David Cordner Photography

The anatomy of a great headshot

8th April 2019
Landscape Multiple headshot picture composite made made up of both men and women

The process of having a great headshot needn’t be difficult or complex.

It can be as simple as doing a selfie on your phone, and in the odd case they can look great. But if you really want to stand apart and tell the world that you’re to be taken seriously, then a better approach is for you to invest a little time and money in your future. Even a simple headshot can say so much about you, are you a leader, an entrepreneur, creative, team player or is it saying loose cannon, party animal etc.? What does your current headshot say about you?

How many times have you looked through LinkedIn and seen profile pictures from weddings, parties, nights out, maybe the pictures too dark to even see the person. Like it or not we make our minds up about someone in as little as 100 milliseconds, that’s less time than it takes to blink! The upside to that is you can have a greater impact than those around you by simply having a great headshot.

What should a great social media headshot consist of? Well because they’re generally used quite small it’s all about you. Your expression, is it a reflection of you? A plain simple background, you don’t want any distractions lurking in the back. Lighting, this is a biggie, lighting will help convey what it is you’re trying to say. It can add strength, warmth, friendliness. Clothing, do you work in a corporate environment? Are you creative? Do you like fashion? It all helps to tell a story about you. Although social media headshots are closeup, clothing still has it’s part to play. At the very least, if you feel good in something then your more likely to relax.

The photography part should be fun, yes initially it can be daunting, but the skill of a good photographer is more than understanding his lighting setups, camera setting, this should all be second nature. The real skill for a people photographer is… well… great people skills and making the camera disappear.

As I said, your shoot should be an enjoyable experience, it’s really not like going to the dentist and having a root canal treatment. With a little help and advice from your photographer, a little preparation on your part, you should end up with great headshots.

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