Let’s talk about a professional photo.

Posted on April 23, 2010 by admin 

I’m in the process of updating my web site so decided to have a new headshot done along with some other shots needed for another project.  It occurred to me that many of you might be doing the same thing what with people looking for new positions, choosing a gift for that special someone or, like me, updating your web site.  Since we don’t have professional photos taken often, great attention should be given to how you are projected – perhaps for several years to come.

Of course, choosing a great photographer is key.  I called Teryl Jackson, a member of my mastermind group whose photos had really impressed me.

She suggested bringing several different outfits to see which one photographed best.  Also, she recommended a “V” neck and wearing something with sleeves.   For men, the shirt collar needs to fit the neck exactly and the coat or blazer should lie perfectly against the shirt collar, exposing a bit of collar.  A headshot is very revealing if a shirt is either too tight or has a gap at the back.  Blue is a great color for both men and women, especially if they have blue eyes.  Blue portrays a sense of trust.

Other considerations are having your hair and makeup or beard perfect.   I am a strong believer in having a top stylist give you a good cut and style.  This is not where you should default to the $10 cut.  Since hair is a person’s crowning glory, I believe it is worth the expenditure to get a great cut that works for you.  A good stylist will know what is going to work best with your facial features as well as your hair.  Having very fine straight hair, I learned the hard way that a good cut that works with my hair is the only way to go.   An accomplished hairdresser will also want to know about your lifestyle so your style is something that you will be able to maintain.   A great style does no good if you cannot keep it up at home.  A top stylist will also be able to create a hairstyle that suits your personality so your hair becomes a part of your brand.

Makeup for a normal headshot (not the glamour shot) should be moderate.  Choose whether your eyes or lips should be accentuated and make one or the other the main focus.  Most people choose the eyes as ones attention is drawn up on the face away from a double chin, wrinkles or neck lines that you don’t wish to have attention focused on.   Guys need to take care that they are properly shaved or trimmed if they have facial hair.  For job interviews, it is best not to have facial hair unless you are in a more artsy field like an ad agency.  Once you are hired, you can get more a feel for the organization and determine if facial hair is appropriate.

I spent about two hours with Teryl and was so impressed with her expertise and attention to detail.   My biggest problem was choosing which photos to select as there were so many good ones.  If you are thinking of a new photo, I encourage you to check out several photographers, but do include Teryl Jackson in the mix.  Her web site is Terylphoto.com or just Google Teryl Jackson.

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