Today, April 12, 2018, is the 11th anniversary of my photography studio. My concentration on headshots and business portraits continues to expand as the solid core of my business. As such, I frequently read articles about the importance of headshots. While I’ve posted similar blog posts on this topic, there’s one topic I’ve not really addressed in these posts. Almost as important as “why should I get a headshot” are the questions of “what do I wear” and “how do I use my headshots”. I want to remedy this oversight today.
One of my favorite bloggers on subjects related to the importance of professional photography is Camille Wright Felton. She conducted an interview for LinkedIn a while back with Kristina Moore, who is the editor of the Corporate Fashionista blog. Below is the brief interview on what to wear and how to use your headshots that should help in making wardrobe and accessory choices when it’s time to book your headshot session.
Camille –There’s plenty of research showing that social media profiles with pictures get more attention than profiles without pictures. How important do you think what a woman wears is?
Kristina Moore: It is crucial. In a matter of seconds, your profile image provides an instant impression of who you are and what you’re all about without saying a word. What you wear can highlight whether or not your personal or professional style is modern or outdated. It’s to be expected that the observer may then wonder if the ideas and abilities you bring to the table are also modern or outdated. You’ve got an opportunity, so it’s important to make the most of it. What you specifically should wear depends on several factors, including whether or not you’re going for an up-close tight shot or a distance shot.
Camille — How much of a difference should there be, if any, between what someone wears on a day-to-day basis, and what she wears to have professional headshots taken?
Kristina Moore — There doesn’t have to be much of difference at all. Truly, it’s all about taking control of where you wish to direct viewers’ attention no matter if that’s in person or in a photograph. If your goal is to direct attention towards your face, then the shape of your neckline, the color or prints/patterns you select, even the jewelry you wear play a role.
Camille — How should you strike a balance between keeping focus on your face by minimizing jewelry and accessories, but maintaining your personal brand if you’re known for dangling earrings or colorful, quirky glasses?
Kristina Moore — The trick is to limit the number of focal points you’re asking viewers to pay attention to. I recommend three at most to create a visually balanced shot. This style strategy makes your trademark piece an asset rather than a distraction. For example, trademark eyeglasses + small, pronounced earrings + colorful blouse; dramatic earrings + trademark bold lip + open neck top; or trademark necklace(s) + graphic eye makeup + sleek hairstyle.
Camille — With all the different social media sites available, do you think it’s important to have a different look for different internet venues?
Kristina — I think a consistent look is key. Viewers, buyers, potential employers, and so on want to connect with you…a consistent look can help with this on virtual platforms. I recommend having the same profile image for each of the different social media channels your target audience visits.
Camille — I recommend to clients to bring two to three outfits to wear for photo sessions with me. If you were putting together a ‘what to wear’ list for a session, what would you include?
Kristina — It all depends on who they are and the purpose for the photo shoot. If it’s for a LinkedIn profile shot and the subject is looking for work or clients in a conservative field, then I would suggest they bring a fitted classic blazer with narrow lapels paired with a moderate scoop neck top in a personally flattering color or a fitted sheath dress with color-contrasting piping details. It’s all very personalized. The overall idea is to think about what you want to visually communicate to your audience and combine that with strategic style pieces that authentically express yourself and your mission.
These are all great tips. Most of my clients wind up posting their headshots on LinkedIn and/or Facebook. It is critical to make that great first impression. At STP Images, we help you create immediate, positive and lasting impact. STP Images can also come to your office and shoot 1 to 50 employees in a day. Take a look at a few of our recent headshot samples below and then call the studio to book your headshot session TODAY!