How can you use a head shot photograph?

Once you have a professional photo available, you can use it in a number of ways. You can use it on your website and across various social media platforms as your profile picture. You may also need to occasionally supply a professional photograph for press releases, company brochures, interviews, and other forms of media. LinkedIn’s own research shows that profiles with photos are reviewed seven times more often than those without pictures.

So here are 10 reasons I believe, after talking to my customers and businesses at networking events, of why you should update your head shot photograph for 2018.

Number 1.

A great head shot will effectively represent your unique personality and professionalism, which will hopefully be leading to new business relationships and new opportunities. It used to be that only senior executives or people in creative fields such as actors, models and performers, needed an up-to-date head shot, but not anymore.

Today, people of all occupations and levels consider a professional head shot as the first step towards Personal Branding and it doesn’t need to be a suited corporate executive photo either. I have helped create casual and relaxed head shots for clients who need a professional image that expresses their individuality.

Number 2.

How do you want to be seen by the world? Did you know that more and more people will now “Google” you before considering getting into a business or personal relationship with you? Only the other day when I went to a networking event, for the first time, I was approached by a number of people who knew my name and what my profession is. When I asked them if we had met before, they simply said 'oh no, I did my research before coming tonight.'

Your head shot is often the first impression you make, and as we all know – First impressions are vital. As a business owner, you don’t want to use a picture of yourself from a night out or family day trip. Most people want to be seen as friendly, confident, approachable and trustworthy. Does the photo you are currently using convey that?

Number 3.

You might be thinking that there is no reason in the world that you need a professional head shot, but you never know what is around the corner. If the media show up to report on a local event or you are asked to be interviewed for a local magazine tomorrow, then having a professional head shot image which is less than 24 months old and will print to any size the editor wishes to use, will be a life saver.

Also as we move forward with technology, more and more employers are requesting photos with job applications or asking employees to create a professional online profile, so make sure you are ready when that request comes in.

Number 4.

Lets look at social media profiles for example. If you are active on social media, it’s important to have a head shot that reflects well on you and your business. Here are some of the places you could be using a head shot, Your website, Your Facebook business page, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Your Blog, Leaving comments on blogs, Guest on a blog bio pic, YouTube, Google Business Page and Whats App just to name a few. To stay at the forefront of peoples mind, you should be including a professional head shot on your social media accounts, so that you allow people to put a face to a name, whether it’s before or after they meet you.

It’s recommended that you use the same image across all social media platforms to create a consistent look and start building Brand Recognition. In addition, people are less likely to click on a profile if it is missing a photo, and less likely to believe a blog or a comment posted by an anonymous picture.

Number 5.

If you are someone who hates having your photo taken or who thinks they look stupid in photos then rest assure, you’re in the hands of a professional. I can relax you and believe me no one likes having their photo taken but once I talk my clients through the process and do amazing things with lighting, guiding your posing, head position, and expressions to bring out your best, which sometimes feels unnatural at first but looks amazing in the end result and we can always use some small computer editing to make the photo really come to life if you really feel its needed. The bottom line is that you will love the finished results.

Number 6.

People study faces. When potential clients come to your website or social media space on the internet, they will look at your face and see if they like you or do they feel that they can trust you with their business. A great head shot of you provides them a chance to make the connection. In this fast-paced, digital world we live in, people are too busy to read your entire about you page or cover letter for a CV. A good head shot is one of your only opportunities to make a good first impression. I am constantly training and up-skilling myself to be able to bring out your personality in the picture. So I know the right angles, the correct head tilts and all the secret tips for making you look amazing.

Number 7.

Keeping you up to date because as we get older we change. We change our hair color, our hair styles, grow a beard or shave it off, so lets show off the latest version of you! As we get older we also change our level of confidence. Yes, we may not look as young as we once did, but we are more confident in who we are and having new pictures of us will show off our confidence. An up-to-date professional head shot gives people an idea of what you look like now. 

Every wrinkle tells a story of the times you laughed, cried and your proudest moments, you should never want to have your photo over edited so that when people meet you in person, it looks like your have aged 10 years from your head shot. However it is a service we offer if you feel more comfortable with that. Remember you should update your head shot every year or a minimum of every 2 years.

Number 8.

Your head shot will jog the memory of business contacts that you may have met at a business conference or networking event. If you have ever typed in your name on Facebook or LinkedIn, you will know that there is more then one Sam Jones. By having a clear, easy to view head shot, which looks like you, will help your new connections find you quicker. If you are looking to connect with someone you was networking with in the last week, then by having that head shot as a reference and them recognising you, makes it more likely they will accept your “Friend” or “Connect” request.

Number 9.

It helps you look the part. If you want to be treated like a professional, you must look like a professional. Sometimes it’s easier to look confident and professional in an environmental portrait that relates to your business. An environmental portrait can show you in your element, perhaps at your desk or by awards you have earned and been recognised for. Think of a place where you feel proud of what you have achieved because photographing you there will translate that pride and joy to came out naturally in the photograph. I can help with environmental, office, studio or event set ups for head shots that truly capture the image you want to portray to the world. The best thing is to have a mix of head shots, head and shoulder, 3/4 shots so you can use these for events, profiles and company newsletters.

Number 10.

Consider getting consistent head shots for the whole team so that your company branding is consistent from person to person and across all marketing and branding. This includes editorial shots, annual reports, web site imagery and corporate events. Building a strong relationship with your photographer can help you send out the right message about you and your business in a dynamic and positive way. People notice the little things and staying up to date with quality results shown on your profiles, website and marketing sends out a positive message to your current and potential clients that business is great and we are evolving all the time.

My final thoughts that you should also take away.

The head shot consultation with your photographer is the time to discuss the image you want to portray, and how you want to achieve it. I will help you with tips about the right clothing, expressions, body language and thinking of all the ways you want to use the end result so that when you upload your new head shot to LinkedIn, it actually fits correctly and looks amazing.

While it might be tempting to ask a friend with the new iPhone X to take your head shot, this is one area where you usually get what you pay for. Don’t damage your professional image with an amateur head shot which only looks good on a mobile device and can not be used for anything else. Save yourself money and aggravation in the long run by doing it right the first time. Using me as your professional photographer is a bargain compared to the value you get, not to mention the real harm a bad or even not very good photograph can do to your online image. When you consider that your professional head shot can be used for social media profiles, your web site, printed marketing materials, newspaper articles and magazine interviews to name a few, it really is money well spent.

Gary Cooper

Head Shots & Portraits Photographer

Square Freedom Photography