Photo Tips – Why Do Pro Headshots Matter?

Headshots, portraits, selfies, pictures of people everywhere in every way are not an uncommon thing to come across these days (this whole internet/social media thing seems to be more than just a passing fad).

 

So what’s the value of a photo these days in such a saturated environment?

In business and in life, no matter your industry, no matter your circle, your people and (honest) values will always resonate so much stronger than slogans and sales pitches. A photo is worth a thousand words… I don’t know – Maybe. But I know that a bad picture of you will turn off potential clients, employers, investors, or anyone browsing through a sea of a million faces on the internet. So, put your best foot forward and present yourself as credible to your values. That can mean so many things depending on your industry and brand, but it’s a question to ask yourself, and discuss with your photographer before the shoot.

Why hire a photographer?

It’s true, that camera on your phone is perfectly capable of taking a great picture of you, your dog, your artistic latte, your vacation to the Okanagan. More than capable, definitely. It can do an awesome job… if done right. And typically, that’s the catch. I’m willing to bet that a professional that understands the delicate interplay of light, shadows, background, composition, your outfit, your expression, which way your shoulders are facing, that strand of hair that now hangs on your nose. Your expression, is it forced? Or are you actually comfortable in the shoot and authentically smiling? That experienced photographer makes the difference 9 times out of 10.

Our client Martin is a great example:

Martin is a director with The Camp Kerry Society which specializes in providing bereavement programs and supports to individuals and families impacted by grief, loss, and terminal illness. It has been a big part of Martin’s life since 2006. First as a youth volunteer, now as one of the Board of Directors for Camp Kerry.
He is also a former employee of Oh Boy, and happens to share a last name with our President, Stu. So when Martin dropped me a note asking for professional headshots for Camp Kerry’s newest members, I was more than happy to volunteer my services.

I was asked to match their existing look of photos of the directors that had been photographed on a grey background (not by me, but very decent photos). On the short notice I had, and backgrounds I had at the time, a pure black background was the closest I could get. It was my good friend Photoshop to the rescue. Will a bit of finessing, black became grey.

The whole process took about an hour – setup, shoot and editing included. I touched up and sent the best photo of each director to Martin the following day. The photos were quite well received, and one member even asked for the whole set of photos, as he was also looking to update his LinkedIn profile pic.

An Investment In The Brand of You

Anyone can take photos, take enough and you’ll either get good or get lucky. But if you intend to put your best foot forward online, avoid the endless trial and error, or good-enough mentality, make an appointment to get those photos shot. Chat with a photographer. Not someone who takes nice photos, but a professional photographer. There is a difference.

 

Derek Hader is Caffeinated Creator at Oh Boy Productions. He spends all of his time making awesome videos and taking lots of photos while balancing that ever-present cup of joe.

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