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Welcome to October Newsletter –
First Impressions Count
Like it or not people searching for you online make their minds up about who you are based on your profile. And the single most important factor in your profile is your headshot.
Studies run by associations and independents alike find that people make a decision on whether or not they like you within 100 milliseconds. One-tenth of a second is all it takes to assess your profile photo and decide whether to trust you and work with you. So the image on your website or social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, has a big influence on whether people want to connect with you or not.
Unfortunately most people end up using an old snapshot and look unprofessional. Worse still,some have no photo at all, stay anonymous and miss out on the benefits of building a strong online brand. Out of the 130 million people who have a professional profile on LinkedIn, fewer than 30% have a professional headshot.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing with you the most common mistakes people make when it comes to their online profile pictures. Today we start with the most obvious one:
Headshot Mistake #1 – Having no photo
Being anonymous in your online profiles is the single biggest blunder. We’re naturally suspicious of anonymity. We give scant credence to people who literally don’t show their face, making us feel less inclined to connect with them.
The message having no photo gives to others: ‘I can’t be bothered to invest the time into creating a credible and professional image for myself.’
Illuminating Brands – Miti Ampoma
Miti was an absolute joy to photograph and we had so much fun as she quickly relaxed into her session and took direction extremely well. I loved the look of amazement on her face when she first saw her images. What really helped the session go so well was the fact that Miti took time read my headshot guide and prepare herself beforehand. She brought in her “wardrobe” of colourful clothes and accessories as instructed and we picked out a selection which looked suited her best and really helped her “pop” out of the page. (View full post here)
Celebrity Spotlight – Will Carling
Will Carling was England’s youngest and the world’s most successful rugby captain, taking on the position at the age of 22 and steering the side to memorable back-to-back Grand Slam wins in 1991, 1992 and 1995 and to the World Cup Final, taking his retirement in 1996. He is currently one of ITV Sports Rugby presenters.
This shot was taken at a typical press interview in a hotel foyer in London and I used a single light for speed and simplicity. In doing so I was able to underexpose the background so it didn’t distract. I remember Will was very co-operative although as a usual on these types of jobs time was very limited. I think on this occasion I had around 4 mins…
Is your image working for you?
Very often the first picture people see of you is the profile photo on your website, blog or social networking profile. So it’s vital it makes the right first impression. Below is a brief checklist (see the full list on our website here):
- Is it in focus?
- Is the light flattering?
- Is the composition pleasing?
- Is the background distracting?
- Is it up to date?
- Can you clearly see the face?
- Is it personable?
If the answer to any of these is “no” then perhaps you need to speak to a professional headshot photographer…
Uses for your Headshot – Website Banners
One of the ways to make your website stand out is to add your photo to your website banner. This really helps personalise your website and shows you as the professional that you are
Obviously you need to use a great image which captures you at your best, showing oodles of confidence and approachability, otherwise it might have the opposite effect and drive traffic away…
The photo you select should be fairly wide so your shoulders aren’t cut off either side. This will allow you to position the photo to best effect with the rest of the page. You should also think about colours so the clothing you wear doesn’t clash with the colour of your brand.
Headshot Tip #1 – Pick a photographer whose work you love
Find a photographer, look at their work and decide what you like. Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. You have to like their work, feel that you match personality-wise and believe that you can work with them.
Studio Headshot Days…
I am taking headshots bookings in the Bracknell studio on the 6th, 7th & 8th November and my Central London studio on the 12th, 13th, 14th & 15th November. Book a no-obligation consultation today by calling 01344 489704 or clicking the ‘Book Now’ button here >
I hope you found this useful and valuable. If you have any questions for me please send via email or using the Twitter hashtag #asktheheadshotguy and I will include the answers in the next newsletter.
Thank you for reading the October newsletter – feel free to sign up for many more..