When you run your own business there is often the need to have images of yourself available for marketing purposes. You might need to include your photo on social posts including your Facebook page and you should definitely include one on the Home and About pages of your website – use this opportunity to show off your personality. The expression on your face says a lot about you and can help break down barriers to new and potential clients visiting your website for the first time. First impressions count for a lot so you would be wise to consider how you come across in the “window” to your business .
Be professional – use a professional
The time and money that you invest into getting professional photos for your business will more than pay off. This is not a time to ask a friend to take a few snaps on a smartphone then keeping your fingers crossed hoping you’ll look OK. In addition to getting the right lighting there are so many other things that a professional photographer has to set up and consider in order to get those amazing images. Have an initial chat with a couple of different photographers before committing in order to gauge if they are right for you. They should give you advice and tips on what to expect on the day. Equally you should make it clear as the client what you are trying to achieve for your marketing needs. Make a list of the types of poses you would like and show a few examples of poses on other websites that you would like to emulate.
A stylist will bring out the best in you
Although many photographers are trained in what looks right for the head-shot, it isn’t their job to style you and they would often advise that you get professional image advice from a stylist to help you find the colours and styles of clothes that enhance your body shape, features and natural colouring. Think how much more confident you will feel knowing you have taken the time to get proper advice and put the thought into your clothing choices. Click HERE to find out more about how I can help you.
The right clothes to frame your face
What you wear for your photoshoot is just as important to the overall image as your facial expression. Don’t go overboard dressing as though you’re going for a night out if you’re promoting your business – think of your target audience. Your clothing should enhance you and frame your face to keep the focus on you. Keep necklines simple and think carefully about colour and fabric against your skin. Fabrics with shine (like satin) can be a problem through the camera lens even though under normal conditions they would be flattering.
Get a varied range of images
Getting a good number of professional headshots together with some “working pose” photographs can really help you keep that personable approach throughout the whole of your marketing. Make a list of the different types of headshots you require – a side view of you working at your desk or computer, a straight on headshot and maybe a standing pose. Multiply that by the same/similar pose in different outfits or a change of accessories and you will have quite a few variations. By having those initial discussions with your photographer you will soon have a plan to work within your budget.
When planning to get a large number of varied images from one photography session you might want to consider keeping clothing and hair as “timeless” as possible so that you can use the images over a longer time frame. With that in mind, think non-seasonal and allow enough outfits/accessories to provide some variation within the session time. Three outfits would provide a good basis for quite a lot of variety and interest across your different website and marketing needs.
Your hidden smile
In today’s world of constant photographs it seems the joy has gone as we get older and we become too serious or self-conscious to smile at the camera. During personal styling sessions I often take a couple of photos of the client in each outfit and these will include one serious shot followed by another with a smile. When we go through the images looking at how shape, colours and necklines work, my clients invariably agree that wearing a smile is the best accessory you can add. Just practice your smile before the photoshoot and I’m sure you will see the difference it makes to how warm, open and approachable you look.
Wearing colours that suit you
Knowing what colours suit you is another major factor. Many people wear a colour because they like it but they don’t always consider if it actually suits them. Colours that suit you in summer when your skin has a tan don’t always flatter paler skin at other times of year. To really help you get a feel for what will work for your image, try to work with a stylist testing out different colours and necklines whilst narrowing down what you will wear on the day. If you have brand colours which you want to wear, think about whether those colours are something that look good against your skin or should you keep them for the logo. If you feel strongly about including them, maybe include just an element of the colour(s) using a simple accessory like in a scarf, brooch or earrings or even use as a colour in the background. Remember this is about what enhances your face in addition to what you feel comfortable with.
Black and white v colour photos
Whilst thinking about colour, there are also considerations as to whether you will be using colour or black and white images. Discuss with your photographer if they will make both options available so that you can make decisions later as this will ultimately give you more flexibility. Black and white may look out of place on a website that has mainly bold primary colour branding, however within the context of different pages there may be opportunities to include an image without colour. Similarly, when setting a serious tone on a social post, you may choose to use a black and white image.
Hair and make-up
Hair and make-up should be simple, natural and not over-done. Take your time the morning of the shoot to apply and then update it when necessary during the shoot. Keep a hand mirror close by so that you don’t have to rely on the photographer spotting when something needs some attention. To avoid shine, pack some translucent powder that may need to be applied regularly throughout the shoot due to the warmth of the lights. If its your signature look to wear bright red lipstick, then apply with care remembering those bleeding edges, otherwise keep make-up natural but well done to ensure your natural assets stand out on their own. Make up should help the viewer focus on the eyes and the mouth, which are the essence of the headshot.
Style your hair
Having your hair washed and blow-dried by your hairdresser a day before the shoot will make it look and feel great on the day. Make sure you get your appointment booked in. Again, it is so important that you feel like YOU in the photos so this isn’t the time to experiment – keep it the way you would usually have it styled. If you’re used to wearing your hair in a variety of ways and can manage this yourself, then take along a few of the hair accessories you would usually use and style it to add more range to the shots. You may need to take along your straighteners or tongs to freshen the look during the shoot. Discuss all of these options with your photographer in advance to ensure they know your intentions and to allow enough time.
If you usually wear glasses you will probably want to wear them for the shoot so that you look like yourself. As reflection causes problems for photographers it might be worth asking your optician if you could borrow a pair of blank frames or get them to remove the lenses from a spare pair that you know suits you. If you don’t always wear your glasses you could have some shots with and without for more variation.
The day of the shoot
Its the photographer’s job to make you feel comfortable and relaxed so that this is reflected in the final images. Your photographer might go through a few facial exercises that help you have a relaxed expression then you’re less likely to develop a nervous twitch. You might laugh, but gurning can really help. Go into the bathroom and get those face muscles moving. A good photographer will spend time chatting with you during the warm up shots and you will feel more at ease and be able to relax into being yourself enough to even try a few natural smiles. Remember, they are professionals and they are looking to capture you at your best so even if you think that you’re not photogenic, a professional will capture your best features. The most important thing is to try to enjoy the experience and that way you will get some really good images that will pretty much guarantee help with your business profile.
Plan and prepare
Even if you have an agreed price, it does make sense to have everything well planned and organised so that you really get the most of your time with the photographer. When you turn up for your shoot, ideally you will be prepared with your clothing and accessories together with all those little items you wished you had with you.
You might find this list a helpful reminder of what to pack for the day:
- Hair accessories, brush and styling tools
- Make-up bag including translucent powder
- Hand mirror
- 2-3 outfits including an extra top for back-up
- 1-2 pairs of shoes that work with your outfits
- Glasses with and without lenses
- Nail file and hand cream if hands are to be in shot
- A big smile!!