5 Reasons why you need a Headshot
When it comes to promoting yourself, your image is your personal brand. In this article, you can learn how a professional headshot affects your online presence, credibility, and professional life.
First impressions matter. A lot. Especially when it comes to professional headshots. And they don’t take all that long to get formed or crystallize either. In fact, if recent research from the Association for Psychological Science is anything to go by, people decide all kinds of things about you in a matter of seconds and you rarely have any say in it. In the study, it was observed that people formed first impressions about others within the first few seconds of seeing a picture or meeting them. These impressions were not only formed pretty quickly, but they were pretty strong too. This means that, on seeing a picture of you, people can decide a few billion things including whether they like you, want to meet you, if they’d be willing to trust you with their hard-earned money or a position in their company. Considering how important your picture is to projecting your image and who you are, you’d think everybody would be on board and professional headshots would be in the constitution and all. But the truth is: not that many people understand the importance of professional headshots and the great image they project.
Well, if you’re one of those, this one’s for you. Whether you’re new to the labor market, already steeped in your profession or if you provide services for a living, here’s 5 reasons why you simply must get your own professional headshot.
Before we get into that though, there’s a need to clarify what we mean by professional headshots. Just so we’re on the same page.
What qualifies as a professional headshot?
Absolutely no selfies. Just don’t.
Seriously, professional headshots are meant to be exactly that, professional. It’s pretty difficult to portray exactly the sort of competence and, well, professionalism you’d like to see in a professional through a selfie. Except of course, if you’re a selfie professional. Though we wonder exactly how that’d work. Professional headshots are meant to portray you in your element. They are usually done at chest height, close enough to provide a pretty good look at your face and just at the right distance to avoid filling up the entire picture with only your face (that’d look weird).
5 reasons why you simply can’t do without
So now we’re clear on exactly what amounts to a professional headshot, here’s 5 reasons why getting one has to be number one on your 2019 to-do list.
It’s the age of digital networking
We’re sure you don’t need anyone to tell you this. The internet has become the single most important means of communication and networking for people all over the world. Here’s just how important it is. Of the roughly 7.2 billion humans on earth, more than 3 billion are on the internet. According to Link Humans, 2.1 billion are active on social media and up to 1.7 billion have almost constant access, accessing social networks from a mobile device. Pretty much everyone that matters to your business and career is active on the internet and on social media. Clearly, if you want to reach them and make an instant impact, you have to do more than just being good at what you do. You have to make a statement. And guess how best you can do that? Adding a professional photo to your LinkedIn profile alone can boost your profile views by as much as 14 times compared to using other types of profile pictures. The same holds true for other social media platforms too.
Attention span is at an all-time low
Along with the rising use of the internet is a rapidly decreasing attention span amongst people. Guess you can’t have everything. Humans pay the least attention now than they ever have. In fact, our attention span is so low that we’ve been one-upped on the scale by, wait for it… Goldfish. Seriously. At a grand total of 8 seconds, you’re not likely to hold someone’s attention for long, especially when they’re using the internet. What this means is you have far less time now to make an impact than you ever did.
People are constantly scrolling and will generally have a tendency to do two things. First, they will move past things that don’t catch their attention completely enough and second, they will forget they ever saw it, fast. So, if you want to make the best impression on potential clients, you need to find yourself a headshot that strikes them and remains in memory. And the same is true for recruiters. Recruiters are some of the most overworked individuals around. They literally have to read through thousands of applications and attend hundreds of interviews. So they don’t have that much time to get impressed by you.
Showcase exactly what you want to
The great thing about professional headshots is you can use them to show people exactly what you want them to see. Canon Australia proved exactly that in this fascinating 3-minute video. In it, they had 6 photographers come together and shoot a single portrait of the same person. But the twist was that each photographer was given a different background story. So, to one, he was a fisherman, to another a high ranking business executive and so on. At the end of the shoot, it was discovered that all the shots made the subject look exactly what he was said to do.
Simply, the photographs told the story he wanted and it was more than the look. He bled the essence of each role. What is even better about professional headshots is you can use them to show what people rarely see within the first few minutes or few days of meeting you. Nobody can really deduce commitment or dedication within seconds of meeting you. But with a great headshot, you can show them exactly that.
Help recruiters make a difficult decision easier
Recruiters, apart from being some of the most overworked folks around, also have one of the most difficult jobs. They have to consider applications from thousands of individuals that are often similarly qualified. Deciding who to call for an interview from amongst all those individuals is no mean feat and it can be difficult to tell exactly who they want from only words on paper. But you can make yourself stand out by adding a professional headshot to your resume (if that’s accepted around there) or by adding a nice little link to your LinkedIn profile that has a glorious headshot in full color. That’ll get their attention for sure.
Match your brand to your headshot
Your brand is about your business, or even your career if you’re a professional. A well-managed brand will sustain itself and speak for you in several rooms where you can’t get a word in. But a poor headshot can put paid to that very quickly. Remember that people conclude all sorts of things simply from seeing a picture of you or even spying you from the other side of the room. In the same way, they’ll conclude the same things about your business if your headshot does not match your reputation.
It’s very important that the image you’re portraying in your headshot is complementary to what you say your business can do. After all, there’s no better way to assess an organization’s competence and attention to detail than looking closely at its members.
Make your shot count
Now that you see exactly why you need a professional headshot, we expect that the next question on your mind is: How do I get one done? But the answer to that one is pretty easy. With a professional headshot photographer of course! Now, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t take a DIY headshot of yourself. You can always ask your friend with the iPhone XS to take a few snaps of you in your Sunday best. No harm there. But, while your friend can definitely take a few cool pictures of you, it’s also important to make sure that your headshot does exactly what you want it to. There are many things about the human that are lying just beneath the surface, waiting to be unearthed by one who knows how to. And just like artists, photographers are immensely skilled at finding exactly the right emotions and bringing them to the fore. The bottom line is: do you want a picture that looks cool or do you want one that strikes people and keeps you in mind long after? That’s the difference a professional photographer can make.
At Love in Media, we have literally made it our business to find the right headshots that make our clients stand out. We’d love to do that for you too. If you’d like to get a look around at what we can do, you can check out some of our work here. And if you’d like to begin a conversation on how we can help you look your best, you can also get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 720-722-4127. So there you have it, all you need to know about why professional headshots are an absolute necessity for you. If you have any reactions to this article, please get in amongst the comments. We’d be delighted to hear from you.