So You Need a New Headshot?
With just about everyone having an on-line presence these days, having a good photo for our social media sites is crucial. My best tip is to hire a professional photographer, but I understand that maybe that isn't an option for you at this time. Here are some suggestions for getting a good photo to use as your public face if you're taking it yourself.
Pay attention to framing, background, lighting. Declutter what's around you in the image. Use things beside or behind you to lead the viewer's eye to your best features. Or away from something you want to minimize.
Make sure it looks like you. If your image is heavily filtered, you run the risk of coming across as a fraud. Images that are glamorized have their place, but for everyday people, we should look ourselves.
This tip is an extension of #2 and for the ladies: Your makeup application for a headshot should be similar to how you apply it for everyday. You want to come across as yourself on your best day. If you typically wear nothing more than eyeshadow and lipstick, stick with that.
Remember that it's all about the eyes, the window to the soul. If you're looking directly into the lens the perception is that you have nothing to hide. You are approachable, trustworthy. To get a good phone camera photo, look at the lens, not your image on the screen.
Give careful consideration to clothing and props. Let your personality come out. Be authentic. If t-shirts and jeans are your everyday attire, consider choosing what you wear by color. Use colors that match the outcome you want:
- red = aggressive, energetic, provocative, attention-grabbing, passionate
- purple = royalty, sophistication, nostalgia, mystery, spirituality
- blue = trustworthy, dependable, secure, responsible, confident
- green = wealth, health, prestige, serenity, generosity, safety
- yellow = positivity, light, warmth, motivation, creativity, happiness
- orange = vitality, fun, playful, exuberant, outgoing
- black = prestige, value, timelessness, sophistication, power
- white = pure, noble, clean, soft
When choosing clothes, make sure they compliment your complexion and that you feel good wearing them. It will help you to feel at ease and be able to achieve authentic expressions.
These five tips are a good starting point. Begin to pay attention to profile photos that you are drawn to. Start making note of WHY you like them. And as soon as you can hire a pro.