Why do professionals need a set of headshots?


People are already looking you and your business up on the web: Today’s business and personal world, is surrounded by visuals like never before. Our social media profiles are filled with photographs and videos of our lives. This is an age of social media; LinkedIn, websites, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, photos of ourselves are everywhere. It is easier now, to search people and brands before we ever interact with them. This makes first impressions even more important. Your online image becomes the first interaction with your business and brand. If quality visuals are key elements to our personal lives and corporate businesses, then it should also be essential in our professional life. Below, we discuss 4 ways a professional headshot can be advantageous to your career and elevate you on the launchpad to success.

Your Introduction: In this era, we have this digital identity. It’s like your calling card. Business cards are out, headshots are in. It puts a face with a name. Companies and personal brands are starting to get that. Anybody that is entrepreneurial needs a headshot.

Branding: What does aligning with your brand mean? Whether we’re talking about your personal or professional brand, your professional headshot should be representative of the visual style and persona you want to reflect. For example, if you work for a professional services firm who maintains business professional attire, your attire and head shot location should match that. Whether your head shot location is in-studio or on-location, it’s important to keep the background selection in mind. It’s smart to avoid any backgrounds that are similar to flesh tones, meaning any colours that are too similar to your skin tone. These colours can wash out the photo and provide a poor visual representation. If you work with an experienced photographer, they will be able to help talk you through the style you want to portray, but also provide insight on appropriate locations, lighting and other visual aesthetics.


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Your headshot tells a story: But first, the basics: What do you want to tell about yourself to your target audience? Your look, your brand, your type, your age range, your possible occupations, your professionalism, your socioeconomic background, your personality traits, your inner emotional life… serious, happy and relaxed, friendly and approachable? Headshots are the perfect opportunity to tell your story, allowing your personality and expertise to shine through. They are a business tool to show you in your best light, and to communicate a little more about who you are. A strong portrait will convey more than just appearance.

Shows You Are Serious about Your Career: I see websites all the time with headshots that have been cropped from family photos or a night out with friends. Even selfies, or an image taken by a friend on a phone comes off looking incredibly sloppy and “half-done.” In short, sloppy is not what you want to sell as a first impression of you.

What makes a good headshot?

Before your headshot session, you need to know what you want to get out of it. What will you be using your headshots for? What hairstyle does it require? What background is needed?

Look like you. Ultimately, your headshot needs to capture, convey elements of your personality and your brand and an accurate sense of who you are as a professional. For actors and actresses your headshot captures the ‘essence’ of the person in the image and the characters you might play. But still your headshot needs to look like you on a good day, yes, also exactly how you will look when you walk into a meeting or an audition room.

Stand out. For an actor or actress, agents, casting directors, producers, directors look through hundreds of actor’s headshots every single day. It is paramount that your headshot holds its own in a crowd of thousands. It should be an engaging, authentic, natural-looking image.


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What should I wear to my headshot photo shoot?

No matter the profession, what you wear is at the centrepiece of your image. Simplicity is key. The focus in your headshot should be squarely on you, not your clothes.

Malaika Prints recommends actors to wear simple, non-distracting clothing for their headshot photo shoots. Avoid white (which can wash you out) and black (which can give the illusion of absorbing light from the rest of the photo), graphic logo t-shirts or any brand names that can be distracting.

Busy patterns and large, distracting jewellery are a no-go. Bright jewel tones are best: red, blue, green, yellow—any solid, primary colour. You know what looks best on you: Pick colours that bring out your eyes and complement your skin tone.

How often should I get a new headshot taken?

As a general rule, you need to stay recognisable. Revaluate your headshots if they are either benefiting—or damaging—your career on a regular basis. So anytime you change your look, you need to book in for some updated headshots. If you have a new hairstyle, dyed it a different colour, gained or lost a significant amount of weight, you should also get new headshots. Every 1-2 years is pretty standard to refresh headshots if your appearance hasn’t changed in any major way. It keeps you recognisable, trustworthy, and shows your professionalism.

Get started with a great headshot:

Headshots are your No. 1 marketing tools. Don’t jump into them blindly. Get out there and do the work, know what you want, and find the Right Photographer to make sure that the end results are headshots that work!

Read about our sessions, view our packages, and book a headshot session that will suit you!

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