Clients regularly come to me and ask me what “special” thing they need to do to prepare for their professional headshots. Really, YOU are what makes your professional headshot special. You should strive to be your best self that day, but don’t try to change who you are. If you are someone who is constantly laughing (like myself) then laugh it up during your session! If you are more serious and conduct yourself as such in business…then be more serious in your photos. You need to be who you are to attract the clients you will work best with.
There are a few things to remember when going for authenticity in your professional headshot session:
1. Everything about you is public knowledge these days.
We are living in a time where everything about your personal and professional life is on display. With a glance at a screen your potential clients can get to know everything about you. If what they are seeing is inconsistent with the image you are portraying, they may lose trust in you. This can be particularly harmful to businesses that rely solely on their clients’ trust (i.e. financial advisors, realtors, loan officers). Keep this in mind when posting on social media as well. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t!
2. Dress for success but don’t go overboard.
I have clients come to the studio in a three-piece suit they bought specifically for their professional headshot…but they would never wear it while working. How you dress for your headshot should show your clients who you are and how you will arrive to work with them. For instance, if you are a painter you won’t be arriving to their home in a suit, you’ll be wearing jeans and a lettered shirt likely covered in paint. Think about this…people are quickly scrolling through social media not truly absorbing the information they are seeing these days. If your friends and family are scrolling through their social media regularly, one day they will think, “I need a painter,” and subconsciously they will remember you are a painter from consistently seeing your photo in their feed.
3. Consider your marketing strategy.
Where are you finding the majority of your clients? Each facet of marketing has its own personality these days. Instagram and Snapchat are used by a younger market, Facebook is for more social interaction amongst adults, and LinkedIn is focused on professionalism. Then we could get into websites, billboards, magazines, etc but I will leave that to the true professionals (I can refer you to some folks if you need it). Consider where your images will be shared to know if you need a more casual or professional look or what variety of content you will need to use from your session.
I hope this information will help you out for your professional headshot session!
— Leah <3