Ahhhh...Selfies. They're fun... they're spontaneous (or at least that's what you want people to think)... you don't have to have any friends in order to take one. It's kind of like having your own personal paparazzi with you all of the time. What's not to love?
Let us answer that one: so many things. If the lighting is bad (backlit, halo effect) you're face is difficult to see. Or the expression on your face is less than flattering (duck face anyone?) The background is ugly, cluttered or both. The camera angles are strange, making your face look flat or disproportionate. Or how about our favorite: arm visible in shot. We could go on and on but as we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words (see what we did there?), so let us show you why professionally photographed headshots or business portraits really do matter.
We'll use our friend Susan as an example of what to do and what not to do for your next corporate head shots.
As you can quickly notice, Susan's photos help us easily illustrate the four essential elements of a good corporate headshot.
1- Background. Never ever use a busy background for your office headshot. A headshot is about the person, not the environment. When there are ugly or busy or distracting backgrounds in a photo, that is what draws the viewers attention. Keep the background simple and subdued so the viewer notices you above all else.
2- You took the picture yourself (a.k.a. you selfied). No. No. No. No. No. If you want people to take you seriously for a job or as the proprietor of a business or service, never use a selfie for your corporate headshot. People want to see someone who looks successful and professional. Selfies give off a casual, half-in/half-out attitude... they are the headshot equivalent of saying "I don't care that much what you think of me." That might be fine in the your social life, but in the business world, people want to work with people who take themselves and their work seriously.
3- Nice clothing, make up, hair... Yes, that is 3 things, but they should all be looked at as one thing: appearance. If you want a good looking corporate headshot, take the time to dress nicely, style your hair, and apply a little make-up. On caveat: with appearance, a little goes a long way. You want to look like the best, most authentic versionv of yourself, not someone who is going to be walking the red carpet - unless you are someone who regularly walks the red carpet for your work, in which case, knock yourself out.
4- Use a professional photographer - especially when having business portraits or corporate head shots taken. I know you know someone who has a camera, but that doesn't mean they have the same knowledge and skill as professional photographer. Take the time and find someone that you can work with, someone that you feel confident with, and hire them. As you will see from the two images below (the GoodHuman portrait is the one on the left), it can really make a big difference.
Take the time and have your headshots done well. People will love your new look, and you never know what opportunities will follow.