Head shot: You need one. Here’s why.
Your photo might be the most underrated tool on your website. It’s easy to grab a shot from a party you attended, crop out the people you’re with and stick it up on your site, but that does you a disservice. Investing the time to have a professional photo done gives you a chance to convey who you are and what you do. The age old line is that a picture is worth a thousand words. With a well done head shot, two of those words are “Let’s talk.”
A photo of you and/or your staff can help build rapport before the customer even contacts you. It lets them associate a face with your business.
There’s a misconception that a professional head shot is all about dressing formally, and sporting a huge smile. I often tell my clients
It wouldn’t make much sense for our culinary management student to be wearing a three piece suit. She’s wearing work clothes and surrounded by the tools of the trade.
“If you’re not a naturally smiley person, don’t become one.” If you don’t wear a suit on the job, there is no need to wear one for your shoot. A good head shot represents you as you are: wear what you wear to work. If you want to smile, do so; if you’re more serious, be more serious. Bottom line: Don’t be fake.
How will your shot be used? If your company has guidelines for head shots, bring those in to your photographer. Some businesses will have very strict rules about posing and composition, while others might have general guidelines. Likewise, if you’re using your photo on business cards or signs, stick to more even lighting. This will simplify printing. On the other hand, you can take more liberties with an online only portrait. Your lighting and posing can be more dramatic and this can help you stand out from your competition.
The rest of the team:
Don’t forget about your colleagues/staff. If you have pictures on your company’s site, that’s terrific. Now look at them closely. Is one shot done professionally while the one underneath it is a selfie? Is the next one five years out of date? Is the one after that over exposed and you can still see they person they tried to crop out? Get staff photos done all at once; it looks great on your site and ensures uniform quality and current images.
Your head shot can also be a vehicle for showing off your work space. This is another way you can build up familiarity with your new clients. You can also use the opportunity to do a staff photo.