Why Get A Professional Headshot?

As we become more reliant on social media to network and promote ourselves professionally, a headshot is becoming more important.

Why get a professional headshot?  I have a few reasons for you to consider.

If you are applying for a new job, making a career change or trying to represent an organization, then you should probably look the part!   Let’s face it, when I walk in wearing a Harley t-shirt and jeans, more than likely I’m conveying a different message than if I walked in with a suit on. 

Your headshot is no different – it conveys your professionalism 
(by the way, that doesn't mean us Harley riders can't be professional...)

Research also shows that your future employer has already checked you out online before even contacting you.

Investing in a professional photo conveys that you are taking care of yourself and your career.  If you don’t care about your appearance, it could be perceived that you aren’t willing to take care of others, like future clients or employees.

A hi-resolution picture that is professionally lit will more than likely convey a positive first impression and make potential recruiters or employers notice you ahead of many, who rely on the quick cellphone selfie or snapshot that their friend/spouse took against the white hallway or in the back yard.

Should I get an indoor or outdoor headshot?

This is a personal choice and is tied to what type of look you are going for.  Corporate headshots tend to be indoors with suits and simple backdrops, whereas business casual or other lifestyle headshots can be shot outdoors or with less formal backdrops.

Rest assured, a professional headshot taken inside a studio is just as effective as one taken outdoor, as long as you are wearing the attire that conveys your branding message (and the outdoor weather is cooperating.)

For indoor headshots, your photographer can control the elements better, especially if you live on the East Coast during the winter months.  They have the ability to re-create an outdoor look, or if your headshot requires something unique like the American flag, it makes sense to be indoors.  If you are shy, indoor headshots are typically private and it’s easier to make multiple outfit changes, assuming there is room in the studio to accommodate.

Outdoor headshots, can be a little challenging if the weather isn't cooperating and changing outfits can be difficult if you don’t have a public restroom or facility to use. But with the right background, outdoor headshots can offer more dynamic poses to choose from. My favorite place to shoot outdoors is in Old Town Alexandria, VA where I can walk and shoot for several blocks and get a different look and feel.

What should I wear to my headshot session?

First decide what kind of message are you trying to convey.

-As a general rule avoid busy patterns/prints and large stripes – solid colors work best.
-Avoid turtlenecks or busy necklines
-Clothes should be pressed and free of excessive wrinkles
-Wear something comfortable that fits well
-Bring several outfits to provide the photographer variation (some will charge extra so be sure to ask)
-Sleeveless attire/dresses may draw attention to areas you didn’t intend

Do you need an updated headshot? Contact me today to schedule one!  Want to see more of my portrait portfolio?

Laura Hatcher is a retired Naval Officer, Mother, Harley Rider and Published Professional Photographer located in Northern Virginia.

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