Why Quality Headshots Are Essential for Building A Personal Brand

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What’s the key to landing a job or getting yourself noticed these days?

Work experience, your personality and vision matter. But there’s one element that people often forget: A high-quality headshot.

Professional headshots are a critical tool for creating and building a personal brand. A great headshot helps you stand out, it helps you build trust, and showcases what makes you unique. That makes headshot photography a powerful marketing tool for any professional, from a freelancer who wants to grow their business, to the professional looking to land the job.

If you’re considering headshots, you might be wondering: What makes a great personal brand headshot? And how can headshots be used to build a personal brand?

We’ve put together this guide to personal branding headshots to help. You’ll learn:

  • Key stylistic considerations for your headshots

  • What to wear in personal branding headshots

  • Where to use personal brand headshots

  • How to find the perfect branding headshot photographer

Bottom line, if you want to grow your personal brand today, you need strong, high-quality visuals. This guide will help you get the best results.

Headshot Styles: What to Consider

Headshots help you project a consistent image in the professional world. But how do you do that? It starts with the details. Companies obsess over the elements of their brands, the colors, logos, impressions that are created, etc. And as you create a personal brand, you’ll want to be just as obsessive.

Before you get started, here are a few things to consider:

  • The Image You Want to Project – Personal branding headshots tell your story. That’s why it’s important to know what image you want to project. Are you a laid-back creative professional? If so, it’s OK for you to wear more casual attire in your headshots. The same look wouldn’t work for an aspiring executive, though.

  • Brand Consistency – Once you’ve dialed in the image you want to create, make sure your headshots help you define that image. Your headshots (and all other elements of your personal brand) should encapsulate that vision.

  • Brand Colors – Color is one of the most important branding elements. In fact, color can improve brand recognition by up to 80 percent. In your headshots, you can use color to stand out. You might choose to incorporate color into the background or in your wardrobe. It can be incorporated in post-production too.

  • Originality – A bit of flair and originality will make your headshots more memorable. So how do you achieve this? Lighting, a unique pose, or a specific photography style can all help make your headshots more dynamic.

How to Take Great Personal Branding Headshots

When it comes to headshots, you have ultimate say over how you want to look. Yet, there are some conventions that can help you look your best. As you plan your headshots, be sure to consider:

Wardrobe

We’ve written about what to wear for business headshots before. But there are some key wardrobe choices that are specific to personal branding headshots. A few tips to follow include:

  • Stay On-Brand – Your clothing should reflect the image you want to project. Casual is OK for some professionals, but not all.

  • Love What You Wear – You should look great in what you’re wearing. Don’t choose something because you think it will photograph well; choose something that you feel great in.

  • Wear Bold, Solid Colors – Your wardrobe can help you incorporate color into your brand image. So choose bold, vibrant colors that stand out.

Background

Background options for headshots are endless. But some work especially well for personal branding headshots. They include:

  • White backgrounds – White is ideal for professionals that plan to use their headshots on websites, in e-books, on business cards, or social media. White is bright, clean and modern. It’s very versatile.

  • Color backgrounds – If a specific color is part of your professional brand, you might choose to use that color in your background.

  • Outdoor/Environmental – Environmental backgrounds help you define what’s unique and original about your brand. An environmental scientist, for example, might choose lush foliage as a background, while a creative might prefer a brick wall.

Poses

Your pose is another way to show your character, originality, or personality in your headshots. Fortunately, you don’t have to master modeling prior to your shoot. A great photographer will put you at ease, and direct you so you look your best.

But it can be helpful to have some ideas about what to expect. A few posing considerations include:

  • Relax – Relax your shoulders and ease into your headshots. If you appear tense, your headshots will too.

  • Focus on Posture – No matter your industry, posture is important. Good posture projects energy and enthusiasm.

  • Try Different Expressions – Try several expressions that are consistent with the brand you want to create. You might prefer more serious, or more smiley. Play around with your expression so you have options after the shoot.

Lighting Style

You can use lighting style to help you define your brand image too. Lighting can be used to create certain moods that will accentuate the image you’re projecting. A few styles to consider:

  • Rembrandt lighting – This style of lighting is named for the painter, who used this shadowy, moody light in his work. Rembrandt lighting creates moody, darker headshots that are perfect for creatives and tech professionals.

  • Bright lighting – An evenly lit white background creates a clean, modern look. This look is perfect for projecting energy, and it’s perfect for lifestyle entrepreneurs and influencers.

  • Natural lighting – Many outdoor photo shoots use natural light, that’s softer and less apparent than strobe lighting. Natural light works well for any industry, but it’s particularly great for science and arts professionals.

Using Headshots to Build Your Personal Brand

From creating memorable social media profiles, to making your business cards unique, headshots can help you build a more consistent, memorable and authentic brand. So how should you approach using headshots in your brand?

Choose one image you plan to use consistently across your entire online presence. This will help make your brand more memorable, trustworthy and recognizable. Then, once you’ve selected that image, you can start incorporating it online. Here are some ways to use your headshots:

  • Website – Adding headshots on an about or contact page helps add credibility. You might also use it on your homepage alongside a message to visitors.

  • Business Cards – A clean headshot on your business card will help people remember you.

  • Social Media – You can use your image across all of your social media profiles. LinkedIn is perfect for business professionals and entrepreneurs, while Facebook and Instagram are perfect for lifestyle entrepreneurs and creatives.

  • eBooks / Marketing Collateral – High-resolution headshots fit seamlessly into digital and print marketing collateral, including brochures, direct mail, eBooks, and online ads.

  • Email Signatures – A headshot makes an email signature instantly recognizable and more memorable.

  • Author Profiles – If you’re doing guest blogging, a professional headshot will make your work appear more credible.

Choosing a Photographer: Key Considerations

The right photographer will help you get the headshots you want. Fortunately, it can be fairly easy to research headshot photographers online. You can see their portfolios, testimonials, and online reviews to get an idea of what that photographer offers. As you explore headshot photographers, be sure to look for:

  1. Style – Browse photographer portfolios and find a photographer whose body of work matches the style you want to achieve.

  2. Experience – Choose a photographer who has worked with professionals in your industry.

  3. Professionalism – The photographer should be responsive to your needs, provide you a clear understanding of the process and requirements, and put you at ease. Bottom line, the customer service should be extraordinary.

  4. Process – Choose a photographer that provides a clear plan for the shoot and a timeline for deliverables. You should also get a good idea of pricing for your headshots.

On Point Headshots specializes in professional headshot photography. Need some new headshots for your personal brand? We can help. We provide studio headshots in Fort Lauderdale and offer location headshot and portrait photography throughout South Florida. Book a headshot photo shoot with On Point Headshots.