Why you NEED a professional headshot

career development entrepreneurship personal branding women and work Oct 12, 2017

...and no, a selfie doesn’t count.

Your profile picture is often the first touchpoint customers, investors, potential partners, clients and recruiters have with you. It should communicate your personality and professionalism, so it's important it makes a good impression.

Here are a few places you should be using a professional headshot:

  • Your page on your company’s intranet
  • Your business’ website
  • Social media profiles - especially LinkedIn
  • Email profiles
“As you build your personal brand there will be even more opportunities to use your headshot.”

As you build your personal brand there will be even more opportunities to use your headshot. Say for example you get asked to speak at an event, guest blog or join a professional association or Board. You don’t want to scramble at the last minute to get a professional looking headshot to submit!

Expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $350 for a single headshot or a handful images. With that kind of money you want to make sure you are making the most of your investment.

I asked photographer and videographer Gillian Williamson from Studio Lumen to share some tips so that when you go in for the shot you get exactly what you want! Take a look at her tips below.


Hey everyone! Gillian here from Studio Lumen. I’ve taken plenty of headshots for professional women and I want to make sure you get a headshot you absolutely love. Here are my top tips for getting a great headshot.

1.     Clothing.  It’s tempting to purchase something new to wear for a shoot, but often that new item is not comfortable and it shows. Find something in your wardrobe that represents your style and brand, and that you feel comfortable and confident in. Bright colours are ok, but stay away from anything with strong patterns, a logo or a graphic on it as they are distracting.

2.    Picking a photographer. Look for a photographer who understands you are trying to show who you are as a person and can deliver that. It’s tempting to go for a cheaper price, but you may regret that when you look at the photos and they don’t feel genuine, or the proper care is not taken with posing, setting, and lighting. One great way to feel confident is to book a photographer that lets you view your photos before you even leave the event/studio. That way you can do some retakes and correct any problems you see on the spot.

3.    Hair and makeup.  It’s best to look (and feel) like yourself. If you don’t wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis, it’s best not to go overboard. You do however want to be camera ready, so taming loose hairs and removing shine is always advised. A good photographer will supply a hair and makeup artist for touch ups.

4.    Body language, especially what to do with your hands.  A lot of people don’t think about this, but knowing what to do with your hands will help your photo shoot. I like to think about how I stand when I’m chatting with someone in a professional setting. Where do my hands go? What posture do I take on when I am trying to get to know someone? Body language plays a huge part in how we portray ourselves. Think about the message you want to send.


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