Shannon photographed by Alex Cena in New York City
A number of friends and colleagues have asked me recently why I am spending so much time and effort on headshot photography. After all, our culture is constantly barraged with poorly exposed, out of focus and candid images that may now be perfectly acceptable to most people. However, there are times when you should use professional headshot photographer for use in your business and networking profile on sites such as LinkedIn or any other type of publicity purposes.
Yes I fully understand the real competition, in fact, are potential customers who believe my services as well as those of my fellow photographers are too expensive so they either do it themselves by holding their smart phone at arm’s length and snapping away. If they are really motivated, the may even ask a friend with a nice SLR to do it for them. That in my opinion, is a very short-sighted view of the world. Yes, you may be saving $500 to more than $1,000 for that headshot, but you may also be passed up for that dream job, while a potential customer or investor may turn to someone else.
When you are searching for a new career or selling yourself as a real estate agent, an attorney, a certified public accountant, a stock broker, investment banker or any other professional service provider, your portrait headshot must come across as confident and approachable. Actors and actresses fully understand this concept. They know a top-notch photo is the difference between getting invited to a casting call or not. A poor photo will end up in a circular file, while a dynamite image will translate into an invite as well as an opportunity to present your abilities to a casting director.
Take a look at your own headshot and compare it to the un-retouched image above. Ask yourself, “Do I look confident and approachable?” Be honest with yourself. If the answer to the aforementioned question is no, then it is time to invest in a new headshot, which you really should do every couple of years.