Another interesting and useful article by Gretje Ferguson on how to achieve the perfect business headshot.
A good business headshot is an essential part of your branding and social media presence. Whether you decide to have your photo done in a studio or on location (this is an emerging trend), here’s an update to my pointers on getting the best possible professional photo:
1. Get one! If you haven’t been asked for a professional headshot, you will be. It’s just a matter of time. You will need one for your web page, as well as for social media, newsletters, news releases, articles, profiles, brochures and speaking engagements.
2. Hire a professional photographer. Your clients can tell when your photo has been snapped by a friend or spouse. The message is, “I don’t care enough to establish a professional presence.” A good photographer will know how to use lighting and posing in a way that flatters your face and body type, and will help you relax for a natural yet professional expression. The more authentic your expression, the more people will want to work with you.
3. When possible, have your makeup applied by a makeup professional who understands lighting. Strobes or even natural light can wash out your features, so enhancement of eyes and lips is important. For both men and women, a good foundation powder can smooth the skin and reduce glare.
4. Ask if retouching is included in the package. Light retouching (skin softening, blemish removal, reduction of eye circles, etc.) helps you look Oh so much better!
5. Choose a solid-color, well-fitting suit and/or top that is multi-seasonal. Textures such as tweeds can be distracting. You have a wide range of choices here, including gray, blue, green, purple, red, pink, orange or beige. Deep gray or navy blue photographs better than blacks. Avoid whites or light pastels, as they may show clothing wrinkles and add pounds. A good stylist can help you choose flattering, appropriate clothing for your shoot.
During the session:
6. When posing, angle your body a quarter-turn away from the camera. Then gently turn your shoulders and head back towards the lens. This pose avoids the straight-on mugshot look. Leaning forward slightly from the waist will elongate your neck and give you a welcoming demeanor.
7. Imagine that the lens is your best client. Think of the relationship you have with this person. Welcome that client with your eyes and expression. This exercise will make your energy become outer-directed and add approachability and warmth to your portrait.
8. Don’t take yourself too seriously. After all, it’s not only about you. It’s also about your clients and how they feel when they interact with you.