What makes a good headshot?

What makes a good headshot?

In my last post, I talked about how important first impressions are and how good headshots can really enhance our online presence. In this post, I want to chat about what makes a good headshot and what communicates exactly who you are.

Questions to ask yourself when taking your headshot:

Who are you?

This photograph should show your personality. Is this for your business? We want the right clothing, location, mood, and style. They should subtly represent your brand as well as who you are as a professional. If you’re all about humor and fun with your clients, we want to infuse that into the session! If your business is more serious and subdued, we can get that message across while still creating a warm inviting feeling for a great headshot.

what makes a good headshot?

Who is your audience?

I want to know what you will be using the images for.  We need to identify who your audience is, so we can speak directly to them. If you are a consultant looking to work with top executives, we need to make sure that we are using the images that attract them. Do you need to show your strength in the images or do you need to lean in and show your openness? Having a clear message and audience is vital.

How will these images be used?

Think about where these photos will be going. Your LinkedIn profile? To a casting director? For various branded content on your social media? A billboard around town? Or maybe you’re running a campaign and inviting people to sign up for your e-course through Facebook ads. Having the answers to these questions will help shape the final product into exactly what you need.

How often should you update your headshot?

I often ask my clients how long it has been since their last headshot during our photoshoot. I get answers ranging from “Never,” to “Oh goodness, it’s been 12 years,” to “People think I am my daughter in my headshot,” to “About every six months.” I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all answer here, but I do think you need to be certain that your headshot is a good reflection of you. If you are working in acting or modeling, you need to be updating your headshot on a regular basis so that your casting director is able to make decisions based on how you look now. And it’s kind-of the same when it comes to getting clients. People will see your headshot on your site or social media profile and expect that person.

In the social media dominated world we live in, our headshots have become our handshake to potential clients or employers. I would love to be the one to help you find out what makes a good headshot! Contact me to schedule your headshot session today.

31 thoughts on “What makes a good headshot?”

  1. I think your first question is the most important one – who are you? You can’t just take a photo of yourself wearing any old clothes in any old location! You have to show who you are! This is great advice as I am considering getting new photos as well.

  2. I think how often to update is definitely a good question. For two years I used the same headshot mainly because I didn’t have the chance to take new ones. But it was a bad idea because my hair was super short in the shots but I had grown my hair long in the meantime which confused people. So I think a good rule of thumb is definitely to have a picture that represents who you are in this moment.

  3. Melissa Almodovar

    These are great tips! I’m getting new headshots in the spring and this gave me a lot to think about! Thanks!

  4. This is a great read. I do not even have any head shots because I am so scared of being on the other side of the camera, but I guess I really should get some done.

  5. These are all incredible portraits! I love the part about knowing your audience when shooting your headshots! You are the best headshot photographer in all of Denver

  6. Thank you for this! I have always wondered exactly what makes a great headshot, and these tips are going to help me with mine in the coming weeks!

  7. This is such a great blog post! Headshots can be something to put off, but really shouldn’t be! Your city is lucky to have you as their Denver headshot photographer! These are all so great!

  8. Those are all excellent points about what makes a great headshot. And points to consider – what you are going to use your headshot for and who your target audience is.

  9. Great tips about perfect headshot photography! It is absolutely rudamental to have headshots reflect your business personality!

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