Vivienne Neale explores the importance of a stylish head shot for business purposes
John Cassidy, the Headshot Guy is an ‘in yer face’ kind of guy. I don’t mean that pejoratively but his business card is right out there. Why? His face almost appears life size and that’s the way he likes it. Look at his business card and you know exactly with whom you are talking. Isn’t that the whole point?
What does your headshot represent? Have you asked anyone?
John is a photographer and specialises in corporate photography and for the business and corporate market.
These small nuggets of human flesh in a head shot have come to represent far more than just an image. A whole narrative can be created just from a small square photograph.
You have about two seconds to convince with your headshot
With so much business happening online everyone checks social media profiles and websites. Almost instantly they decide whether or not they would like to do business with them. No, it’s not just about attractiveness either. We give out much more information about ourselves by our expression and other body language pointers. Without the kind of information we have in a f2f scenario we have to create the best with the opportunities presented to us. Your head shot becomes the face of your business and is more important than you might imagine.
A head shot is almost like a headline
Your headshot needs to be amended to fit the age, as we move into a different role or shift emphasis. What looks great in your twenties is hardly going to represent your brand ten years later. Remember for many of us we are our brands. Therefore image or head shot is essential.If you transition from online to f2f if you are not represented realistically the meeting can be a shock!Someone might think: ‘Hey, what else are you hiding from me online?’
Change one head shot, change them all
The only proviso is that if you change your headshot on one platform you must do it across your social media portfolio. People recognise avatars more readily than names. You may have read that a Facebook post with an image of a face is much more likely to be interacted with or shared. We are programmed to connect with faces. Therefore the pressure is on to deliver a head shot that creates the message you want and need to convey.
Snap decisions can be the difference between ‘hire’ or ‘look elsewhere’
We are experts at making snap decisions about who we connect with meaningfully. We’ll do that based on a small photograph in exactly the same way as we operate in the real world.
If you are your brand re-evaluate your headshot
John can help you achieve this. He is passionate about his job and what he can create for people in business. ’If new clients and customers are looking you up online before making any initial contact it is essential that you are representing yourself in the right way.’ he says ‘It always aids your company’s image to have a professional head
shot– particularly if you are your brand.’ With so many people being their own brand this is sound advice. Looking at the number of people taking advantage of the head shot offer at the London Digital Marketing Show in November he’s on to something.
Camera shy? No worries
So what happens if you are afraid of the camera? ‘ I asked John. He smiles mischievously:’ Oh, that’s not a problem’ he says ‘I spend time talking with my client and try to promote a whole range of expressions so people start to feel at home in front of the camera.’
Blossom like a flower!
I witnessed this as John worked through his eager participants at the Digital Marketing Show. Standing back and watching I saw the skill with which he opened up faces as if they were buds blossoming. The light, positioning and his constant instruction allowed every participant to demonstrate their best side. Time and again the photos showing up on the computer screen exuded warmth, professionalism and an attractive pose. Every single person who stepped in front of the camera produced exciting images that would do wonders for their profile and business.
Certainly John is the consummate professional. To see more of his work and philosophy click here