A great head shot is a great lead for you and your brand. Try my simple checklist to know when it's time for a new Head shot! / by Zack Smith

ZACK'S HEADSHOTS OVER THE YEARS....Yes I had a mustache once and I liked it so much it was my professional head shot. Lesson learned!

ZACK'S HEADSHOTS OVER THE YEARS....Yes I had a mustache once and I liked it so much it was my professional head shot. Lesson learned!

Headshots, why Headshots?

New Orleans is STILL growing, and fast. As a photographer and a small business owner as well, I always have my ear to the ground on new business opportunities. Seeing that the housing market is still steady in the Greater New Orleans area, there is still an even steadier stream of new realtors and realty companies popping up everywhere. When I make my way around the city I see new homes for sale with fresh yard signs signifying the sale, and what do you know, a photograph of a realtor. I have to say, some of these photographs are taken by a pro, and some are not. So, as a small business owner that works in the visual medium I know the importance of getting a good photograph.

For me, getting a great photograph means to make real the content and photographic vision of my client. When the client is happy with the images, they can use the images to promote their business and brand in the best possible way. A great ph Let's think about the images YOU are putting out there in social media, your website, and even on your business card: Does your current professional profile photograph show you in your BEST light? Do you feel confident that your image is cohesive to your brand? Maybe you recently updated your website and social media, but not your photo? This happens alot and we forget to update our own photo!

I have enjoyed working with the local New Orleans business community in providing a convenient, creative, and painless head shot technique and workflow. If you want to know more about this you can always contact me or visit my New Orleans Professional Head Shot web page here!

I have helped entire offices redo their head shots in their workplace and this is a great way for larger businesses to make sure their staff is projecting the aesthetic of the company in various professional trade publications and social media. Whatever the reason is, showing the world what you look like NOW is very important when we represent our business and brand online and in person!

Grab a coffee and let's meet for your next headshot in New Orleans! ©Zack Smith 2017

Grab a coffee and let's meet for your next headshot in New Orleans! ©Zack Smith 2017

 

A GREAT HEADSHOT IS A GREAT LEAD FOR YOU AND YOUR BRAND. TRY MY SIMPLE CHECKLIST TO KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME FOR A NEW HEAD SHOT!

Head shots are important for many reasons. You can use them on your website, marketing materials, to bring to audition, to submit to agents and managers for representation, and so much more. The head shot is important because it puts a face to the name and makes it easier for people who you met for a brief moment to identify you.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your head shot and a checklist to help you decide if it is time for a new one:

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HEAD SHOT?

As a small business owner that works in the visual medium, I know how important it is to get a good photograph. For me, getting a good photograph means bringing the photographic vision of my client to reality. When the client is happy with the images, they can use them to promote their business and brand in the best possible way.

Now take a moment to think about the images you are putting out there on social media, your website and even on your business card. Does your current professional profile photograph show you in your best light? Do you feel confident that your image is cohesive to your brand? Maybe you recently updated your website and social media sites but not your photo. This happens a lot. We forget to update our own photo.

DO YOU WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO HAVE A SET AESTHETIC?

I have personally enjoyed working with the local New Orleans business community to provide a convenient, creative, and painless head shot technique and workflow. If you’d like more information about this technique, you can always contact me or visit my New Orleans Professional Headshot web page here!

In the last several years, I have helped entire offices take new head shots in their workplaces. This is a great way for larger businesses to make sure their staff is projecting the aesthetic of the company in various professional trade publications and social media networks. Whatever the reason, showing the world what you look like now is very important when representing your business and brand both online and in person.

Peter Mayer Advertising hired me to do business portraits of their staff in 2016! ©Zack Smith

Peter Mayer Advertising hired me to do business portraits of their staff in 2016! ©Zack Smith

I’ve seen tons of businesses with online profiles on their employees who have taken photos in various locations around the office. The head shots don’t match and can make your business seem unprofessional to your clients. I can work with these business to stage head shots in front of a set background so everything is uniform and professional.

DO YOU BELIEVE YOUR CURRENT HEAD SHOT IS HURTING YOU OR YOUR BUSINESS?

