Yesterday, I had a very nice lunch with a good friend, as usual the conversation ended up talking about photography. We drifted onto corporate and personal profile headshots after discussing street style portrait’s. He’s a really good photographer, an excellent artist and a really creative guy, though his full time job is as a software engineer.
After a few minutes chatting he threw in a bombshell!
He said, ‘do you remember the corporate and personal profile headshot you took did me not long ago? Well my company rejected it!’.
Wow, I wasn’t expecting that, it was like low blow, it hit hard and hurt!
Not only was I slightly embarrassed at my photo being rejected but I also felt as though I had let my friend down. Whilst I was still thinking on how best to reply I noticed a cheeky little glint in his eyes.
Then he hit me with, ’they said it was too good, it made all of the other photos look bad!’.
Phew what a relief, was my instant reaction. My ego had taken a bit of a dent, but now it had bounced back in its normal place.
Corporate And Personal Profile Headshots
However, this raises a dilemma about whether or not you should have corporate and personal profile headshots taken, in the sense, are they worth it? And why bother?
Is it simply because you want to present yourself in the best possible manner? Or is your reason vanity, are you pandering to your ego or wanting to ensure you look better than you think you do (you have some kind of Body Dysmorphic Disorder).
There are all sorts of reasons including the undue influence of social media channels like Instagram, YouTube and Tik Tok?
Types of Headshots
I work in the headshots arena, I mostly shoot actors’ headshots and they have very specific reasons and needs for their headshots. It has to help them get more work and they need to look natural and realistic.
I also shoot a lot of model headshots and their use is different in that they are trying to create various images of themselves and so they have more artistic licence to create commercially relevant images. And I deliberately say ‘images’ as they don’t necessarily have to look exactly like themselves.
But in the corporate and personal profile fields it’s worth looking at why you need a headshot and what is its primary function – is it to make you look attractive, to boost your ego, to send a message about who you are or, simply to help you impress viewers?
These are all valid reasons to want a professional headshot but understanding the ‘why’ will help you get the right headshot for you and your needs.
Every headshot sends a message about who you are and every person who looks at your headshot will form an opinion of you. Scientific research has shown us we form those instant and lasting impressions in less than 1/10 of a second.
First Impressions Count
You don’t have a lot of time to form the impression you want to.
It’s also critical you know and understand the ‘message’ you want your headshot to send. What you are wearing, your location, how you are posed, are you smiling or straight-faced? All of these and more go into forming an impression of you. They all contribute to the message your headshot is sending.
Understanding the various elements in your corporate headshot will help you recognise the message you are sending. In the article below I discuss what you are wearing and things like body language which directly relates to how you are posing. It’s definitely worth a read. How To Analyse Your Headshot – Part 4
There are many elements that go into a successful corporate and personal profile headshot, elements you wouldn’t normally consider but they can have a huge effect on the final outcome. Knowing the techniques and strategies to get the most out of your shoot will make the process more enjoyable and therefore more productive.
Choosing the right headshot photographer for you is also an important decision, we react better with some people better than others. It may be as simple as preferring a female photographer over a male one.
Here’s a quote from a recent client: Can thoroughly recommend Nick for headshots; totally delighted with the results. I’m not naturally comfortable in front of a camera and Nick managed to work around that and also taught me many techniques that I can leverage in the future!
There’s more to your corporate headshot or your profile headshot than first meets the eye but, it’s our eyes that make the first contact and through them we make our first impressions.
So back to the start of this post, is it right that my friend is not allowed to use a headshot that is better than everyone else’s? I don’t think so. But we have to take into consideration the company’s brand image, does my headshot coincide with that? Are they aware or even bothered about the possible connotations of the brand image, who knows?
However, could I see it as an opportunity to contact them and offer my services? You’re absolutely correct, I’ve already contacted them and I’m hoping to go in and photograph the whole team very soon.