Overall, the goal of your business headshot should be to put a face to your brand. This means that there isn’t necessarily a right and wrong way to present yourself. It simply depends on your brand image. For example, a lawyer might prefer a very professional image with a suit and plain background, while a creative business owner could be a bit more casual and fun with their headshot.
As any photographer will tell you, proper lighting is essential to any good image. When it comes to taking portrait photos, you’ll want to either have natural light from windows on multiple ends of the room, or a professional lighting setup.
The background can also make a big difference on how the final photo turns out. There are many different options to consider, from plain white to an office setting that is a bit out of focus. Just make sure that the background doesn’t distract from the main focal point of the image — you.
In some cases, you might include some items that have something to do with your business, like a computer, desk or camera. But again, make sure those items aren’t distracting and only include them if they actually add something essential to the image.
You should also take care to present yourself in a positive light in terms of the way you dress. Again, this can vary depending on the brand. But a good rule of thumb should be to consider how you’d want to present yourself to a new client and then dress accordingly.
One of the best business headshot tips is when styling your hair and makeup for photos, simple is best. If you layer on tons of makeup, that caked-on foundation may show up in photos. And for your hair, make sure to brush and style it, but don’t worry about styling any fancy updos that won’t necessarily show up in a single photo anyway.
While it might seem like a good idea to get a fresh haircut right before you get new photos taken, experts actually advise against it. Even for major events like weddings, photographers say that you should get a trim at least a week before so you can get used to the new length. And if you’re getting a totally new haircut, wait three weeks or more before getting photos taken so your hair can grow a bit and look more natural. This also gives you the opportunity to make adjustments if you end up not loving the new do.
It’s also a good idea to keep a mirror with you so that you can quickly check your hair, makeup and clothing before you have your photo taken. That way you won’t have to wait to get your proofs back before realizing you have a stray hair standing up or a wrinkled collar.
In terms of your clothing, hair and makeup, I advise you to stay away from ultra trendy items. Even if you think that a particular hairstyle or patterned top will look great right now, it could make your photo look dated in just a year or two.
No matter what style of photo you end up going for, good posture is essential since it exudes confidence and professionalism. Simply sit with your back straight and your shoulders back while remaining relatively relaxed.
However, you don’t need to look completely stiff and boring in your headshot. Especially if you want your brand to seem fun and unique, it may be beneficial for you to keep the atmosphere at your photo shoot loose. Then you can take some images where you have a very natural smile and show some of your authentic personality.
One way to ensure that you’re able to relax and show off your real personality could be to bring a friend or co-worker who you’re close with so that they can make jokes, keep you loose and even let you know if you need to sit up straighter or change up your smile.
Another strategy could be to have your photo shoot at your office or another location where you’re especially comfortable. Getting some images where you actually work could help them appear especially unique and authentic to your brand.
In order to have a fresh and happy face in your photos, you need to take care of yourself. Get a full night of sleep the night before to avoid dark under-eye circles and other features that can lead to you looking tired and uninspired in your photos.
Along with that, make sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day and eat a good breakfast and/or lunch before your photo shoot. Again all these things impact your well-being and so will play a role in how your photos come out.
No matter what style of photo you’re going for, you’ll want to have plenty of options to choose from at the end. Even if you’re sure of the style, angle and backdrop for the photo, you should at least have a horizontal and vertical version so that it can fit with different mediums and publications. So make sure you set aside enough time to get enough good shots.
Finally, once you get your business headshots taken, you might find that they no longer represent your brand in the way you envisioned after a couple of years. So it’s a good idea to have new business headshots taken regularly to reflect how you actually look and how you want your brand represented throughout the life of your business.