“I’d rather go to the dentist than get my headshot done.” I have heard this time and time again and I get it – getting photographed isn’t the most pleasant experience for a lot of people. However, just like how you have to deal with going to the dentist every year, you also have to suck it up and update your headshot. Except for only this time, you have my five secret tips to help ensure that you, not only, get a headshot you will love but also a pleasant experience.
You want me to what for a headshot??? Yes, you heard me right! It’s important to ask yourself a couple of questions to help you navigate through this journey – it’s quite spiritual.
But first, let’s talk about the real value of a headshot. You see, headshots are a lot more important than you think. It’s our digital face that represents us as professionals online where any of the 7 billion people on Earth can see. That’s 7 billion people building a first impression off of your headshot. Now the question is… how much is a great first impression worth to you? If it helps land you a client as a realtor, $5000 and up. If it helps you land a job, it could even be worth a $50,000 and up.
So now that we agree on how valuable a headshot is – here are some questions you should answer.
These are all GREAT talking points to share with your photographer so they have a better understanding of what you’re looking for. Keep your answers handy!
So let’s say you already happened to book a photographer and your photographer didn’t give you any education on how to prepare or what to prepare. Outfits will probably be the first thing on your mind so how do you pick the right outfit for your headshot? My simple rules for outfits are: form-fitting, solid colors, and little-to-no accessories.
I always include makeup and hair artistry for my headshot clients, both female and male, because that’s how important it is. Photos are 2-dimensional and not having any makeup will leave you appearing dull and flat. Even the most basic of makeup for your headshot is going to make sure your best features are highlighted and working in your favor. Additionally, makeup for camera is different than makeup for everyday wear so if your photographer offers a makeup artist – please take it! And for my dudes – yes, it’ll make you look good. Any guy you see on TV, whether it be Jimmy Fallon or a news anchor, is 100% wearing makeup. Just look at this male news anchor who went viral sharing his makeup process.
I found this great visual comparison of no makeup, makeup done by you, and makeup done by a professional on an article written by Organicheadshots called “Whats the difference between my makeup and pro makeup.”
“Alright, squint as if you’re sitting way back in a classroom trying to read what’s on the whiteboard but give me just 5% of that” is what I tell my clients and I call it the 5% squint. This technique is originally from Peter Hurley, a renowned headshot photographer in New York, who coined it as “squinching.” Technically speaking, it’s when you raise just your bottom eyelid just ever so slightly as seen in the images below. The idea is around creating and displaying confidence through the eyes. Tyra Banks also is a big advocate of creating personality through her eyes which she calls it “the smize.” Give this a practice in the mirror and give it a shot at your next headshot photoshoo!(hyperlink: Peter Hurley)
Invest in a great photographer and you don’t have to do any of the above-mentioned things yourself. Can you imagine not mastering the “5% squint” and the photographer just taking a photo of you looking angry instead? A great photographer would guide you and not just let you do your own thing.
So what separates a good photographer from a great photographer? A good photographer will know how to take a good picture of you. They will have an easy online scheduler to set your own time to come in for a 30-minute shoot. However, a great photographer will talk with you before the session to learn about you and help you prepare for the session. They’ll have a makeup artist ready for you and help you pose that flatters your body. No one has time to learn how to be a makeup artist or professional model overnight. And most importantly, a great photographer will make sure you have a great experience coming in and going out with a spectacular headshot.
Where can I find great photographers? Here is a nationwide headshot company setup by before-mentioned Peter Hurley. Type in your city to see if there are any associates in your area!
How much does it cost? Great headshots range from $400~$1200. Spend the money – it’s a worthy investment.
How much does it cost to get headshots done by David Suh? My headshot sessions start at $750 but there’s a way you can take advantage and get it for ONLY $350. Every month I dedicate one day to run a Headshot Marathon where I open up 5 one-hour back-to-back spots. If you’re interested in one of the 3 spots left for September 27th – click HERE!
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