Is it time for a new headshot?

Is it time for a new headshot?

Every day I visit 20-30 different websites of photographers claiming to be professionals. The challenge is ALWAYS on their About page and I don’t get it. If you’re a professional photographer, why would you share anything but your very best headshot on the Internet?

So many of have horrible portrait shots – most of them looking like you handed one of your kids a camera and just let them click away. Bad selfies, grab shots of you cropped from other images, or irrelevant photographs of you with your family, pets – anything but a professional image.

If you’re expecting people to trust you to capture and create beautiful photographs, then why compromise on your own portrait? Wherever you share a portrait of yourself let’s raise the bar and clean things up!

  • You’re a professional photographer. Stop using that horrible illustration silhouette that Facebook and Twitter provide. Use a professional headshot and also show your best work in your banner images.
  • Make your headshot the best it can be. Stay away from grab shots in lousy light, blurry images and images that don’t portray your skill set.
  • Stop using a portrait shot of you when you were ten years old. It’s just not that funny!
  • For your “About” page on your site, show at least two images…one, a portrait of you and the second one of you with a camera in your hand. Personally, I love a shot of the photographer taken off his or her right shoulder from slightly behind. It should show the photographer, the camera and in the background a subject being photographed just slightly out of focus. Remind people of what you do for a living.
  • As family portrait photographers, many of you like to share an image of you with your family. That’s fine but make it a great image your target audience can relate to. The same applies to pet photographers with their dogs and cats – share an image that shows your skill set.

This is so easy to fix, but it has to start with you thinking through the message you want to present. As an artist, you need to show yourself in the same light and quality as the work you’re suggesting a client hire you to capture.

Make your headshot the very best it can be and give people a sense of your skill set and passion for quality and the craft. Help them see who you are as a skilled artist.

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This article was written by
Skip Cohen

Skip Cohen is an industry executive recognized for his diversity. He has served as past president of Hasselblad USA, Rangefinder/WPPI and in 2009 founded his own educational consulting company. In 2013 he launched Skip Cohen University dedicated to helping artists build a stronger business. He's a regular speaker at a variety of conventions and writes for several different magazines, as well as having two business classes at Lynda.com. Click above to visit the SCU blog.

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