Maybe I've finally gotten good at this. It's my third headshot session in four years. You might wonder why I punish myself so. Well, I know it's important to keep the headshot up to date. My friend and go-to photographer Heather Liebler recommends a refresh at least every five years and ideally every two to three years.
New headshots are a way to keep my LinkedIn profile and website -- and yours, too -- looking current. Also, I'm more at ease and photograph better each time. Like I said, I'm getting this down, so I thought I'd share some headshot tips I've learned.
1. Make the headshot session a regular thing.
Don't view the headshot as a one and done. Book a session every two to three years. In the beginning, you might consider annual headshots with the same photographer. As you get to know your photographer, you'll be more comfortable and be able to toss your shoulders back and flash your winning smile like a pro.
2. Wear your power color.
For my last headshots, I wore a red dress. You know how Shelby in "Steel Magnolias" describes pink as her "signature color." Well, mine is red. It's been my favorite ever since I can remember, ever since I told my parents I didn't care what my first bike looked like so long as it was red. Red makes me feel confident and powerful -- great qualities for a headshot.
3. Keep your website in mind.
Last year when I had my headshots done, I wore a favorite blazer and scarf -- an outfit that is very me and puts me at ease. However, I didn't keep the colors of my logo and website in mind, and that's why I had my photos redone recently. Red is my signature color and along with dark turquoise one of the two colors in the logo and branding for my public relations and communications business. Last year's photos simply didn't match my website. Bummer. Don't make this mistake.
4. Think outside the box -- and the office.
Whenever possible, get your headshot taken out of the office. Not just out of the office, but outside. The natural sunlight is much kinder on your face than fluorescent lighting. And who doesn't like to get out of the office. For my last headshot session, I opted to go to a part of town I hadn't seen in a while and was happy to discover for as backdrops lots of public art that incorporated my business colors.
Environmental portraits can also be a good way to show off what you do. For example, I've started working with a commercial real estate firm. I can't wait to get some portraits of the company's leaders with their buildings and the skyline as the backdrop.
5. Treat yourself.
Think of things you can do for yourself that will make you feel your best and treat yourself to them ahead of your next portrait session. Maybe it's getting a manicure and pedicure, even if your hands and feet aren't on display. Maybe it's a new pocket square or tie. Maybe you get a facial or a haircut. When you feel good, it shows.
In the words of Donna and Tom from "Parks and Recreation," treat yo self. Your career is worth it.