9 Tips For A Professional Headshot

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By Steve BruceRegular readers of my Linkedin Articles and those who have attended my ‘Linkedin for Business’ series of workshops will know that I am a huge fan of making sure you have an up to date, professionally taken profile shot. I maintain that as you are the kind of person who wants to be seen as a key person of influence & industry influencer, you are already the kind of person who needs a headshot because you are expecting to be invited to speak at conferences, interviewed by the media & be featured on other blogs.

This is a giant topic and I have written about it on Linkedin before.

In this article, we have some more useful tips for you.

My last headshot was done by Duncan Longden.

He is a well-known Taiwan-based commercial, fashion and editorial photographer. His clients include Harpers Bazaar, ASUS and National Geographic magazine, so he’s pretty good! There was no particular reason to change my headshot, as I am still very happy with Duncan’s work, but I decided to anyway; change is good right?

This time I decided to work with Hong Kong-based event, corporate, portrait, sport & commercial Photographer, Christiaan Hart from Christiaan Hart Photography.

He’s worked on shoots for Barack Obama, Alibaba Founder Jack Ma and Chinese President Xi Jinping to name a few, so I was confident he could make me look good.

We took 3 different shots that can be used for different business situations.

With something as important as my professional headshot, I do not want to leave anything to chance so I always use www.photofeeler.com to test my profile shots for my LinkedIn and other social media profile shots.

You upload your headshots to their website and you can either review others profile shots based on four different criteria to earn credits, or you just pay. I was short on time and had 3 headshots to test, so I paid. Prices start at US$9, so it’s not much to pay and it completely eliminates the guesswork from the whole process as the people who review your photos don’t know you and have no bias about you personally, so this ensures you get completely honest opinions.

So here are the results and I’m delighted with them!

I’m happy to say that each headshot I’ve had done over the past few years is getting better and better reviews, so I may be getting a little bit better at this over time.

Christiaan offered me 9 winning tips to make sure he was able to capture the most professional-looking headshot:

  1.   Always make sure you stand up, if possible;
  2.   If you must sit down, sit on the edge of your chair as this will ensure you are sitting upright with a good posture;
  3.   Your shoulders should be at a slight angle. Your photographer will help you with this;
  4.   If you are standing, make sure you are standing comfortably, with your feet shoulder width apart with your weight on the front foot as this will assist with ‘leaning in’ towards your photographer. This makes you look your best;
  5.   Whether you sit or stand keep, your head & forehead facing forward, with your chin up slightly;
  6.   Look directly at the camera as if you were looking into the photographer’s eyes. This will make you look authentic, engaging and friendly;
  7.  Make sure you take into consideration the weather. In Hong Kong where I live, it is very hot & humid in the summer with temperatures 30c+ & humidity sometimes as high as 99%! Turning up to your photo shoot all sweaty with frizzy hair will not produce the professional image we are looking for. Bring a change of clothes if necessary;
  8.  Make sure that you arrive early. This will make sure you have plenty of time to drink some water and cool down, so you are not all red-faced and flustered;
  9.  If you really want to go all out, you can ask your photographer to help arrange a makeup artist. This will help soften your skin and get rid of any unwanted blemishes, though we can do that with some gentle retouching afterwards..

So, there you have it, 9 winning tips to make sure you get the best possible headshot.

I followed the data and picked headshot number 3, which tested the best. Which one do you like?

Please send me your comments and don’t forget to share this article with any of your contacts who might find this info useful. You could be saving them from making an expensive mistake.

About The Author Steve Bruce is a Hong Kong-based LinkedIn Coach, Trainer & Marketing Consultant who runs SB Consulting. www.sbconsulting.com    stevebruce@sbconsulting.com.hk T:+852 9170 5575

 

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