 

Do:

  • Take Inspiration from Headshots You Admire
  • Wear a Solid Bright Color
  • Use Professional Hair and Make-Up Artists
  • Consider Natural Lighting

 

Don’t:

  • Use Photo Filters
  • Allow Excessive Re-Touching
  • Choose Trendy or Distracting Clothing or Accessories
  • Wear Heavy Make-Up

 

On a final note, our experts advise on the cost of this investment and selecting a top-notch photographer. Bierner estimates the cost of a headshot sitting and post-production package at $200 – $350. Smoot wisely suggests mining your personal network for photographer recommendations, and evaluating at least three photographers before making a final choice.

Last but not least, we’ll leave you with a few choice words from Mr. Brinkerhoff: “People like doing business with people they like, so let your personality come across and smile genuinely and unabashedly.”

Now, are you ready for your close-up?

 

 

All headshots courtesy of individual experts. Lead image via imagesandcameras.com.

 

 

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