Promote Your Business With A Perfect Headshot: The Ideal Ratio Of Professional To Pizzazz

When you are in the market for a fresh new business headshot to promote your website, product or service, there are three things to consider. First, the setting. Second, your appearance. Third, the usage. Let’s take a look at these elements.

When considering a setting, you have three choices: a photographer’s studio, your workplace, and on location.

Consider carefully which one would best suit both your personality and occupation. For example: If you work as an entertainer at children’s parties, on location at a playground can be lots of fun, while providing vibrant color and amusing props. If you are a gardener, environmentalist or landscape artist, an outdoor setting surrounded by greenery will actively serve your purpose. If you work in a conservative occupation such as law or banking, the neutrality of a photographer’s studio might be a better fit. If you work in a building profession or trade, on location at a work project can be both engaging and informative. Choosing your office as your setting will show relevant context with desk, phone, computer, etc.

Here are some tips: If you choose a park or playground, go at a relatively quiet time of day. There will be fewer distractions at two o’clock on a Monday than at 10AM on a Saturday. In the office, some natural clutter of a busy day is germane to a secondary picture destined to appear less prominently on a website or brochure. However, your primary image should be in more pristine surroundings. Keep the disorder to a minimum and show your office as an attractive place that a client would like to visit. If you go to the photographer’s studio, ask about the color of the background. The color of choice is white or gray, as these are non-competitive with your clothing and promote a clean, crisp image. Typically, black, white or grey backdrops are readily available, but if want to use a distinctive company color or a hue in keeping with your website design, then it might have to be special ordered. Schedule accordingly.

A growing trend with images used on websites or brochures is for each subject to have a unique setting. One employee might like a corporate portrait demonstrating golf skills; another might be an unparalleled weekend barbeque-er and like his chef’s hat, apron and sauces. Someone else might have an unusual pet. If your corporate culture permits adding this personal spice, the photos will make you all distinctive. No matter which framework you choose, take care to create a statement that you enjoy sharing with the world, and that shows you to your best advantage.

Give consideration to your clothing, jewelry, hair and makeup. If you work all day with people in suits, then similar garments will serve you well, but keep patterns to a minimum. No more than one: either the jacket, OR the tie, OR the shirt, not two and never three. If, however, you have established yourself as the office eccentric and this works for you, by all means choose something sartorially significant. But before you don that saffron weskit, ask yourself if your latest performance reviews have been less than stellar. If so, it might be time to rethink your image and what better time than picture day? Along those lines, if you are a fashionista whose apparel is never more than one season old, go with the latest trend but keep your headshot up-to-date. If your style is classic, your headshot will have greater longevity. High fashion or trendy styles have a shorter shelf life.

Keep jewelry to a minimum. Unless you are in the jewelry business or are known for exceptionally eye-catching accoutrements, the focus of the photograph should be your face.

Get your hair cut a few days before the headshot session. Hair sometimes looks ‘shocked’ after being cut, and several days’ rest will give it a more natural look. If your hair is very fine or thin, wash it the day before the photo session, not the day of. Fine hair tends to have a bit more body the day after being washed.

Keep your makeup as close as possible to your everyday appearance. A little more mascara than normal is acceptable. Matte makeup photographs better than shiny. Vibrant or darker lipstick looks better in photos than pale. If you never wear makeup, don’t start now, but do wear a little powder over the T-Zone to cut down on shine. If your tan is fading, dust your face with a lightly pink tinted face powder. It will add a healthy, rosy tone and cut down the sallow hue as your skin transitions. A good rule is to treat makeup the way a clever cook treats salt. Go sparingly – you can always add. Ask your photographer to take a test shot so you can see how your makeup photographs. Then, like the experienced chef, you can add a little more if necessary.

Don’t experiment with a new look on the day of your headshot. It’s fun to try new haircuts or makeup styles, but not for a headshot that will represent you for many months or else be replaced very soon.

Next, consider the end usage of the photos. Will they be used on a business card and promotional material? Will they appear with colleagues on your company’s website? Will they accompany articles for a blog, newspaper, trade paper or magazine? Witll they enhance networking sites like Facebook, Manta, LinkedIn, etc.? Perhaps a bit of everything?

When you book your headshot appointment, tell your photographer whether you plan on printing your photographs as well as putting them on websites, so the photos can be formatted accordingly: high resolution for print, low resolution for web. Your photographer will know how to do this, just be clear on what you need.

Once last piece of advice: you have a distinct personality. Ideally your headshots will reflect a perfect combination of setting, lighting and clothing to attract compatible clients and vendors, but the last piece of the equation is expression. Whenever you are being photographed, think of something that makes you feel confident and very happy. Happy thoughts make your expression natural, attractive and relaxed.

