Thursday, October 3, 2013

Getting Your Best Shot at a First Impression

Today, I'd like to talk about Business Portraits or Headshots, a subject I've been thinking about for a LONG time. Every time I visit a company's website, see corporate team photos, or when I view someones social media business profile, I see some wonderful business headshots out there, but there seems to be more that really need help. Let ME help YOU. :)

You May Never Get a Second Impression
The headshot that you have online is your first impression. Are you proud of it? Does it represent how you want your business contacts to view you on a professional level?
In our social media world, when you make that initial business connection (i.e. a potential employer or employee, or anyone whose desk you come across) you can bet they are Googling, Binging, Yahooing, Facebooking, Tweeting, or LinkingIn to your name. Everyone is curious about who they are "speaking to". I've done it and I'm sure many of you have too.

Out of Date or Modern = Who You Are
A business portrait or headshot should be updated every 1-2 years, some people do it every 6 months, depending on your industry. It should not be a photo of when you started your career 10-20 years ago, nor should it be your employee ID picture. An updated headshot says you and your company stay current, and progressive in today's business world. If you have lost 10 lbs, gained 10 lbs, changed your hair color, changed careers, are looking for a new job, started a new job, have a business, are an artist, are a blogger, you NEED a portrait or headshot.

Face with the Name
All business relationships are built on just that: a relationship. Having a portrait turns you into an individual instead of company's XYZ Representative, a Painter, a Realtor, etc. That photo turns you into who you really are: Sandy, Greg, Joan, Michael. If your headshot is empty (i.e. you don't have one) then that is their first impression. It says you are not available, and makes people wonder: Why don't you want your face to be seen? Why are you on social media? After all, social media is meant for you to be social.

Blurry and Dark
A photo taken by an amateur or with a smartphone is pretty obvious. It's either out of focus, the white balance is off, the lighting is not even, or it may be a full body shot (which is not a headshot). The amateur headshot is not leaving your business contacts with the first impression you probably want them to have. Your friends will think its a cute photo of you, but that's not what will get you taken seriously. A professional photographer will advise you on what to wear, the best location to do your shoot, knows what are the current trends in business portraits, how to get the right expression out of you, just to name a few things.

Lastly, when you do take your headshot it's okay to smile, so say cheese!

I'll do another post on what to wear for your business headshot. If I add it in here it'll make this post 5 pages long!

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