Branding and headshots continue to reign as one of the big bug bears for entrepreneurs,
Can't I just be good at what I do'
Yes, you can but you need to be realistic, too. Most of us are viewed on a 10cm x 4cm screen and on that tiny screen you will either make an impact & be remembered and hired or not.
My previous blog was all about headhots and why we don't like them. But a bit like with the dentist, the more we can appreciate and value what they do for us the nicer the experience and better the result!
Headshots need balance, clairty and impact.
You may be wondering what qualifies me, an image consultant, on the subject of photography. It is because a headshot is not just a photograph relating to your brand it is an image and it is the shop window of your personal brand. The importance of branding including personal branding was imparted to me in my first degree by my inspiring marketing lecturer. Ahead of his time (yes, it was a few years ago!) he gave me a valuable insight on the importance of branding, of image and colour which has stayed with me ever since.
Finance Director Maria was happy in her (too) dark navy suit (even though it looks black*) & white top but against her hair colour and skin tone she would have faded in her branding shot and not looked like the vibrant, energetic director she truly is.
Here are my key points to creating a fantastic headshot. It needs to...
- Be professional.
- Engage visually - have an element of colour which visally attracts us
- Be simple - too many messages create confusion for our visual minds
- Be you - feeling natural and confident will shine through
- Be your brand - it has be a representation of what you do and how you do it.
A headshot should be a bright neon sign for your brand, not a faded lampost!
To further each point, here are my top tips:
- Wear one bright colour and keep the rest light or tonal.
- Look at your hair as a colour because it is but we just don't see it that way! Too many dark-haired professionals wear black or charcoal grey in their headshots - all you can then see is a white speck of face so the image is of a FLOATING HEAD!
- Keep your clothes simple or wear small pattern and avoid large jewellery, wear slight items that won't detract from your face - that is THE most important part of the picture
- Wear clothes that look professional for your profession! Search online for others in your profession - whiich headshots stand out? Think of your market - who are you trying to attract? It's not about just looking nice but having the image which says, 'I know what I am doing, I am an expert in my field and you can trust me'.
As always, please get in touch if you would like a styling session to maximise your photoshoot - either virtual or 121 - and I will take the pain out of the experience for you!! I can also offer (alongside professionals in photography and branding) a more bespoke branding experience. For more information contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have an awesome week! Be stylish, be you!
*Dark navy in the 'wrong' material i.e. a material which has no light reflection, will look just like black in an image. Unless black or dark navy are good colours for you I would highly recommend a bright marine navy or periwinkle blue which will create more colour on screen and also is more flattering for every skin tone than dark navy (black!).