Why do you need a professional headshot? The number one reason: Judgement! We all make snap judgments based on appearances, even though we may try not to. And this isn’t just about first impressions (although that’s something, too).
I’m at an age where everyone that I went to high school with has either gotten married or is in the process of planning their wedding (or they just aren’t the marrying type). What this means is every day, I either get to discover a new photographer that takes amazing pictures OR I get to think “what on earth were they thinking when they hired their photographer!” For something as momentous as a wedding day, I can’t think of a planning decision more important than finding and hiring one’s perfect wedding photographer. (This is assuming that you’ve already found the perfect spouse). The aftermath of your wedding photos (whether spectacular or less so) will be with you for life.
I’m a big advocate for capturing all of life’s moments with the same grand enthusiasm. And many of my clients have chosen to join us for other special moments in life–boudoir, maternity, newborn, family sessions. Although they aren’t all over our website at the moment, we are photographers for life and we take care of our clients through Holiday cards and new additions.
What does all of this have to do with needing a professional headshot? Well, let me tell you. . .
That same judgement that I can’t help but let pass through my mind as I look at my friend’s wedding photos is the exact same judgement that potential clients, employers, casting directors, and everyday strangers are judging your headshot, your LinkedIn profile photo, and probably your Facebook profile photo, too. The investment of a few hundred dollars could make a huge difference in your professional career, whether it be on a public advertising campaign or just your website.
I had a professor in college whom I loved dearly–I would cat sit for her when she would take her annual trips to Paris every summer and hang out during office hours if no one else came by to seek her out. I remember seeing her headshot before I met her in person on the university website. She had a poof of uber glamourous 1980s style short hair on top of her head and looked about 25 years old. When I met her on the first day of class, she was hip and contemporary–and about twice the age she was when her most recent headshot had been taken. At age 21, I knew–it was time for a new headshot!
I worked with a lawyer at a veritable law firm in Philadelphia. The primary partner of his firm had a pixellated point and shoot headshot in front of what looked like a fake bookshelf backdrop. This was a man who is incredibly suave, professional, and a total ball-buster, not to mention a prominent lawyer in one of the nation’s biggest cities! You want him on your side in court! But his picture made him look like much less. I’m happy to say that he now has a much better, professional looking headshot (and a beautifully redone website)!
The great news is that your professional headshot doesn’t need to involve a neutral blue backdrop and a cheesy smile. In fact, you are about a thousand times better off ditching the backdrop for a more natural and personal photograph that allows a little bit of your personality to shine through. And, if your headshot is more than three years old, doesn’t jive with your current hairstyle or color, or isn’t appropriate to your current life/career ambitions, it’s time to get a new one. Think of your professional headshot like the Department of Transportation thinks of your license photograph–update it every four years!
A few years back, one of my grooms reached out to me at the very beginning of his real estate career. We went for a nice walk around Phoenixville and took some excellent, professional headshots of him. I’ve chosen to go to him for the purchase of my last two homes. Is it just because of his headshot? No! But I will say, when my 2015 Eagles Football Schedule arrived in the mail last week, I was please to once again see Jon’s smiling face looking back at me on the mailer.
Ready to up the ante and have your own headshots taken? Email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our contact form for more information! We are happy to combine both traditional studio style headshots with on locationation headshots around our Philadelphia studio located on Pine St.