Head shots are a must-have for professional purposes — it gives others a look at the face behind the brand. Now more than ever, head shots are being considered as a strategy that can elevate your brand to the next level. In fact, I recently invested a great deal into head shots for my entire team with the confidence that it will pay back in dividends. With that said, here’s your personal guide to incredible head shots.
Timing is everything
Acquiring new head shots amidst business changes is a smart move, be it a new website, a rebrand, or a change in your team or services — it can really add a fresh feel to a company’s brand. In other cases, you may just want to update your current photo and promote a new image.
“When you look different in your headshot than you look in person, it’s time for a new head shot,” explains Shannon Tarrant of Wedding Venue Map. “The point of a head shot is to be recognizable when people see you, so current is always best.”
Regardless of why you’re considering new head shots, it’s wise to start the search for a photographer early on. This will allow you to find the very best person for your needs, while still saving a bit so it doesn’t hit your budget hard.
Consider audience and message
Take a step back and think about your general publicity strategy. Who do you market to? Who is most likely to see your head shot: engaged couples perusing your site, press contacts, or industry peers looking to refer a creative partner? The goal is to decide what style would resonate best with your target audience — for some, an approachable and friendly look is best whereas others may prefer a more refined and upscale look.
With my recent batch of head shots, I decided it was time to deviate from the usual and do something different. I wanted our confidence and experience to show through (hello, grey hair!), while still capturing the rawness of who we are as individuals.
Think about usage
Back in the day, head shots really just lived on your website to give prospects an idea of who you are. Nowadays, they are used in a variety of different manners, be it for social media posts, print materials, or for pitching to media outlets and speaking engagements.
“Be sure to have a mix of vertical and horizontal shots taken,” shares Kevin Dennis of WeddingIQ. “Your needs will vary, whether it’s for social media or a request from someone hiring you to speak. You always want to be prepared.”
Find the right photographer
Head shots are a personal business, so it’s essential to work with a photographer that truly understands you and the look that you are going for. It may go without saying, but DIY is not the answer. “After all, we can’t get frustrated with DIY couples if we choose to DIY this ourselves,” reminds Keith Phillips of Classic Wedding Photographers. “Find someone you can feel comfortable asking for guidance when it comes to location and dress.”
Make sure they have experience with head shots — it’s not the same as capturing an engagement shoot or wedding. Don’t be afraid to spend some money on the right photographer. While you may have some generous friends offering free head shots, you’ll want to be sure that the head shots you get will help you reach your goals.
When you get to the shoot, don’t be afraid to get comfortable with the photographer. Ask them for their opinion on outfits, hair styles, and colors. Look to them for advice on best poses and feel free to ask to see some of the shots on the back of the camera — tell them if you aren’t comfortable with anything and adjust accordingly. Communication is key throughout the head shot process and will be the surest way to get photos that exude confidence and grace.
Once you’ve received your new head shots, it’s time to share them with the world! Post them to your social media channels, add them to your website, and let the compliments roll in.