by Michelle Kinney
24 Seven Photographer/Digital Media Specialist
So it’s time to update your business headshot. The grainy, cropped photo from Spring Break you’ve had up on LinkedIn doesn’t really represent your professional image these days.
A grainy, cropped photo of Michelle from college
Let’s face it – this is more than just a photo. A corporate headshot can be seen anywhere and everywhere from your company’s website, your LinkedIn profile, Twitter, Facebook…you name it! It’s also a large part of the professional image (pun intended) you’re creating for yourself. We want our headshots to effortlessly say all the things about us that we want it to.
Do you find yourself puzzled as where to begin?
I’m here to help out with a few easy tips to get you started on your way to a great headshot you’ll love!
Do Your Research
Sometimes your employer will provide you with a photographer for your official company photo. But when it comes to a corporate headshot that you will use across multiple media platforms, you’ll want to find your own photographer. Ask around to friends and colleagues to see who they have enjoyed working with. Do some online searches and spend time scrolling through professional portfolios. Whomever you hire, make sure you like their work! Most importantly, try to meet your photographer ahead of time. You want to vibe with a photographer that makes you feel comfortable! Which brings me to #2…
Breath is life, so take a deep breath and RELAX! It’s nerve-racking, I get it! Before becoming a photographer, I was a professional singer for many years and I could never get used to having my photo taken. Odd but true. “I’m all dressed up, standing on a street corner, trying to smile and look natural. But nothing about this feels natural!” I often will ask a client to make a funny face and do 10 jumping jacks to get started. It helps them to calm down and release any body tension. Whatever works!
I love this shot of Kerin. She looks relaxed, friendly, approachable, and professional. Fantastic!
The headshot is all about your face, so it’s important not distract from the best part of you. Wear something that looks great and feels great — usually they are one and the same. Solid jewel tones are your friends! They flatter any and all skin tones and look fantastic on camera. Busy patterns can often be distracting and look a bit dated. Try to keep the jewelry basic and the necklines simple.
The perfect green jewel tone and necklace. So flattering!
Whatever the choice, make sure it fits well. A common mistake can be to wear a jacket that is slightly too large or small which can be quite noticeable on camera.
Joe’s jacket fits him perfectly! Great shot!
Make Sure Your Photo Looks Like You
I think the goal of a corporate headshot is to look friendly and approachable. You want to look like yourself on your best day, but not look like you tried too hard. When I think of “trying too hard,” I picture glamour shots.
So let’s take a minute to collectively giggle and agree it’s best to keep it simple! For women I suggest to wear your hair as you would to a job interview. Feel free to splurge on a blowout! Keep the same idea in mind when applying makeup, just add a tad more than usual to stand up against the camera. Also, try not to cut or dye your hair right before the shoot. Give it at least a week or so. For the gentlemen, bring some oil sheets like Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Oil Sheets to help with shine. A little translucent powder helps too! A little touch up here and there in Photoshop is great, but overall it’s good to keep airbrushing to a minimum.
Strike a Pose
If your photographer is shorter than you, politely suggest they stand on a step stool. I am 5 feet tall — exactly. I’d say the majority of my clients are much taller than I am so I make sure to carry a portable step stool with me on all shoots. Photographing someone from a slightly higher angle is always most flattering! Be aware of your chin as well. Slightly forward and slightly down is just the ticket!