Whether you are an artist (photographer, painter, creative, etc.), small business owner, artisan, baker, blogger, vlogger, or event planner, you need headshots. You need headshots that represent you. They need to reflect your brand that you've worked so hard to create. I'm not talking about the posed, suit and tie headshots. You're different than other professionals, so you need something different.
Let's explore that a bit. I am a photographer. But I blog too a bit. And I have this website. And business cards. And social media accounts. It makes sense to put a face with the name (or with your brand). As a creative, you essentially are your brand. You are the creative behind whatever it is that you offer. For me, that's my images and artwork. And although my photographic style reflects who I am and what I value, it isn't me (Physically. Soulfully, yes. Physically, no.). So, with that said, I felt the need to create images of myself so that I could physically be a part of my brand. I have photos of myself that are professional, yet represent me, that I use for social media, here on my website, and a number of other places. Having "headshots" is essential to your business and brand because it could be the first impression a client will ever get of you. And social media is here to stay; it's engrained into our society and it has changed our lives forever. It's such a huge platform, even for marketing. Use that to your advantage to have stunning images of yourself to promote around the web.
But with that being said, as a photographer, I feel most comfortable behind the camera. Not in front of it. I knew there was a need for them for my business. But why do I want them? What will I gain personally from this?
I needed polished photos of myself that showcased me. Just me. Maybe not the me in the mom bun and yoga pants, but ones that I could feel confident about in a professional manner. I love soulful documentary style photos that tell the story of the subject. And sometimes that means mom bun/yoga pants/coffee/kids and laundry everywhere. But as a professional creative, let's kick it up a notch. But also, let's not be stuffy about it. Interesting side note: I am now more aware of what it feels to be like on my clients side of the camera. New appreciation for my clients, ya'll!!
Instead of suit and tie on a grey background, let's show you in your favorite place. Or even better, let's show you working. Doing what you do best. Let's tangibly show your creative mind. If you are a baker, that could mean you working in your shop up to your elbows in dough or decorating a beautiful cake. If you are an artist- take me to where you create your masterpieces! If you are a musician, let's show you making music and loving life. You need to be relevant to your product or service. And speaking of relevancy, I think they need to be done at least every 2 years. Stay relevant people. Stay relevant.
You are the face, heart, and soul behind your brand. Showing how you interact with your product (or service) is key to getting others engaged into you and your business. Clients like to know the person they are giving their business to. Maybe you're a blogger. Do you ever write guest posts? You'll want to attach your image to that, right? A cell phone shot just isn't going to cut it. It's not going to accurately represent what image you are trying to promote.
All of this is going to impact your brand, your clients, your sales, and your appearance as a professional.
You say you may not like having your picture taken? Maybe you think your not photogenic? I have a few things to point out to those that are unsure. Number one, you've never seen yourself doing what you love. You have a passion and a fire for your craft that can't be replicated. More on this in an upcoming post about Small Business Storytelling Sessions. Products and services are better when their owners and employees are literally passionate about what they are doing. Who benefits from that? Your clients. Who loves seeing that passion? Your clients. Your investment is going to be returned and then some.
Number two, you think you are photogenic? Well, thank goodness I have all the experience you need to make yourself feel photogenic. I'm a professional photographer for a reason. That should absolutely be the last worry on your mind. I can help you with clothing choices, styling options, makeup tips (or I can put you in touch with a professional makeup artist and/or hair stylist), and location/posing. You're going to be awesome! And I think you'll feel awesome too!
All in all, are they still important? Yes. Do you need them? Yes. Do they have to be stuffy? No. Make it all about you and your brand. Make it enjoyable. Make it fun. Show your passion and your creativity. I think it's especially important for creatives to have modern, relevant, and unique "headshots" to use just for their business and social media. The best investment you can make is in yourself.
If you live in the Hampton Roads area and you'd like your own Modern Headshot Session, contact me via the Contact tab above, or on Facebook or Instagram @jess.nicole.photography !
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.