Yes, it’s sometimes like getting your teeth pulled and I completely understand. But having that great headshot that everyone sees on a daily basis on your business card, at the bottom of your email signature, and/or on your website or LinkedIn profile really does mean a lot.
Here are 3 major reasons and/or benefits to having an updated professionally taken headshot
#1) People hire and do business with the person, not the company half the time.
In the marketplace I see so many business headshots in the Seattle and Bellevue area that look outdated, look like they’re cut out from another image, or really don’t seem to relate properly to the type of business they’re in or representing. Basically, you need to show ‘you’ and not some other person that barely looks like you or has been retouched so heavily you could be a Beverly Hills celebrity!
What I recommend is updating your headshot at least every two to three years, depending on your hair style, work setting or perhaps you went from suit and tie to casual in your workplace or industry. At the end of the day your headshot needs to be your BEST foot forward.
#2) Would you trust your neighbor or a newbie in their field with your professional image?
Your friend, neighbor and/or relative that just bought or owns a fancy digital SLR camera is typically NOT a good resource to update your headshot in a quick fix. I receive inquiries that I follow up with and occasionally they share with me that their neighbor has a DSLR Canon Rebel and he took care of it for him or her. I then say in a nice tone, “Good luck, and I hope that works out for you.” This is the same as your friend or neighbor taking your ‘picture’ with his or her mobile device then emailing you, except their tools (camera) is just a little better.
What would you think if someone had $1,000, purchased a decent suit and saved $50 to get their new business card made and said they decided to be a laywer? Would you let them represent you in court and in public with minimal or no formal training or credentials? Take this scenario and apply this to photography sometime and it will give you a giggle.
#3) Today your online profiles mean more than ever (i.e. your ‘Digital Self’)
Facebook and LinkedIn are leading the way with where the public and employers are doing their online research about you. For example, one time I was sitting with a CEO of a tech firm in Kirkland or Bellevue and he was on his i-Pad looking at my LinkedIn profile for a few minutes while I was sharing answers to his questions. Not only did I need to make sure my info looked sharp and detailed, but my headshot needs to represent me well as my ‘digital self’. Same goes for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and the slew of other social sharing and connecting web platforms that you want to represent well.
Fun images are nice to post on Facebook, but if you have a business page or use Facebook primarily with people in a professional industry, consider using a nicely taken headshot with maybe a more casual feel perhaps.