Think actors are the only ones who need professional head shots? I did too. Think again!
Why YOU Need a Professional Head Shot
In the age of social media a professional head shot is a MUST for any serious business person. Back in the day it seemed only realtors, insurance agents and a select few other industries required the presence of a photograph on business cards and advertisements. We didn’t see pictures of the owner of the print shop or the manager of the security company. Now every professional has at least a minimal presence online, perhaps on Facebook or LinkedIn. And savvy marketers are including their images in numerous contexts, including social media, websites, networking venues and even print or billboard ads.
A blog post in the Wall Street Journal states that LinkedIn profiles with photos are 11 times more likely to be viewed than one without a picture. The next sentence in the piece makes a critical point: “And a high-quality image with good lighting and a neutral background tends to hook employers more than sloppy selfies, career experts say.” In fact, the post highlights a college in Wisconsin that offers a professional head shot FREE to all of its students to support their success in internship and job searches.
Why Is A Professional Head Shot Effective?
Consider your objectives in your marketing efforts. You’re spending a lot of time or money or both to speak to your potential customers. Sure, you’re informing them about the products and/or services you offer. That’s the easy part. More than that, though, aren’t you trying to establish a relationship with your potential clients? You want them to know they can trust you. That you’re professional. That you’re reliable. They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and a good professional head shot can speak to your future customers in a way words never can. (By the way, BAD photos speak just as loudly as good ones, so be sure to exclude that shot from last weekend’s kegger in your marketing presence!).
But I Hate Having My Picture Taken!
I feel your pain. I choose to stand behind the camera almost any day. But I have an exception to that preference – when a photographer friend whom I trust and whose skills I respect offers to make my photo. Why does that change the game? Because I know he or she will make me look my best – and at least they won’t make me look stupid! So it’s not really that I hate having my picture taken, it’s that I am anxious that I’m going to look bad in a picture. Have your professional head shot made by a photographer you trust and you can leave that anxiety at the studio door.
Invest In Your Business
The good news is that a professional head shot is a relatively painless and affordable way to invest in your business, reach new customers and increase sales. The cost to have a business portrait made depends on the photographer, the geographical area, and the outcomes you desire from your session. If you’re looking for a brief session with one “look” (a look is a pose, styling and wardrobe combination) and just need small files to use on social media you may spend $200-$300 for a good product. If you want a little more from your session, like several wardrobe options and different backgrounds and the ability to use larger files for print advertising, you can expect to pay up to $500 or more with a high quality professional. A terrific “add on” to a session (especially for women) is a makeup artist and/or hair stylist. A good stylist can make a big difference in creating a quality professional head shot.
Just Do It
It’s not a question of IF you need a professional head shot! You do. So just do it! Put it on your To Do List. High on the list! Or better yet, right now do a search for “professional head shot” or “head shot photographer” and check out the options in your area (If you live in the NY Metro area I have an excellent recommendation for you – ME!). A session will take an hour or two of your time and will be of tremendous benefit to your business.