The Importance of Professional Headshot Photography
“Nottingham Trent University has finally seen the light and is replacing really awful photos taken on a web cam for security passes, with ones taken by an in-house photographer. Staff are now seen to look professional and competent . Bad photos are as bad if not worse than typos in corporate marketing. Even our students get to use the professional photographer for their LinkedIn pictures now (you should have seen the terrible ones they choose – ones with other people in for example!)”
Rebecca Goodall MRICS – Senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University
Ask a photographer what they think about the importance of professional headshots and they will probably express their despair at all the bad photographs out there.
The first thing I would ask someone who questions whether a professional headshot is necessary is “would you allow the person building your extension at home to build your companys website?” Each of these jobs are skilled professions in which the person has hopefully gained years of expert knowledge and experience in doing the job to a high standard.
A set of professional photographs of you, your staff and your products, along with your website, branding and social media are all parts of your PR toolkit. If you really want your business to succeed to it’s fullest potential, why would you be satisfied with a sub standard toolkit with worn out, shabby old tools that simply don’t do the job anymore? Particularly when it’s highly likely that your competitor has a set of shiny new spanners.
If you’re considering doing your own (DIY) headshots, you can see clearly from the examples here the huge differences when comparing a DIY shot taken on an iPhone, and a shot taken by me with professional kit. Even though both shots are taken in exactly the same office one is clearly suitable for professional purposes, the other is definitely not.
If you’re thinking of using a photograph you already have, you know, just for now, until you get something sorted…..your self styled photo says to potential clients “I couldn’t be bothered to get a proper one done”….so what does that say about how you perceive your own business, and in turn how they will? Unless the job you’re looking for is “sunbed monitor” or “snowboard tester” it’s perhaps best not to have a full body shot of you on holiday or partaking of some kind of sporting activity, because quite frankly, nobody cares if your carving is awesome dude, potential clients care if you look approachable, capable and literate.
As an experienced professional photographer, I’m well aware that the majority of people don’t enjoy being photographed, I’m one of them. When I had my own headshot done, I asked my friend who is also my assistant to take the photograph. She knew exactly how to relax me, how to position me and took the photo quickly and efficiently so the experience didn’t drag on. The saying “throw enough mud and something will stick” really isn’t the way to go when you’re trying to make a good impression on LinkedIn.
Here are a few reasons why a professional headshot is vital, as opposed to a pouting selfie or “that really nice picture of you at last year’s Christmas party”:
- Do you have a best side or a worst side? A good photographer can hide or accentuate these sensitive features, giving you a photograph you’ll be proud of.
- A professional has the right equipment and lighting. Would you know what lens is best to use for portraiture and at what aperture to separate you from the background?
- They will have creative ideas about locations and experience in how to use natural light effectively.
- Whilst the basics of a headshot are the same, i.e. a clean, sharp, well lit, head and shoulders portrait, the photograph for a personal trainer should be approached differently to that of a solicitor in terms of clothing, background and posing.
- You get what you pay for, shopping around for services is always a good idea, but with professional photography, you always get what you pay for. Headshots are an investment which you’ll be able to use for a period of time, so invest wisely.
So, if you’re at the point of considering using the services of a professional photographer, remember, never underestimate the power of your portrait.
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If you’d like a chat about your photography, please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.