As I’ve written about before, your personal brand is who you are and what you want to be known for, whether it be in the business world, acting field or the manner in which one goes about looking for a new job. Actors have known this for some time now. In today’s social media/networking driven world, you absolutely must spend some time thinking about what you want your image to say about you. Why wouldn’t you? Your photo will be all over the Internet, possibly on business cards, web-promotion or other marketing materials. The days when only real estate agents had headshots for use in newspapers or marketing materials are long gone. Whether you are firmly ensconced in a great job or looking for one, the web is now your resume.
Let’s face it, what your company makes or sells or offers may be what initially spurs a customer to call, but it is you and the people in your business that establishes the connections and relationships that eventually get them to stay. I hate to bring them up again because most need updated professional headshots, but real estate agents have known this for some time now. Look almost anywhere and you will see a real estate ad with the agent(s) headshot front and center. Why? Real estate agents know that ultimately it isn’t the real estate company the client is doing business with…it is the agent, the person, that the client wants to do business with and has a connection to. Regardless of whether or not they have changed agencies in the interim, it is the agent themselves that the client keeps coming back to when buying or selling their next house.
In today’s connected world professional portraits are everywhere. Spend 15 minutes on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter or Facebook and the very first thing you will look at on a personal page is the profile picture. When you research an attorney or financial advisor online, after reviewing their qualifications, it is only natural to look at their bio and put a face to a name. The same could be said for any professional. It is all about making that connection.
Having the right headshot says a lot about who you are and how you see yourself. Using the wrong kind of image could send the entirely wrong message to your potential clients. Although it may not necessarily be true, the wrong headshot or profile image could say that you don’t take yourself seriously or perhaps are not very professional. As petty or irrational as it may seem visual impressions are often powerful and long lasting. Think Apple. How it looks. How it feels. Yes, it performs magnificently but you only know this after you have fallen in love with the product aesthetic. It’s inspiring. It’s clean, sleek, bright and simple. Your headshot, done professionally, does the exact same thing. It should project your unique aesthetic or essence.
It’s interesting that before my photography became focused on creating the absolute best headshots for my clients, I always had the saying in my bio that my work was “an effort to capture real and honest images of people.” From the moment I starting using my camera that is what I’ve always tried to do with my work. This is exactly what you want from your headshot or profile picture…a real and honest image without a single glimmer of doubt in your expression that captures you for who you are. I was recently told by a client, “I was scared to death before I came to see you but you truly put me at ease, made the whole experience a blast and most importantly, caught me for who I am.” Boom! That’s it. Nothing else. I couldn’t have been happier for that client. Forget about the equipment, the makeup or lights, as any professional headshot photographer knows it all boils down to this…we want to capture a moment in time, an expression, a glimmer in your eye, or the hint of a smile where you show the world what you have to offer and why there is only one of you.
As Will Rodgers said, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” Make your first impression count!
If you are in the St. Louis area, check out my headshot work at randallkahn.com, stlheadshots.com or PH2PRO and then email or give me a ring. Go ahead, do it. It will be the best few hours you spend all week. I promise!
St. Louis Headshot Photographer