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The Professional Headshot: What You Need to Know

Your personal headshots are an integral piece of marketing collateral that everyone will recognize and see. Headshots are the first thing people see when they search for a person online, and these images need to project professionalism.



In order to make the best decision about which headshot should represent you and your work in a professional environment, it's important to keep these factors in mind:



It needs to be polished and professional looking so that it reflects well on you and your company. This is not something you'll want to DIY by setting the self timer on the camera app on your phone. The portrait should be taken by a professional photographer who specializes in portrait photos. It's important that people can tell who you are from a glance, but it also has to be an accurate representation of the person behind the work.


This is one of those times where "less is more." You want your image to reflect what people can expect when they see you for the first time in person. Use the tips in this post for everything you need to know about using your headshot as a professional tool!


What are some of the ways you can use your headshot images?


Table of Contents
headshot collage

#5. Use it as your Zoom profile photo

During your back to back zoom meetings, when you turn off your camera, or leave the room, you’ll want your picture there to represent you while you’re away. Zoom makes it easy to change your profile picture with just a few clicks of your mouse, so be sure to update yours with your new headshot image.


This headshot image can be you outside with your laptop indoors as if you were working from home or it can be something shot in the studio.

boise headshot

#4. Use your professional headshot in your email signature

Having your face in your email signature line allows people to see you before they’ve even met you in person. Your photo will connect them to the person instead of your name and it’ll build trust. A professional headshot should show what you look like while also being an accurate representation of your personality. 

A professional photographer should be able to capture both of these qualities, but it doesn't stop there: they can help define who you are and how others may perceive this about the person in front of their lens.


Be sure to let them know what you’d like to convey in your portrait. A study has shown that people process photos before anything else—even words!


This means you don't just need to make sure they see what you want them to say; grab their attention first because if not then they'll lose interest and never even read what comes next.

nampa headshots

#3. Update your LinkedIn profile photo with your headshot

Your headshot picture on LinkedIn should be polished and show you as confident and approachable. It should also be recent and not make you look like a different person.


If you own a real estate business, it will be important to have professional photos that show your expertise. You might want to get headshot portraits done in front of a subdivision with a row of houses behind you, on a city street, or on the balcony of high rise. Some things just can't be conveyed with words, but images are worth a thousand of them. Getting professional photos taken that will accurately represent how great your company really looks will be a smart investment.


These photos will also help to show your personality and who you are as an entrepreneur. They're not just professional headshots, but portraits of the person behind the business.


Are you a chef? Perhaps a headshot in your kitchen with what you are cooking to show how you are an expert in this area.

star headshots

#2. Marketing images

When you are thinking about your marketing photos one important tip is to always be sure that you are the focal point of the image. You want your prospective clients to focus on what is important, and not everything else going on in the background. That said the background can show important context, so think about what you want to communicate in the image. You'll want your prospective clients to have their eyes drawn to what matters-your business!


This is an example of a marketing photo where it's important to be zoomed out and show more than just the person:


Environmental portraits, behind the scenes shots and group photos


Environmental portraits, behind the scenes shots and group photos of your team will help you build a portfolio that includes more than just headshots. Take time to think about how much variety in imagery is needed for this specific niche. You'll need environmental portraits or "behind-the-scenes" images to showcase you in the act of performing your service as well as client interaction pics. Shots which require showing different expressions from clients depending on what they're feeling at any given moment during their session with you. Group photo sessions can also be an opportunity to get creative: put yourself in the middle of your team, or pose with clients in different ways to make for interesting professional portraits.


Print copy


Make sure to tell your headshot photographer if you need some with ‘white space’ around your image for copy. Product - e.g.: food shots, beauty products we’re using, etc.


Expanded Setting - can be in a studio or out doors Include people - customers interacting with the product and/or service professionals on set; multitasking is best! If you're photographed in the portrait studio embrace different poses and angles: be creative here but do allow your photographer to guide you in the poses they think will showcase you the best! To keep the appropriate professional tone of a headshot, think about what's best for you and also research your company or industry culture. If you're an entrepreneur who always works from home, be sure to specify any props you need in your headshot photo session.


Will you be creating advertisement copy to send through a mailer, or adding your headshot to some other collateral material? Professional headshots are necessary for anyone who donates as well as those listing their information in a donor list.


Also, if you are in a space that is not accessible by the public (office building for example) and needs to take your headshot there, make sure to communicate this with them before hand. Your photographer will need some time outside of the office to get good exterior shots as well.

meridian headshots

#1. Social Media

You should have a post that includes your professional headshot every week (at least) and you should change your profile picture every three months.. This is where you get to show off, so go big. You may be in the office all day, but how about showing some of your personality? You could frame a few pics around your desk or put together a gallery from when you go on vacation. The point is to make potential clients want to learn more about who you are.


Show your day/week/month in pictures.


Now more often than not, we’re spending time at home and using the Internet to kill time, you should use this as an opportunity to stay in touch with clients by making sure they see your posts. Stay top of mind and continue to build that KLT (Know, Like and Trust).


Don't take the task of posting to your social media lightly. If you can provide consistently branded and styled images for every day, week, or month that goes by - not just on a Monday morning to attract new followers but also during later days in the workweek when they're looking back at what's popped up while browsing other profiles- then your brand reputation will grow as well.

eagle headshots

Remember that your headshot is an important tool in marketing yourself. It's the first thing potential employers and clients will see when they look you up on LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media channels.


Your digital footprint starts with one picture! Update yours now to be sure it reflects who you are today - not five years ago.