Number One: Get a good night’s sleep and drink plenty of water
We all know the impact of a poor night’s sleep. (One of our clients referred to dark circles under his eyes as “my three nights of Bruins playoff games.” We’ve been using that line ever since.) Looking tired at work for one day – or a few days, depending on how the series goes – probably won’t impact the success of your business. We all have our days. But looking tired in your headshot, which will serve as your first impression to potential clients could. Resting well before your photo session will give you a leg up on looking your best. And drinking plenty of water is good advice all the time. In advance of a photo, though, it will ensure that your skin looks brighter and fresher.
Number Two: Give yourself at least two hours after you wake up
Tempting though it might be to schedule your photo session for first thing in the morning so that you can put it behind you and get on with the rest of your day, we recommend against it. The reason is that for the first two hours after you wake up, your eyes still retain some puffiness. It’s nothing to do with age. It’s just because of gravity – which always gets you down.
If you rise with the sun, by all means, book a photo session for 9 AM. But if you tend to get up a little later, a lunchtime or early afternoon session would probably serve you better.
Number Three: Hair Apparent
Though we try to see the world through the lens of equality, we have to confess that this piece of advice will be gender specific.
Gentlemen, you have it easy this time. If you have a photo session coming up and you feel a little on the shaggy side, book a time slot with your barber. Just make sure that you do so about a week before you plan to be photographed.
Ladies, because your hair tends to have more variety and versatility than that of the fellows, our advice to you is more complex. The right kind of updo can look very polished and professional. But, then, so can hair worn down if it’s styled that way. Some find it easiest to come to their headshot appointment straight from the hairdresser’s. That takes all the pressure off.
For both men and women, it’s true that you will photograph best when you are feeling your most confident. What you feel inside does come through in your image. So, whatever it is you need to do for your appearance to feel your best, that is what you should do prior to your photo session.
Number Four: Do yourself a solid
Patterns tend to date you. Meaning – what is trendy and fashionable today could, in six months, be “so last week.” Your headshot becomes instantly stale, no matter how recently you had it done. You’re better off with solid colors and classic styling that will stand the test of time. A headshot, after all, is an investment, and while it should be freshened up occasionally, you don’t want to have to do so too frequently.
Number Five: Think about who the people you’re trying to attract with your headshot need to see
As strange as it might sound, this is really the tip that matters most to crafting an effective headshot. The first four tips are all about creating as pretty a picture as possible. And that does matter, of course. You want to look your very best. But for a headshot to be effective at its job – which is, ultimately, to connect you to your ideal clients – it has to speak to the right audience.
The right look for you will not be the right look for someone else, and vice versa. One person’s friendly and approachable smile could look overly giddy on someone else, for example. But it’s not just the natural arrangement of your facial features that matters. The right look for you also depends on your line of work and your target client base. Who are you trying to reach? What expectations might they have of you, given the service they’re seeking from you. Even a couple of minutes spent thinking about those questions can yield you a much more effective headshot.
Walter Schnecker, CPP, CPC, CCH
Walter Schnecker is the owner of C1M Photography, LLC, in Amherst NH. He specializes in Executive Business Headshots. He loves using his years of experience in the industry to provide each and every client with a polished, professional and, most importantly, effective headshot.
Jun. 19, 2015 Executive Headshots No Comments