….BEFORE your headshot shoot!
So – you’ve done it at last. You’ve taken a deep breath and booked in your headshot photography shoot. For the last year or so you’ve been convincing yourself that your iPhone pic representing you and your business is “fine” and if not fine then “good enough” but more recently, having become more serious about your work and webbie – and since clocking other’s profile photos – you’ve realised you’ve been selling yourself short and have at last seen the light. Goody.
The next step is your preparation. Now before you go running for the hills thinking you can’t bear to have to think about anything else – don’t panic. I don’t mean anything heavy or time-consuming – you’ve booked your shoot, that’s the main thing – it’s just that it’s useful (and even fun!) to have a little think beforehand about how you’d like to be portrayed.
All businesses are different and require different looks. If you’re a therapist or in some similar field which requires face-to-face contact it is obviously hugely important to appear warm and personable as well as professional. The amount of unsuitable profile photos I’ve seen on these web-sites has been a constant source of amazement to me – either the photo is so blurred and indistinct that the counsellor’s face is practically invisible or in some cases the person in question has gone completely the other way and is revealing far more than is required – causing any possible clients to run a mile I would imagine! I love photographing anyone in the caring professions as it is always lovely to get a really warm image that anyone would instantly be drawn to.
Of course there are many other fields of work that don’t rely on this type of look but need to be either more professional and formal or go the other way entirely and show a very relaxed look. Corporate shots are obviously less casual than others but it’s still good to show you’re human! We all want to work with someone we can connect with after all, so even if in formal office gear that doesn’t mean you have to look scary!
Another thing to think about is what other possible ways you can present yourself on the web-site. It’s often nice to not only have a profile photo but also to have other photos of you ‘in action’ dotted around. This not only gives the potential client more of an idea of how you work but it also is a clever way of splitting up that heavy-going text and giving the web-site a bit more kerb appeal. Have a think about this and discuss beforehand with your photographer so she/he will have enough time to think up some mock-ups. It’s easy enough to create the feel of a yoga class say – with you on the mat and the photographer as the eyes of the class. There are a million ways to create what you’d like to show – just make sure you think it through well before the shoot so that you don’t miss out on these opportunities. After all it’s taken long enough for you to go for it – you don’t want to get home and kick yourself that you didn’t make the most of it at the time!
Clothes-wise I always ask my clients to bring the following: A mixture of black and grey tops, a white shirt (always looks professional and sharp) and a couple of other favourites in some nice bright or light colour. It’s best to keep to plain fabrics as patterns can look fussy. There are obviously other clothes to add depending on the type of business we’re working with but these are good basics to start with.
For the women I always say less is more. Wear make-up but not too much – it’s all in the lighting and any lovely contours and highlights are done by me during and after the shoot so no need to layer it on. The more normal and relaxed you feel the better, though often my clients do have a quick blow-dry just before – we all know how a good hair day can give us that confidence after all!
Once you’ve got your ideas together and washed and ironed your chosen tops – pack them neatly and get an early night! There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to give your eyes their sparkle – and the photographer will love you even more as that’ll mean less time in the edit!
Lastly – enjoy the shoot! It seems like a scary thing beforehand but the amount of times I’ve heard my clients say how surprised they are at how much they’ve actually ENJOYED the session is testament to the fact that actually it’s quite nice to concentrate on yourself for once! For us women too, if you’re anything like me, it’s probably the only time you’ll ever be in any photos so why not have a gorgeous photo of yourself to celebrate YOU? More importantly though you will have a great professional photo for your business giving your business the ‘face’ it deserves.
For inspiration and general info please do have a butchers at my gallery…