You probably cringed at just reading that word, I know I did. It evokes images of overly stuffy people, wearing the traditional tailored black suit jacket, a forced smile, blank eyes, trying to look generic. All of this is done in order to appeal to a mass target audience made up of recruiters, employers, potential business partners, etc. There is absolutely nothing fun or exciting about planning for a headshot, however, it’s a necessary part of today’s society. It’s how we introduce ourselves to our professional network. You take one picture to share with your professional network and hope it lasts a few years, with fingers crossed that you age gracefully.

Selfies on the other hand are fun to take and share. We love taking them to express our current mood, feelings or to let the world know our life is fabulous. We will make countless attempts to find the ideal angle, the optimal lighting and the perfect facial expression. We even spend time editing to make sure the best filter is applied; background clutter is filtered out and beyond. We take countless selfies a year to share with our personal network.

The question I have for you, what if we treated headshots with the same care and attention as we do for our selfies? The goals of both are similar; we are sharing a version of ourselves with the world in hopes of achieving something (likes on our social media accounts or perhaps to catch the eye of a future professional contact). To treat your headshot like a selfie, choose a talented professional photographer (no…your best friend with the latest iPhone doesn’t count).

Select a professional photographer that will make you laugh and capture your authentic self. A smile behind the eyes will translate well on film and to your target audience, whomever that may be.

Wear an outfit that you are comfortable with. Bring that traditional black suit jacket but bring another outfit where you feel like yourself. Chose an outfit that makes you feel confident in who you are as a professional.

Let the photographer do the work. He or she will get the best angle, the perfect lighting and genuine facial expression. The photograph may angle your face or body the way they know is best suited for you and he or she will professionally edit within reason to ensure it’s the best representation of who you are.

If you’re in need of a new headshot or your company needs updated photos for executive leadership and/or other employees, please contact 3 to 5 Creative for more details here.

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