8 Common Mistakes in Headshot Photography That You Need to Avoid
Jul 11, 2019 | By: Doug Burke Photography
Your first impression goes a long way in the corporate world. The picture that appears with your name on your Resume says a lot about you before you even say a word. And if it ticks all the right boxes, it increases your chances of getting noticed. This is why getting a professional headshot taken is a good idea to get your career off to a flying start.
Now, suppose you’ve made up your mind and want to get a professional headshot taken for your CV or your LinkedIn profile. How do you make sure that all the money you spent hiring a photographer does not go to waste and you get a headshot you can use for the next few years?
Well, all you have to do if follow some tips. Here are some common mistakes you can avoid to get the best results.
1. Don’t wear distracting clothing
The first thing that needs to be taken into account is what you wear when you go to get your headshot taken. Your attire should bring attention to your face and not take away from it. Professionals suggest staying away from bright colors or clothes with large prints on them because they might draw the eye. In fact, except for light prints, it’s best to avoid wearing patterns at all.
The best kind of clothing you can wear for a headshot is simply plain. Go for solid colors; ones that you feel complement you well.
2. Dress professionally
You must have often heard about dressing for the job you want. Well, it may seem clichéd but it works pretty well in this case. If you want to be taken seriously as a business professional, dressing in a full-length shirt and tie will work out perfectly in your favor.
If you would rather not be too dressy, or if your headshot is meant for a different industry, you can even consider wearing a suit jacket on top of a plain t-shirt.
3. Don’t over accessorize
Like bright clothing, accessories have the potential to either add to or take away from your look. Gold or silver hoops may add to the zest usually, but since it’s your face that is the main focus of a headshot, big earrings can be distracting. Go for studs, or earrings that don’t dangle. You will thank yourself later.
Before heading out to the studio, try taking a selfie. This will give you an idea whether the end result of the shots will conform to your vision.
4. Choose your best side
We all have a good side and a bad side of our face, don’t we? The difference is not imaginary either; it is a fact that human faces are not perfectly symmetrical, and so one side can be more photogenic than the other.
If you don’t know which side of your face photographs better, ask the photographer you have hired to take a few shots from different angles. You can decide which angle accents you best and would yield great results.
5. Don’t have irregular lighting
If you are attempting to take your headshot at home, there is a high chance that the lighting you need for an even, striking picture will not be available. If the lighting is irregular, your skin will appear blotchy and uneven as well. A professional photographer will have a studio and you can be a hundred percent sure that the lighting there will be specially optimized to evade this problem.
6. Ask for more than one picture
How many times have you taken a picture and been satisfied with it initially, only to realize your nose looks uneven or there is flyaway hair on the top of your head? The best way to avoid that is to ask your photographer to take more than one shot.
Try a full-face shot and side views from the left and right side. When all is done and dusted, you will have several photos from which to choose.
7. Be Yourself
This may seem like absurd advice; how can you be yourself in a professional headshot? Here, we only mean be comfortable in the setting.
Wear clothes that you usually feel easy and relaxed in; this will automatically translate into your photographs. If you feel awkward, your body language will convey that without you having to say anything. If you take it easy, your headshot will capture you in a great mood. It’s that simple!
8. Trust your Photographer
Lastly, don’t choose just any professional photographer and assume they would know how to take the best headshots. Try going for photographers who specialize in this kind of photography. You will have the added advantage of going through their portfolio and deciding what kind of backgrounds or poses look best. Once you have chosen someone to do the job, trust them completely and be on friendly terms with them; this will make it easier to be yourself.
Keeping these tips in mind will make your photo stand out amongst piles and piles of CVs and profiles, and when your future employers see it, they will only have the best representation of you possible!
At Doug Burke Photography, we know how important it is for our clients to have a great experience and for their headshots to portray a lasting first impression. Call us at 336.486.9932 to book an appointment you won’t regret!