I Have A Great New Headshot, So Should You

December 9, 2014 | Branding, Design Basics

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Emily Brackett gets her headshot taken by Jeff Stevensen

Gray hairs and all

I recently had my headshot retaken. For those of you who know me only virtually my aging has stalled in a rather beautiful, yet unrealistic way. For those who know me in the real word, around Portland Maine, you may have noticed I decided to grow out my gray hair. It was time to show off my silver hair and update my headshot and avatar photos.

I found my first gray hair at age eighteen and was dyeing my hair consistently by my late twenties. After nearly 20 years of this, I’d had enough. I’m not really sure why I did it, but I am a fairly “all natural” kind of person, and it just seemed to fit me better to show off my premature gray hair.

Like my past headshot, I had Jeff Stevensen do the photography. It’s amazing what a professional photographer can do to make you look great.

Get a headshot, not a selfie

Emily Brackett HeadshotYou’d think with all the selfies out their on social media, that people like having their photo taken. But in my experience, I think the reason people take selfies is because they don’t involve another person. For many of us, we’re not used to being in front of the camera and it’s unnerving to be the focus, to stand still and smile for so long, etc.

But getting a good portrait photo is important. As I do marketing and web design projects for business owners, I often suggest that the business owners and key team members get professional head shots. You cannot rely on selfies, photos taken with your phone, or photos from the last wedding where you’ve chopped off your date. You need a professional headshot.

A professional photographer will:

  • Get the right lighting: You’ll look good, without the heavy shadows, off colors, etc.
  • Focus the picture: You can’t fix a blurry, out-of-focus photo. A photographer can also choose how blurry your background is, for example, but keep you looking good.
  • Help you choose the right location or backdrop: For mine, I decided to do the shoot in my office and including my large, striped wall which is highly recognizable. Many professional photographers have studio space you can use, or move to a location of your choice.
  • Do post-production cleanup: A good photographer will photoshop your blemishes so you look wonderful, but believable. It’s usually up to you to decide how much of this you want.

Once you get your headshot, you’ll probably be surprised how many places you use it—your LinkedIn Profile, with speaking engagements, your online bio and more.

If you’re in Maine, I highly recommend Jeff. If you’re not around Portland, ask around for a good local photographer and get a great photo of you!

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