No matter who you are or what you do, chances are you're going to need a quality headshot, if not now, in the near future. You can thank the Internet for that. Welcome to the age where images have overtaken the written word (e.g. Instagram) as a legitimate form of communication. When you post on Facebook, you get exponentially more responses to your photos than to your written updates. And there is simply no excuse for people not knowing who you are and what you look like.
As I talked about last week, the majority of people settle for representing themselves with images that are blurry, uncreative or downright unflattering. Yet whether we like it or not, those who do not know us are making judgement about us based on the images that represent us. You may say you don't care until you realize that this unconscious judging of you is affecting your ability to find a better job, get more clients, or for you searching singles, find the love of your life.
If you need any more convincing, consider these three great reasons you might need a quality headshot.
To build the trust of others before you meet them. Yes, a good image of yourself builds trust in others about you. Why? It shows you care about the image you portray to the public, enough to invest in a professional photograph of yourself. The photograph of you at the ballgame with our friends with a beer in one hand and a hot dog in the other doesn't quite do that. Neither does the shot of you where you cropped out half of your wife/girlfriend/best friend to make it a "portrait" of yourself.
To look your very best. Maybe Brad Pitt can roll out of bed and look great for the camera, but most of us mere mortals have to do some grooming and posing to get the best shot of ourselves. Professional photographers are trained to look for the best angles for a person's features and light and pose their subjects to bring out those qualities. Your friend with the camera phone, eh, not so much. And forget about you and the bathroom mirror.
The day you need a headshot is too late. You never really know when you're going to need to provide a headshot. You're invited to speak at an event at the last minute. Your friend is setting you up on a date with an eligible single on Friday. It's a good idea to have a current (or fairly current) headshot of yourself available for just this sort of situation.
Many people look forward to getting professional photos taken with the same enthusiasm as going to the dentist for a root canal. But it doesn't have to be that way. Next week, let's talk about evaluating and choosing the right photographer for you.
Hi, I'm Todd, a professional freelance photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area available for all kinds of image creation including portraiture, events and fashion. This blog is where I share my about latest projects and thoughts on the creative process in general.