Also, if you haven't updated your headshot in a while, or you've undergone a drastic change (weight loss, dyed hair, etc.) you should update those headshots. I will say when I'm looking to hire someone and they look nothing like the image online, it makes me wonder what else is not as it seems. I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but why would you put yourself out there under a guise? Red Flag! Another thing, if your headshot's from the 80s, or 90s...well let's just say those shoulder pads and teased/hair sprayed to death "do" want to remain in the correct decade.
Anyway, first impressions are EVERYTHING and if you want to be taken seriously, you need to have the right image. This is important for anyone, but if you're a small business owner or in a role where you have to sell yourself, you better have a darn good photo.
"Well, I have a great camera and a self timer, so I can just do my own." <---If you are saying this to yourself, it's time to wake up. Why? Because it's going to look "homemade".
A good photographer can do wondrous things for you in the way of angles, lighting, and the holy grail - editing. The picture above was shot with a good camera and lens, however...you can see the difference.
Placing you in the right pose can make a huge difference and you can only really see what needs to be adjusted when you're behind the camera. Head tilts, neck extensions, and posture are all tweaked to make you look your best.
You also don't want to be facing the sun and squinting, just like you don't want overhead lighting creating shadows under your eyes and causing you to look older, or even worse, tired of your job!
You don't want those blemishes, deep wrinkles, and shadows under your eyes to be distractions, just like you don't want to get home and notice there was a trashcan in the background the whole time (sigh). You want to look bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and confident!
So, while you may think all of this is an exaggeration, I know many people, myself included, that will look at a picture and pick it apart, so why not have a professional do all the thinking and work for you?
Obviously, if you're in the Phoenix-area I will encourage you to give me a call (I'm the girl laughing to the right), but even if you don't, for Pete's sake (who's Pete?) get a professional to take your photos.
Amanda E Photography
So, you have a business? Do you have a business card, a website, social media pages like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? We know the answer is yes, or should be. But what's the thing you need before all of that? Professional headshots of course. If you don't, then you've got a major problem and I'll give you a whole host of reasons why (and not just because I want you to pay me to take your picture!).
Let's say you deal with other businesses, specific clients, or the general public; no matter who you work with/for, you want to portray yourself in the best and most professional way possible. After all, you ARE your business. Having a professional headshot gives people a certain confidence that you're legit and they are going to be more likely to want to work with you.
When I'm networking, I want to put my best self out there. I expect others to do the same so, if I'm at a meet and I go to check out your page and your bio has a picture of you that looks like you snapped it with your phone, I'm not going to think you're super passionate about what you're doing or taking it seriously (but first I'm going to mentally cringe because, hello, photographer here).
I can't tell you how many times I've looked at someone's "headshot" online or up on a board in their office, that is an obvious crop job of a group picture, a horrible polaroid, or a driving selfie (don't DO that!). My favorite is the one clearly taken at the bar, in your spaghetti-strap-not-appropriate-for-work-shirt, and a drink cut out. Don't just think, "well it's just an online photo"...did you know that 94% of recruiters look on LinkedIn to fill open jobs (Jobvite National Survey).
Some people may not think they need headshots, but I don't think it's ever irrelevant to have them. When I was teaching and in the education world, I used my school picture as my icon for LinkedIn, and it made me "look like a teacher", or an administrator, which is what I wanted to portray when I was looking at those types of jobs and filling out applications.
If you're self-employed or a contractor you may think you need to look "serious" in order to have a professional headshot, and I don't think that's the case anymore. Not everybody needs to look like a stuffy lawyer ready to be the tough guy in court (sorry to all solicitors out there).
You should show your personality! All of these are of me and another contracted photographer that I work with and we chose to do outdoor shots with our main tool- a camera. If you're a makeup artist, it may make sense to be holding a few brushes and have you standing next to your arsenal of war paint.