“So Karthika, this is really great information and I would love to feature you on my blog. Can you send me a recent headshot of yourself?”, she said. I almost dropped the phone! What! – Headshot?? Recent picture??? – wait, I am a photographer, don’t you know I am so much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it! – I wish I had the courage to tell this to the lady on the other end of the line. Instead, I just furiously nodded my head to indicate NO, while my mouth uttered the words “Sure, I can email me something.”
My hands were sweating profusely as I hung up the phone and in a moment of panic, I started frantically looking at pictures in my backup hard drives. I could not remember the last time I really took any decent pictures of myself that were remotely usable. So I did what anyone would do in this situation. Picked up the phone and called my fellow photographer friend asking for advise. Well! She was no real help cause she was also in this same situation – a chicken who likes to hide behind the camera rather than get in front of it 🙂 So figuring out that she really want not going to make me feel any better for this lack of planning, I quickly hung up the phone and started planning my own photoshoot. Suffice to say that I was able to pull it off – an outfit change, some makeup and a suitable background and 40 minutes later I had a ‘decent’ image of myself that I was comfortable putting out there on the word wide web to see.
This exercise in procrastination taught me a very valuable lesson. There are some very obvious reasons why you should have a good, realistic image of who you are, especially if you are a small business owner or even a working professional.
- People want to put a name to a face
- That makes them feel like they know you even before they have met you. And while this statement can open up a whole can of worms about forming judgements, profiling etc – but I just want to focus on the personable aspect of this thought. Knowing you are a real person does give a certain sense of calm to an interaction. At the end of the day, the reality that people want to do business with people rather than companies is very true – especially in the small business circle.
- You establish your credibility
- I speak of this from a photographer’s perspective. When you are putting yourself out there as someone who can take beautiful pictures, having an image of yourself that is technically and creatively sound and correct gives you far more credibility than any fancy titles or awards.
- Personal Branding
- This one took me a bit to understand but once it clicked I realized how true this is. I compare this to establishing my own identity. It does not matter who you are and what you do. The fact that you have an online presence means that you are there to socialize, do business or just make friends. By putting yourself out there, you are establishing a brand of who you are. You will either attract like-minded individuals or repeal people who are not a fit for your personality and that in itself it worth its weight in gold.
Hopefully by now I have convinced you that you need a good professional headshot of yourself. There are many options out there – you can either go for a traditional studio headshot from a professional photographer or opt for a more lifestyle professional headshots that is more of a representation of who you are as a person and/or a company. There are many photographers out there who specialize in one or the other or both. Definitely do your research and figure out what best fits your need and budget. They each have their pros and cons – you just have to judge what works best for you! But my one piece of advise in on investing on professional photos. Selfies and smart phone photos just don’t have the same look and feel as compared to professional photographed and professionally edited images.
Would love you hear your thoughts on the value of professional headshots?