When it comes to headshots, there are two main types to consider: environmental headshots and traditional headshots. While both types of headshots serve the same purpose of showcasing your professional image, the way they are shot and the information they convey are quite different.
Traditional headshots are typically shot in a studio setting and focus solely on the subject's face and upper body. They are typically shot with a plain background and are meant to convey a sense of professionalism and formality. These type of headshots are perfect for business cards, resumes, social media profiles, and professional websites.
On the other hand, environmental headshots are typically shot in a location that is meaningful to the subject or relevant to their profession. These headshots include the subject in their environment, whether it be at their office, in a park, or on a city street. These type of headshots are meant to convey a sense of personality, context and provide a glimpse of the subject's work environment. These headshots are perfect for websites, social media, and marketing materials.
In summary, traditional headshots are perfect for professional, formal settings and environmental headshots are perfect for showcasing personality, context and work environment. Choose the type of headshot that fits your purpose and showcase your professional image in the best way possible.
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A few headshot prep tips
Professional headshots are the first introduction to you, your business and your personal brand.
Around 93% of HR professionals and recruiters turn to LinkedIn to find quality candidates, 2 in 3 turn to Facebook and more than half utilize Twitter. This just proves that a headshot plays an important role in your professional life. Your headshot should be a powerful, compelling and confidence-instilling headshot that makes prospective clients, employers and partners want to reach out and connect with you. Your headshot should "look" like you!
Before you head off for your professional headshot photo session, think about the things that you want others to see when they glance at your profile page. Think about some of the characteristics that embody your personal brand.
Are you a chef, an educator, a writer? Write down some keywords and phrases. If there are certain props that could help tell your story, bring them along to your session too. Do you use specific brand colors and if so how can we incorporate them?
We will usually take a few different shots using 2-3 outfits so that you have a good selection to choose from. If you’re going to be using your headshot on a specific social media platform, you might even want to tailor it to fit that site. We will discuss all of this beforehand or during our time together.
It’s important that your look matches the image you’re trying to convey. What you wear on a daily basis is a great place to start. Solid colors are always a good choice, as are tops with strong collars and necklines. We suggest that you wear clothing that compliments your skin and eye tones. I like to always recommend at least one outfit or one set of accessories for one outfit be in your brand colors if possible. Even though you’ll only be photographed from the shoulders up, it’s important for your entire outfit is professional as you may want a shot or two that is taken further away and incorporates more of your body.
Professional headshots can be done in a traditional way (think solid color backgrounds) OR environmental. Again this would be something we will discuss beforehand if you are working with me and is a great option for those who want a professional feel that is NOT corporate.
If your profile images are a few years old... it is time to start thinking about updating them. I would love to be your photographer and help you with that! Let's get you on the calendar!
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Why people hate their headshots!
Let's face it.. most people really don’t like having their photos taken. While a good photographer can change their minds, someone who is left with bad results will only further hate the process. This is why it is important to find the RIGHT photographer to work with to make the entire process a bit more enjoyable and easy to do.
Many time if you have had a headshot session done and you come away with not so pleased feelings... it is the result of a few different things. These reasons can be just one or multiple reasons piled together.
It doesn’t matter whether you want headshots for your professional corporate profile or your new business, getting the basics right is key to ending up with photos you love. It will make allll the difference in the world when you take the time to find the right photographer, you communicate any insecurities or concerns you have about doing the pictures and then of course as stated above making sure that what they can provide for you based on their style and skill level, will be aligned with what you are wanting to do to put your best face forward!
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Jess is a Mom, Grandma, Fire Wife, Thyroid Cancer Warrior and Professional Photographer of over 20+ years.