Why You Need A Headshot
Whether you like it or not, today everyone has an online identity and often enough, our first contact with people is through these online identities. We all know the importance of first impressions, are you putting your best face forward online?
We have a lot of control over how we're perceived online. Unfortunately, most people don't put the same care and attention towards their online identity as they do to their real life appearance. Many professionals will invest their time, money, and energy to improve their career, but won't think twice about the outdated and blurry headshots that appear online when potential employers look them up.
A professional headshot is the most under-rated, yet extremely important personal and business marketing tool. It's a must-have for any serious professional. A great headshot creates a strong first impression, inspires trust, personalizes your business, and speaks volumes about the quality of your enterprise. Conversely, bad photos create negative brand perceptions and scare away new business.
This is why it's important to develop a well-groomed online presence. People hire individuals first, and companies second, so make those first impressions count!
Where to Use Your Headshot
- Your Personal or Business Website
- Professional Social Profiles (eg. Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook Business Page)
- Profile photo when guest blogging
- Media Press Kits
- TV/Film/Modelling Auditions
How Much Should You Pay?
Look to invest between $350 - $1200 for a professional headshot, however this could vary depending on how many different looks you need and the quality of photographer you're working with. Of course great lower cost options are available from less experienced shooters, but consistency and quality of work will vary greatly so proceed at your own risk.
For corporate headshots, most photographers will offer group rates for the entire company. This ideal for companies that are looking to have consistent photos of their team on their website. Availabilities should be considered as well, as the top shooters are typically booked weeks in advance. Some photographers only shoot in-studio, but others are available to travel to your location. Make sure you factor all this in when hiring someone, since these things can all affect how much you pay.
Most importantly, you should research and compare photographers based on their portfolio. Try to hire a photographer who's work has a look and feel that resonates with your brand and someone who has experience photographing people that look like you.
Tips for your headshot session
- Bring a hairbrush and hair ties
- Iron your clothes
- Collared shirts with neutral tones and simple patterns work best
- Bring a couple of shirt options
- Keep your makeup light and natural
- Throw on some music
Whether you're a CEO looking to refresh your professional photo, or a new graduate wanting to stand out during your job hunt, any professional can benefit from a great portrait. You are the face of your brand so it’s important to present yourself in a professional light.
Actor headshots are important to convey personality and to leave a memorable impression after an audition. Great lighting is absolutely critical! Make sure your expression and wardrobe are also in harmony . A great photographer knows how to put these elements together to capture the perfect headshot.
Seek for referrals from other actors or casting directors. Every actor has a "go-to-guy" and a headshot horror story, so take your time to look for someone with a great reputation and track record.
Your portfolio photos are very important if you're a model actively booking with an agency. Your photos are meant to showcase your unique features for commercial and runway modelling jobs and are thus your most important sales tools.
A strong portfolio will make it easier and faster for a booking agent to match you with casting directors and jobs. Make sure your portfolio includes a headshot and full length shots. Your photos should have some variety, aim for 5-8 different looks to showcase your versatility. This should include a top-notch headshot.
Here's what Miracle Kerr, Co-Owner & Agency Director at Miracle Management has to say,
"Headshots and Portfolios are a NECESSARY INVESTMENT. Don’t expect anyone in the industry to take you seriously if you do not have the proper headshot, let alone portfolio. This is a highly competitive industry, so don’t even think about contacting an agency if you’re not willing to take this seriously. The agency will be out here trying to get you work and auditions, and if you're unable to provide them with the tools they need to book you work, then you’re not ready.
Great headshots are NOT DONE FOR FREE, and your friend with a camera does not have the professional skills required to make you marketable to casting directors."
Get high quality photos for your portfolio to help you shine through and be memorable after every audition. This means great lighting and confident poses that capture your personality.
Don't forget to order comp cards that showcase your best photos and list your measurements. It's a helpful leave behind for casting directors and can even help you skip the audition and get booked directly.
Invest in a handful of great photos. It’s better to have fewer photos that are great than having a lot of bad photos.
Don't forget to practice your poses! Here's a great video to get you started:
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