Your Headshot is Either Helping You, or Hurting You.
The success you enjoy in your career depends on how other people perceive you.
Research shows that we all make lasting character and value judgments based on our first look at someone. Online interactions drive our professional environment, and your headshot makes the crucial first impression on your potential clients and colleagues.
A cropped snapshot of Dean Birinyi used as a headshot is not very impressive.
When building an online presence, many people use photographs that depict carelessness, laziness, and unprofessionalism. For example, bathroom selfies, photos cropped from a vacation or wedding shoots, tight close-ups, full-body photos, etc. On the contrary, people with great headshots radiate an impression of a confident, authentic self, portraying themselves as approachable professionals.
Your headshots will be the first step in establishing a foundation of trust and respect with your customers and peers, which will, in turn, help you in building lasting relationships.
A professional headshot taken by someone who knows what they're doing will always stand out.
In the post-pandemic era, most of our professional interactions begin through online contact. Hence, it is important that your headshots accurately communicate the kind of person you are, i.e., trustworthy, confident, and successful.
A 2006 study by researchers at Princeton titled "First Impressions: Making Up Your Mind After a 100-Ms Exposure to a Face” showed that we make lasting value and character judgments about people the first time we see a photograph of a person in as little as 1/10th of a second. This study predates the universal adoption of social media and online interaction for personal and professional purposes; however, the idea is still relevant today.
So, leave the bathroom selfies and vacation snapshots for your Instagram feed. As for your professional websites/webpages and LinkedIn, invest in a photographer who understands your goals and is equipped with the right skills and tools to make you look the best version of yourself for the world.
About the author.
Dean Birinyi is an award-winning photographer, founder, and owner of Professional Headshots Palo Alto. He specializes in helping his customers set the stage for their next great success.