So you say you want to become a thought leader? You may have committed to building a personal brand. You may be a writer, speaker or business owner. One of the basics elements you need to be considered for an interview, a speaking position, or a contributing writing job is for you to have a professional headshot. And since reporters and other media are now primarily using social media networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter to find experts like you, your headshot series needs to be an appropriate range of professional shots that can meet the demands of different dimensions and styles of photos. Let’s explore, then, what you need to do to ensure success in your own headshots.
A professional headshot must be shot in high-resolution so that the image may be edited, but maintain resolution. Your headshots should be completed as a part of a full photo shoot so that, as I mentioned before, you can have headshots for use in different social media sites and for different media sources where you want to drive placement.
You must use a professional portfolio photographer for your headshots. You will want to browse portfolios of headshots the photographers have done and then interview them to confirm that they understand how to accomplish the following:
- The importance of capturing your unique personal strengths
- Your business goals
- How to make you look inviting and authentic
You will need a photographer who has proven that he or she can think outside the box when it comes to a headshot. He or she needs to make your image impress the viewer and show you in a strong, powerful, professional, and inviting way.
There are also some things you can do to ensure a successful headshot experience. Here are some pre-shoot guidelines:
- Men should wear light yet non-white shirts, with no strong patterns such as plaid, checkers, or wide stripes. Wear a dark, but not black, suit.
- Men should shave the morning of the shoot, unless you’re going for the light beard look.
- Women should go with solid colors and minimal patterns.
- Bring two different wardrobes the day of your photo shoot so that you can get one formal and one informal look.
- Clothing should be neat and pressed if possible. Bring it fresh from the cleaners, especially if you’re doing the shoot at the end of a long and hot day.
- Make sure you get a good night’s rest the day before the shoot so you look energized.
- Men should bring a pocket comb and women should bring foundation and hairspray for touch-ups between shots as necessary.
Do not underestimate the importance of a proper headshot. Editors and reporters are far less likely to choose you for their next story without having a professional, engaging headshot that meets their specific editorial guidelines. An investment in a proper headshot series can mean the difference in your success in building and strengthening your personal brand.
Jasmine Sandler is the founder and CEO of Agent-cy Online Marketing, a NYC-based full service online marketing consultancy and agency which has been helping small businesses use the web more effectively to drive business since 2006. Jasmine is a go to web consultant for business owners as well as industry speaker, teacher, and contributing writer. She can be contacted through her blog, company site, Facebook business profile, or via Linkedin, where she is a corporate trainer.