What makes a great (business) headshot?

How  great is your headshot?

 

Have you invested or are you ready to invest in a great headshot? Excellent! A headshot is a marketing/branding tool, and as such should have clear objectives. So here are some tips for choosing your headshots  

Let’s start with a definition of headshot: A headshot is a photograph where the focus is unambiguously one face; this photo will allow people (mostly strangers) to create a connection with the subject. 

A great business headshot is a headshot (as defined above) matching these 5 criteria:

  1. You must love your headshot
  2. It must represent who you are. Now.
  3. It must create a first impression of competency
  4. It must show you as an influential or an In-charge person
  5. Strangers should find you likeable you from the headshot

You may hear some people talk about “coolness factor,” about a beautiful backdrop, about great composition, about the benefits Rembrandt lighting, or argue about Black and white vs Color.

In fact, none of these matter on their own. And if they become the focus of the photographer, it means the focus is no longer on you. This may possibly undermine the headshot performance against one or more criteria.

Let’s dig in on those 5 core criteria

Headshot-Folrev Photography-6512Headshot-6512 1. You must Love your headshot

The best headshot is useless if you don’t use it. Enough said.

2. It represents who you are. Now.

A headshot is a photograph, that is an instant-in-time capture. It must show the best of you. But it must show YOU, now, not the way you looked 20 years ago, not the way you would if you hadn’t had this broken nose or those glasses that you hate etc.

If you happen to meet in real life the stranger you’ve seen online, and you do not recognize them instantly, it will create a very negative impression, and you will be less likely to trust that person.

Of course, a good headshot will minimize all those concerns of yours, so they don’t distract the viewer from the essential while still allowing you to being yourself.  Furthermore, all these physical attributes that you are self-conscious about might in fact have a positive impact on the next 3 criteria, making you look more competent, influential and/or likable.

3. It must create a first impression of competency.

I don’t think this one needs a lot of explanation. The headshot needs to show your competent persona. Even a Stay-at-home Mom who’s looking into getting back into the job market 20 years later should look competent. It’s not lying: There’s always a highly competent persona in you.

4. It must show you as an influential or/and an In-charge person.

Who wants to hire someone who needs to be micromanaged?  Who wants to hire a headshot photographer who just knows how to hold a camera? We are more likely to hire and trust people who can really help us from start to end and add value for us. So, your headshot should suggest that you are trustworthy and responsible person. 

5. Strangers should find you likeable from the headshot

Until the late 90s, people thought they had to look arrogant, aggressive or bored to look more powerful. This is NOT true, at least in Woman Entrepreneur HeadshotWoman Entrepreneur headshot normal conditions, as people tend to prefer working with people they like. This trend is even more pronounced with younger generations. One exception would be in a crisis, real or imagined (think about the 2016 US presidential election where the 2 candidates were considered the less likeable candidates of their own party during the primaries.)

At the end of your session with us, we’ll review the photos together to ensure that you get a great photo that matches all 5 criteria!

 

At Folrev Photography we will help you create a great business portrait, and we will help you choose the most appropriate business headshot for your needs!


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