What do a book cover and headshot have in common?
More than you would think. Do you remember as a kid your parents saying you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover? I’m sure we all do, it’s a life lesson in open-mindedness.
But what does it mean in practical terms?
Well, that we shouldn’t judge people based on first impressions, or even preconceptions – whether that be something as basic as a brand of trainers or bigger considerations such as gender or race.
Take a book… would you be more likely to pick it up if it had a sunny Caribbean beach on the cover, rather than a grey day in Grimsby? Either way, it’ll be a snap decision – gut if you like, based on first impressions. If we don’t like the book cover we don’t bother reading it, possibly missing out on a fantastic story. Incidentally it’s why publishers spend a huge amount of resources on designing the right cover. Using the correct font, the right colours and the best images to tell a story that will make us want to know more.
And that is exactly what a headshot must do, it must tell a story, send a message or invite the viewer to investigate further. But it must do so instantly because no matter how important, an impression is just that – an opinion formed in a moment.
Not least because we live in an age of information overload, so every moment we’re filtering out what we don’t find important. So your headshot will be judged in an instant: whether you’re using it for professional or personal branding; whether in a Linkedin profile or social platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Which is why it’s vital your headshot draws viewers in and invites them to know more.
How do you choose your headshot story – to decide on the message you want to send? Here are some pointers:
- What you are wearing
- How you are posing
- What is the setting
- Has your headshot been overly retouched
- What is your expression saying …
These are just five of a myriad of mini messages your headshot sends.That is if you are aware of them – and most people aren’t!
This is why finding the right headshot photographer for you is important. You should discuss your needs with them, listen to their advice and define the message you want to send. These are crucial stages in the headshot process.
Check around until you find the headshot photographer, who is both able to take the image and capture the story you want to tell.
And so, what do a book cover and headshot have in common? I guess a lot more then you though!
Want to know more about headshots? Check out this link here. How to analyse your headshot.