Do I Need a Professional Headshot Photo?

November 30, 2021

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Professional headshots photos are not only for aspiring actors — in fact, just about anyone could benefit from one or two professional headshots. A headshot helps you convey your personality, expertise and professionalism with the world. From one quick glance, your headshot says a lot about you. 

Read on to learn what headshot photography is, why it matters and how you can benefit from having professional headshot photos. If you’re interested in scheduling a session, contact me to get started

What makes a photo a headshot? 

A headshot photo is a vital aspect of professional branding. It’s not the same as a selfie or a portrait. Instead, a true headshot fits some specific criteria. To be considered a Headshot it must: 

  • Feature one individual. 
  • Show the face from the shoulders up. 
  • Depict the subject with camera-awareness — they’re looking right into the lens. 
  • Show the subject with a neutral expression or smile.

How does it differ from a Portrait? 

Although both portraits and headshots showcase an individual, they vary in purpose and other characteristics. A portrait is meant to be descriptive, telling the subject’s story. The pose might be candid and the subject might be looking away from the camera. Think of the people featured in National Geographic, like those in the “faces of the world” project. 

A headshot, on the other hand, shows the subject looking right into the camera with a neutral expression or a smile. Headshots are for professional purposes, helping you show viewers your best face! 

Can I just use a Selfie? 

While “selfies” have their place, headshots should be taken by a professional photographer. A selfie is casual and fun while a headshot is useful for professional purposes. If your business networking or portfolio features a selfie, you might want to consider investing in a headshot photo to replace it. 

What’s the Purpose of a Headshot?  

Headshot photos serve a wide range of purposes. Since a headshot shows you in a positive light, you can use it as a tool to attract the right people into your life. In professional settings, a headshot connects your name to your face, making you more recognizable. In addition, a headshot photo helps you cultivate your personal brand and showcase who you are. 

Networking Profile

You need a photo of yourself for your networking profiles so that potential employers, partners or clients recognize you. A headshot is an essential tool for these professional profiles.

Social Media Profiles

While headshots are mostly used for business purposes, a clear and positive photo of yourself can take your social profiles to the next level. You might find a professional headshot helps you attract friends and romantic partners. 

Website

A great photo for your About Me page is a must! But think about using a photos throughout your website that showcase not only your product, but how it’s made and packaged. If you provide a service, photos of yourself in action are a nice touch.


What Is Branding Photography? 

As important as headshot photos are, they are just one aspect of branding photography, which refers to a broader type of photography that tells a story about a business or individual. Along with headshots, a branding photography session might include:

  • Images of your employees, clients or others
  • Photos showcasing your products
  • Shots in various locations
  • Pictures featuring more of you than your face

Branding photos allow you to tell your story and get the right message across. A simple headshot photo is a vital part of any personal branding session.

Where Should Headshots Be Used? 

  • Completing networking profiles: You need a photo of yourself for your networking profiles so that potential employers, partners or clients will recognize you. A headshot is an essential tool for these professional profiles. 
  • Enhancing your social life: While headshots are mostly used for business purposes, a clear and positive photo of yourself can take your social profiles to the next level. You might find a professional headshot helps you attract friends and romantic partners. 
  • Building a portfolio: Headshots are also an essential addition to any portfolio. If you’re showcasing your designs, art pieces or other work, you’ll want to include a headshot. 
  • Showcasing your brand: One of the most important purposes of a headshot is to accurately represent your personal brand. Whether you’re a small business owner or a working professional, a headshot can help you convey your identity — use headshots to show the world who you are! 

You can use your professional headshot in many different ways. In the age of social media, headshot photos are useful across various platforms. Here are a few ways you might use your professional headshots:

Why Do Professional Headshots Matter?

Headshots are important for several different reasons. Headshots matter because they: 

  • Contribute to a first impression: First impressions are really important! When someone comes across your personal profile or your portfolio, they form an impression about you within seconds. Using a professional headshot can help you make that initial reaction a positive one. 
  • Help people recognize you: Headshots also serve to put a name to your face and a face to your name. Those looking to promote themselves or their businesses benefit from quick recognition. 
  • Show your professionalism: Having a real headshot rather than a selfie shows your commitment to professionalism. If you want to come across trustworthy and credible, you can definitely benefit from a headshot. 
  • Promote consistency: In addition, headshots help you create a consistent personal brand across different platforms. 
  • Say a lot about you: A headshot can convey a lot of information about you in a small space — a picture says a thousand words! Are you fun and creative? Are you serious and dedicated? The posing, background, clothing choices and other features of your headshot photo can convey that information.

What Should I Bring to a Headshot Photoshoot?

You may want to bring a few items along for your headshot photoshoot, such as: 

  • A change of clothes: You might prefer to have a couple of outfits, representing different aspects of your personal brand. As a tip, try to steer clear of distracting colors or patterns, unless that’s part of the brand you want to convey! In most cases, simplicity is key, so viewers will focus on you and not what you’re wearing. 
  • A comb and some makeup: Bring along little things to fix yourself up between photos. That way, the photos taken at the end of your session will look just as good as the rest! 

I’ll help you prepare for your headshot session during the planning phase. We can also chat about your likes, dislikes, expectations and address any questions you might have. 

Schedule a Call to Discuss Headshot Photos 

Anyone can benefit from one or two professional headshots. A headshot is an essential aspect of defining your personal or business brand and making a positive first impression. A good-quality headshot will help you attract the right people into your life, whether you’re looking for an employer, client, friend or partner. 

Keep in mind, branding photography is about more than just headshots. Branding photos can also showcase your skills, products and personality. If you’re interested in learning more about personal branding photography, reach out to me!  As a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), I’d be happy to answer your questions and help you plan a session. To learn more about headshots and other aspects of branding photography, schedule a call with me today

Explore more categories:  Brand Photography

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Eat/Play Harrisburg

Branding | Headshots

Print Your Photos

Teens | Grads

Family Photos

Portrait Experience

Categories

Contact Me

Let me help you tell your story and create beautiful wall art, books and albums that you'll treasure always!

Hey there, I'm Lisa!

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