According to an article by Martin Yate for CareerCast.com, “in recent studies, up to 90 percent of human resource people say they check out social media profiles, especially LinkedIn and Facebook, before inviting a candidate in for an interview. This means the wrong head shot can kill your chances of even talking on the phone … Is your head shot killing your opportunities for job offers before you even get the opportunity to interview?” (SEE THE FULL ARTICLE HERE)

Odds are, if your profile picture, especially on professionally-based websites like LinkedIn, is unprofessional, you could be passed up for a job or internship. A good head shot isn’t difficult to achieve. The headshot should be taken so that the area just below your shoulders to the top of your head is in the frame. You should always be professionally dressed and wear more natural makeup. These are not set rules, however. For actors, you will want to have a natural shot as well as a few character head shots to show your agent or a show’s director what you can look like as different characters.

ARE YOU WORRIED A DECEPTIVE HEAD SHOT COULD COST YOU A ROLE OR JOB?

This applies mainly to actors and working artists. While some directors and producers are easy going, others are sticklers for the truth. If you bring a head shot to your audition that looks nothing like you, will it cause some sort of distrust between you and the director or producer? Do you think it could cost you the role? Instead of gambling that it won’t cost you the job, it is probably best to ere on the side of caution.

New headshot and promotional image for jazz artist Delfeayo Marsalis. ©Zack Smith 2017

New headshot and promotional image for jazz artist Delfeayo Marsalis. ©Zack Smith 2017

THE CHECKLIST

I have setup a simple checklist for you to do on your own to find out if it’s time for you to take a new head shot:

 

—      CHECK TO SEE ALL YOUR PROFILE PHOTOS MATCH: To check and see if all of your profile photos match, clear your internet browser history and pull up any site and pull out any documents you have your head shot on. Now, visit each page and view each document to see if your headshots are all the same. If you notice some profiles have older head shots, no photo at all, or a photo you really don’t like, it’s time for a new head shot.

—      CHECK TO SEE IF YOUR PHOTO HAS ANY NOTICIBLE DIFFERENCES TO WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE NOW: Did you cut your hair or grow it out? Did you just change careers and your work attire and vibe has changed? When moving to higher-level jobs, you need to look more professional than you did. If you think too much has changed since your last head shot, you should get a new one. I, for example, used to have a mustache and used it in my professional shot. I don’t have one now. Things like facial hair and changing your hair color can make a person look very different than they used to. If you have photos like these, take my advice and get a new one. Lesson learned!

—      CHECK TO SEE IF YOUR HEAD SHOT IS TOO OLD: Do you still use your 1990 head shot with that Olan Mill glow? Are you using an old head shot because you “just like what you looked like then” and look nothing like that now? You need a new head shot. We all go through changes we don’t like, but presenting an old head shot can be confusing in the corporate world and is frowned upon in the acting world. A good photographer won’t leave you with a photo you hate. Get a new head shot!

—      CHECK TO SEE IF YOUR AGENT, BOSS, OR MANAGER WANTS NEW SHOTS: Many times, you will know you need a new head shot if an agent, manager, or boss asks for one. You agent probably knows you really well and knows what types of roles you would want when looking for auditions for you to attend, or in the case of realtors, if you need to update your business card or yard tag. If they feel your current head shots don’t embody your personality or the roles you are looking for, you need a new head shot.

—      CHECK TO SEE IF YOU HAVE A QUALITY HEAD SHOT: Is your head shot grainy? Are you over or underexposed in your shot? Did your former photographer take the photo in front of a green screen? Did they edit your picture badly? If you said yes to any of these, or many of them, you really need a new head shot. Take a look at head shots in your market, do you like some and not all? Why do you like the one's you like?

—      CHECK TO SEE IF YOUR HEAD SHOT MATCHES YOUR COMPANY’S AESTHETIC: Companies can rebrand all of the time. If your company has taken on a more professional look, or if your company is trying to stay in tune with the latest trends, you may need a new head shot. Aesthetic is important in selling a product or service and in showing a possible employer that you’re the right person for the job. Be sure your photo matches your aesthetic to reduce confusion and to make your brand powerful.

—      CHECK TO SEE IF YOU’RE WEARING OUTDATED CLOTHING: Fashion trends change all the time through the years and seasonally. If your clothing seems outdated or too seasonal, it is time for an update.

—      CHECK TO SEE IF YOUR BACKGROUND IS DISTRACTING: If your head shot was taken in front of a distracting background, you may need a new headshot. Don’t take photos in front of areas that distract from the main event – you!

 

If you check one or more of these items, it is officially time to get a new head shot. I could go on and on about this subject, but why do this here? Give me a call or email me to setup a FREE consultation about how to get the best professional head shot for your business or brand.