Does Your Headshot Look Like You?

Faye Kilgour
Faye Kilgour

Have you ever got talking with someone on Twitter or LinkedIn and from that arranged a meeting? You’re at the chosen location waiting to meet the polished looking business person that you’re sure you’ll recognise from their headshot and then someone vaguely familiar approaches you and claims they are the said person and you find they looked nothing like their photo? You aren’t the first!

It’s a shame that so many people believe that their headshot on their business card, social profile or corporate website has to conform to a specific image. A corporate makeover is not necessary for your headshot and dressing and appearing unlike yourself could actually hurt your image and your brand in the long run.

If your business involves meeting your clients on a regular basis you probably already adhere to a certain dress code that reflects and represents your business, your clients and even your employer. I would always recommend that you dress for your headshot like you would dress for an important client meeting. This is going to be your professional appearance and what your clients will expect. This means that anyone who meets with you who previously saw your headshot is going to have no trouble recognising you.

Sometimes it is necessary to alter your appearance slightly, or you may wear your hair differently that day or dress a little more professionally but it’s important to just look like a polished version of yourself. If you wear facial piercing on the weekends it’s probably a good idea to take them out for your headshot but it is unnecessary to dye your hair a different colour or stop wearing glasses. Do not do anything that is going to alter your appearance drastically; it is important that your headshot reflects your day-to-day appearance.

When having your photo taken, a good photographer will try to put you at ease so that you do look like yourself at your best. A warm photo with a confident smile is what your photographer will work towards, unless you have your own specific view of what you want from your headshot.  It may take time to come up with the right image but if you try to relax and let the photographer do their job, you should get great results.

This is why it’s important to hire a professional photographer with experience in headshots for business use. The results will be much better than simply using a homemade photo or an inexpensive department store portrait. Photographers shouldn’t try to alter your appearance drastically. Beyond being polished and professional looking, your headshot should personify your character in order to help you impress potential clients or employers.