Take a quick look at your social networking profile photos. Are they inconsistent, out-dated, blurry, or the she-totally-cropped-that-dude-out photos? I cannot stress the importance of having a bright, clear and up-to-date professional head shot to represent your best self in today’s crazy world. First impressions go a long way! You’re not only presenting your skills, connections, and capabilities online, you’re showcasing your best asset – you! Decent head shots are paramount if you’re looking for a new job, making and maintaining new connections, etc.
Here are a few tips of the trade I’ve learned in this niche photography market. I’ve even offered up myself as sacrifice for examples!! Lucky you 🙂
1. Don’t Over-Think It: It’s not as difficult as making a souffle, people! You have one simple mission: be relaxed, and be yourself, and press the shutter button. Have some fun.
2. Dress the Part: If you’re a handy-man by trade, you can skip the suit. I don’t think this tip re:wardrobe needs too much explaining, but I recommend you look clean, well-groomed, and have that put-together look (ie. no rolling out of bed!). Wear solid colors, preferably darker tones and avoid bright colors and prints that will distract your audience from you. Oh, and ladies – keep it light and natural on the makeup. Highlight under the eyelids, put a little blush on the cheeks, and give the lips just a slight pop. Look at me all fancy in a suit & pearls!
3. The Setting: I love shooting people in their natural work habitats or up against a solid, well-lit backdrop (ie. my favorite Robin’s Egg Blue drop as pictured from my home studio). Remember, you are the center of attention, so the simpler the background, the better. And if you are going to be in a room, make sure everything behind you is clean and orderly (no clutter!).
4. Face forward: I, like many of you, am VERY conscious of my face’s many “best angles” when I am getting my photo taken. Many of us are most comfortable with photos taken at a slight angle, but you are so much more assertive with a head-on glance – trust me! Remember, this is a great opportunity to let your personality shine, so show those pearly whites… or not 🙂
This, my friends, is the finished product. This is me, facing forward, in a title-appropriate blouse (yippee photographer!), hair brushed, and pearly whites beaming. Having a great head shot for your social media sites will help others see your confidence and positive spirit before they connect with you online or in person. By no means do you need to copy my style or follow my tips, but I hope you can take away the effectiveness of a good profile photo for representing your best self in the great, vast, unknown cyber universe.