Choosing the right digital headshots is vital. This might sound simplistic, but sometimes knowing which headshot photos to use can seem a bit daunting.
Compared to other forms of visual communication photography is young. Digital headshots for online professional identities even newer. It’s also just a few years since Linkedin headshots have become indispensable for anyone interested in connecting with an online audience.
Professional headshot photography and social media now means anyone can distribute their portrait across worldwide networks.
Here’s six tips for choosing digital headshots, that will represent you at your best.
1. CHOOSE A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER
Find a local headshot photographer who has the experience to guide you through your headshot session. You’ll be able to review the images as you shoot. Your photographer should have the experience to know which images, looks and expressions will work best for you. Meet with your photographer before your headshot session to chat about your photographs, this will guarantee that your session runs smoothly. You’ll arrive at your session knowing what to wear, what to bring, how your makeup and hair will look and how the session will take place. By collaborating with your photographer you’ll be able to choose the right images benefiting from the photographer’s advice.
2. TEST YOUR DIGITAL HEADSHOTS ON PHOTO FEELER
Photo Feeler is a website dedicated to helping you choose your profile photos by applying various criteria such as whether you appear likeable, competent or influential. You can ask people to vote on your image based on the criteria that you want to test. Once you’ve uploaded the headshot that you want to test, you can either buy credits or go and vote on other people’s portraits and accrue your own credits. A fun way to see how your image might be perceived by a cross mix of people who have no preconceived idea about your personality. The team at Photo Feeler have conducted their own tests which you can access to see various ratings for parameters like how close or wide is an acceptable view for a portrait, or how light or dark the image should be and whether the background has any influence.
While testing your images using a random group of people is a great way to get some instant feedback, delving deeper by asking for direct feedback from your target audience will give more relevant results. If in doubt your professional photographer will be able to guide your through choosing appropriate images.
3. CREATE A SET OF COHESIVE IMAGES TO CHOOSE FROM
Together with your professional photographer, create a cohesive series of images. You could try different backgrounds, or shoot on location for environmental portraits. Shooting headshots at our Brisbane studio, some clients are satisfied with a headshot session in the studio while others prefer studio and location settings. Either way, variety will give you more opportunity to find the images that work best for you.
4. MAKE YOUR IMAGES RELEVANT TO YOUR PROFESSION
An artist will want a completely different headshot to partners at a law firm. This will come down to many small choices like appropriate backgrounds and what to wear for your headshot session. Collaborate with you professional photographer to set the tone of your headshots to match your corporate profile.
5. KEEP YOUR DIGITAL HEADSHOTS UP TO DATE
Choosing old images from a few years ago might seem like a good idea, but your best bet is to update your portraits at least every two years. Selfies won’t help further your career either, creating a professional headshot will show you at your best.
6. CREATE DIGITAL HEADSHOTS THAT CONNECT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS
It’s important to create headshot photos for your business profile that will connect with anyone viewing your portrait. The face is a complex source of information capable of conveying countless expressions, thoughts, and emotions. When you create your professional headshots you want your photos to connect with your audience. Being authentic, confident, trustworthy and approachable. This means no fake smiles or looking like you’re trying be someone else. An experienced headshot photographer will know how to work with you to get that killer expression that’s just you. It’s this connection with your photographer that will show in your digital headshots. The key to this is planning your photo shoot ahead of time and arriving at your headshot session on a day when you are not rushed and can enjoy the session.
Creating a series of portrait images with more than one expression or look, will allow flexibility with various publishing platforms, both online and in print. There will be occasions where an image with a huge smile is appropriate and at other times submitting an image with a more subtle smile does a better job.