I wish you much success in all your ventures.

Acting Headshots – What Should They Look Like?

So you have a photo session scheduled? You have taken the first step to enhancing your acting career. You are in a great place to ensure that you get some fantastic shots that will open doors for you at casting calls. However, in order to have that happen, you need to be sure that your acting headshots look sharp. So what should your acting headshots look like?

One of the most important elements is that your pictures be in color. It used to be that headshots were traditionally made in black and white. However, today that has really shifted. Whether you are looking to get into television, movies or Broadway you should have color headshots.

Additionally, your acting headshots are primarily shots of your face, hence their name. While it is not taboo to feature some of your body in the photograph, like a three quarter shot, you really want the focal point of your picture to be your face. Headshots are used to recognize you, so you want your face to be memorable.

You also want to be sure that your acting headshots have a lot of life in the eyes. It has long been said that the eyes are the window to your soul, and that is certainly the truth in terms of headshots. You want casting directors to feel as if they are getting a glimpse at who you are through your picture.

Your headshots may require some retouching, but you do not want to have much done to your photos. You want your picture to still look like you. While you do want this to be a shot of you at your best, you do not want it to be an image that you do not live up to in real life.

Some retouching is to be expected, but you do not want to be performing major corrections on your image that will make you unrecognizable.

You may also want to have a variety of different acting headshots. You should have a very smiley one for your more commercial auditions as well as one that is a bit more serious for your dramatic auditions. Additionally, if you have very versatile hair you may want to take shots with a couple of different looks.

This can give you the versatility that you may need for specific auditions. Make sure to inquire with your photographer about how many looks are included in their packages.

Additionally you want to be sure that your photo is recent. Generally headshots are only good for a few years at a time. Be sure that you are replacing yours regularly to ensure that they do not look out of date, and that your image is not drastically different than your current look.

Acting headshots are an important investment in your career. You want to be sure that you have great pictures to get you the job. By following these guidelines you are sure to do that. Now the rest of it is up to you and your top quality acting skills!

Your Actor Headshot

The importance of headshots for an actor should not be underestimated. A lot of actors get this whole area badly wrong resulting in career stagnation. Even more experienced actors are sometimes found to be using headshots that simply do not do them justice. Follow these five tips to improve your headshots and therefore your chances of being seen for castings.

Tip #1: Find a good photographer

This is where it all starts. I’ve come across actors, particularly those without training who have had no previous dealings within the entertainment industry, who have used photos that their friends have taken for them on their smartphone. They might look good on their smartphone but they will be instantly dismissed as a very amateur effort. To be taken seriously as a professional actor your headshots, and your entire marketing toolkit, also need to come across as professional. Unless the friend who takes your photos has a good DSLR camera and knows about lighting and how to capture the essence and mood of the photograph it’s best to stick to a professional photographer.

Tip #2: Compare photographers

Now that you’ve decided to find a professional photographer where do you start? Ask your friends and colleagues who are involved in the acting business who they’ve used for their headshots and who they can recommend. Search online for “headshot photographer” and then look at the photographers’ websites. Look at their photo galleries and get a flavour of their style – they are as individual as you are. After looking at a handful of different photographer sites you will start to notice very subtle differences that would not have been immediately apparent. Once you’ve decided which photographers you like the most check out the packages they offer, where they are based and what they charge. Doing this research should narrow down your list of photographers from which to make your final choice.

Tip #3: The eyes have it

The main area of the photograph that casting directors are drawn to is the eyes. The eyes need to look clear, in sharp focus with good contrast. A professional headshot photographer worth their salt will ensure that this is the case. It’s also another way of narrowing down the list of photographers from which to make your final choice.

Tip #4: Plain clothes mean no distractions

Before your headshot session you should have a good night’s sleep so that you feel refreshed and alert during the shoot. Remember that what your headshots need to convey is you, your look and the essence of you. Therefore do not wear any patterned clothes or logos. Plain colours only. This is so as not to distract from the face.

Tip #5: Final touch

Once you’ve had your session your photographer will send you a link to view an online gallery of photos from which you will need to make your final selection. This is a daunting task and you might find it easier to ask for opinions to help you choose. If you have an agent then you should definitely forward the link to them and seek their guidance. If you don’t have an agent consult with peers and colleagues.

As an actor, you are your own business and your headshots are a representation of you as a brand. Get the best headshots you can and use them to market yourself effectively. You will be able to get your headshots onto your business cards, your website, your Facebook page, your Twitter profile and all the actor directories and casting services that you may subscribe too. As you can see, with such a wide-ranging remit, you just have to get your headshots right!

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