Headshots have long been important for actors, distributed to promote themselves to casting directors, and usually taken by professional photographers. They started out as black and white 10” x 8” images showing the actor or actress without makeup and their statistics and resume printed on the back. They show the casting director how the actor really looks and gives them an idea of their character so that they can narrow down their choices for auditions.
Models use headshots on their compliments cards and are more like beauty shots, designed to be flattering or artistic. A close up headshot is often required to show a model’s skin complexion for beauty work.
Until recently, business headshots were limited to very formal images of company executives for company reports, smartly dressed and trying to strike imposing poses in the boardroom. They were used to put forward a professional image of the people actually running the business, so that investors could put a face to the name. These days, many companies are moving towards images that are more relaxed and not so “stuffy”.
What do these different types of headshots have in common? The link is that the photographs give people you’ve never met an idea of who you are, and that’s vitally important for business people in today’s environment, where so much commerce is done with people we’ve never even met. It’s said that first impressions count, and it’s very true …… if you go for a job interview or an initial meeting with a client you’ll make sure that you’re smartly dressed and create the best possible impression. You also need to make that impression when you have an eBusiness, because people buy from people, and having a good photograph on your website makes your business more personal. Just as important, people will be able to relate to you better if they know what you look like. How many times have you spoken to people on the phone and formed this mental image of what they look like, and then been totally caught out at a networking event when you’re introduced for the first time?
In today’s society we have profile pictures on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and numerous other places, and whilst for your personal Facebook profile it’s fine to have a shot of you on the beach or skiing, for your business profile you need something that’s more professional yet shows your character, so that people feel they can trust you.
Next time I’ll give you some tips about what makes a good headshot, but in the meantime, if you would like some photographs for your website or social networking profiles, please get in touch on 07575 567408 or email ian@ianH.co.uk
Ian Hamilton is a professional portrait and wedding photographer based in Dorset. Contact Ian now for children’s and family portraits, headshots and wedding photography.