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When you look at someone’s social-media profile, what’s the first thing you see? Even if you don’t like to admit it, it’s probably his or her profile picture. The truth is that humans depend largely on visuals to understand the world around them, and that’s no different when it comes to people. You might not like to judge a book by its cover, but it’s instinctual.
In a world where visuals are so important, corporate headshots stand out. They’re essential for your business and can help you secure jobs coming your way — or hinder your success if you don’t get them right.
Related: How to Take a Headshot That Reflects Your True Personal Brand
What a headshot can help you accomplish
Create a positive first impression
A first impression is a tricky thing: It can’t be changed once it’s happened, so getting it right is imperative to your success. Someone may judge your entire personality, business and potential success based on the impression he or she gets from your headshot, so making it say what you want it to is vital. In general, your headshot should look professional, which means good lighting, an appropriate background and high-quality image (no pixels over here, please).
It definitely shouldn’t be a picture of you holding a cocktail in a busy club unless that’s the industry you work in.
You want your headshot to reflect the industry you’re in and show you as warm, approachable and professional. You don’t need to be straight-faced and stern to get the best corporate headshots, and your character can definitely shine through. Just make sure it’s suitable for a professional environment.
You become more than just a business name
In a world that’s full of businesses, people like to connect with those they work with. By having a professional headshot, they can put a face to the name and view a real person, rather than just a brand. Consider this: If you were going to hire someone to remodel your kitchen, and there were two similar websites, one with a professional picture of the builder and one without, you’d go with the person you can see, right?
It shows you’re serious
Good business photography separates the experts from the amateurs. There are so many websites out there with badly cropped, low-quality photos, and sometimes it’s better to have no photo at all than a bad one! But, by going to a photo studio and having a professional photographer take your picture, it demonstrates that you’re serious about what you do.
Whether you’re an actor or an accountant, showing that you’re happy to invest in your brand with a professional shot says a lot about you. People will take you more seriously, and you’ll look more credible.
Related: 8 Types of Photos You Should Never Use on Your LinkedIn Profile
You can use your professional headshot everywhere
Your online presence shouldn’t just be limited to a website. Social media is now a huge part of your online brand, whether your brand is simply you or you have a business offering a product or service. From LinkedIn to Instagram, social media is a brilliant place to market yourself and boost your visibility.
Your headshot can be used across these platforms, helping you maintain consistency and become more recognizable. If someone recognizes that image from your website, they’ll find it much easier to follow you on social media when you have the same shot.
You can also use your headshot on printed media, such as flyers and business cards. Again, this builds up a consistent brand image and makes you more recognizable.
How to take corporate headshots
By now, it should be clear that you need to take corporate headshots.
I work with some of Australia’s biggest brands, media properties and agencies to secure talented children work in television, film and modeling roles.
Here are my tips for taking professional headshots.
Choose a plain background
A busy background doesn’t make for a professional shot. Aim for a plain background in a neutral colour and only use props if relevant.
Wear the right clothes
What you wear says a lot to your audience. A suit is best for professions where you’d usually see people wearing them, such as lawyers and accountants, while normal clothes are better for more relaxed industries, like freelance marketers and creatives. If you work in an industry that requires a uniform, such as a labourer, there’s no harm in wearing that for your shot!
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with smiling for a headshot — in fact, it makes it better! People want to do business with someone who looks friendly and easy to talk to, and nothing says that better than a smile.
Get the lighting right
Good lighting is vital if you want a professional headshot and can absolutely transform a photo. Natural light can make a fairly good substitute, but nothing compares to studio lighting. If you want a headshot that’s really going to sell, hire a professional photographer in a studio who’ll be able to achieve perfect lighting.
Related: 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Picking Your Social-Media Profile Photo
Don’t wait to get your corporate headshots
Having professional corporate headshots is a brilliant way to take control of people’s first impressions of you and create a more recognizable brand image. Remember these tips when taking yours for a winning headshot that helps your business excel.