You likely have an “About Me” or “About Our Company” or “About Us” page on your website. And you certainly have a thumbnail image that you use for your social media profiles (if you’re not using a logo or brand). Of course you have a photograph on all your social media sites, right? No.....then read on. It could be the reason you did not get a call for an interview or were turned down for a job you applied for. Occasionally you might be asked to be interviewed on a blog, or an article may be written referencing you. In each of these circumstances, you may want a photo of yourself displayed. In a physically disconnected world, where many of your networks and connections are made online, it’s more important than ever for people to sense your authenticity and your personality.
And you don't want a terribly lit or slightly inebriated photo of yourself taken at a friend’s wedding, or a snapshot of you on the beach during your vacation to Costa Rica to be the way you represent yourself and your business to the world. The worst thing you can do is have a photo of something other than your personal photograph. What may be even more detrimental is no photograph at all.
If it’s your personal Facebook profile and you regularly update it to show a recent snapshot of you at a speaking engagement or giving a presentation, that’s one thing and you can get away with something less formal. If it’s the only headshot of you on the website of your business, or your LinkedIn profile, that’s another thing entirely. This isn’t to say it needs to be stuffy, or nostalgic for Sears photo shoots circa 1981… you want it to reference your personality and that of your business.
For example, if you’re an investment banker, you’d likely meet your potential clients face-to-face in some level of business attire. Maybe not a suit, but something appropriate. If you’re a bee keeper, you’re likely wearing something appropriate for that work, etc… In each of these cases it’s not much of an investment of time or money to hire a photographer to take a professional-looking headshot of you in your environment.
Usually, a headshot session either takes place in the studio or in the field. Personally, I like shots that aren’t against a white or black background in the studio or that feel too contrived. I prefer images taken in an appropriate environment – maybe in your office, or maybe outside with a natural backdrop. A professional photographer can also provide at low or no cost, retouching services. A retouch should just make you look your best... not to make you look 10 years younger. Always remember that the photograph is being used to represent yourself as you are today. Most people do not like the way they photograph. If you select an experienced photographer, her or she will make you look great. So, throw that modesty out the window, find the right photographer for you, and be happy when you’re being represented in your best light online.