April 20, 2018
There’s nothing that keeps a person away from a photo studio better than a past photo that didn’t turn out so well. Such was the case with our friend, Jon. His partner was a past client of ours for his (dare we say awesome) professional headshots, and every month like clockwork they would have some iteration of this conversation:
“You need a headshot!”
“I have a headshot.”
“Where is it? You don’t have it on LinkedIn or anywhere!”
“Well I don’t like it.”
He finally dragged him to our studio to take an updated headshot and Jon showed us the photo he had taken in the past:
“I don’t like this photo for two main reasons,” he said, “it was taken from below, which makes me look like a towering, tall giant, and I feel like it looks like I have about a thousand extra chins. It’s just not flattering.”
One of our favorite things to do is to beat old headshots with better ones. And the best way to do that is to identify what it is about the old photos that aren’t up to snuff, and then do the opposite. For Jon, that meant two things: 1. Don’t take the photo from below (easy), and 2. Make sure you can see his jawline in the photo (also easy). Then we did what we always do: coach our subject into several different poses, smiles, and angles so there are plenty of options to choose from.
Here’s the result:
We crafted the lighting to form some strategic shadows that did a better job of hugging the features of his face to form some shape, without making it look like he’s hiding behind any shadows. We also posed him into more relaxed poses, to get rid of that “welcome to the DMV” straight-forward effect of the old photo, which helped bring out more of his personality.
If you’ve got an old headshot you don’t like, don’t let it scare you into running away from all professional photographers! Book a headshot session with a photographer who has a strong portfolio of natural-looking headshots you like, and bring your crummy photo to the session. Talk to the photographer about what you don’t like about it, what you’re looking for in a new headshot, and work together to take new photos you can be proud of.
If you’re ready for your close-up, book your Chicago headshot online with Organic Headshots today! It’s not as painful as you think. We promise.
January 3, 2017
It’s January. A new year. And time to make those infamous New Year’s resolutions. For some people, getting an updated headshot is actually your resolution: to log into LinkedIn and finally replace that icon that’s just an outline of a head with your actual head, or to finally have something better and more professional than your wedding photo cropped reeeeaaaaaalllly tightly so no one will see the veil on your head.
But if your New Year’s resolution isn’t to get a new headshot, you can still use a headshot as a tool to help you reach your goals. Here are a few ways a new headshot can help you kick some resolution butt:
- Get fit: Is this year’s resolution to lose those few extra pounds? Schedule your headshot session for several months in advance to give yourself a goal to work toward. Several years ago we got a call from a man who wanted to lose 50 pounds before updating his headshot, so he booked a session with us 6 months in advance. He even pre-paid for the session so he would stick to his goal of losing the weight before his picture day. And it worked! 6 months and 1 week later he was 50 pounds slimmer and getting awesome new headshots. (The extra week was because he had to reschedule to give himself enough time to buy a new suit since the old one didn’t fit!)
- Get a new job: Been thinking about starting a job search but the idea is daunting? Take baby steps and start with a new professional headshot to update your LinkedIn profile. Once you’ve got your new profile photo, you can update your work experience, goals, and other details on LinkedIn while you’re logged in.
- Quit smoking: Smoking adds lines and wrinkles, sucks moisture out of the skin, yellows teeth and darkens circles under the eyes. It’s a well-known fact that quitting smoking improves your appearance—check out this woman’s week-by-week account of how her appearance changed after quitting smoking. If you need that extra push to quit smoking, schedule your headshot in advance and use it as your deadline to be smoke free and camera ready.
- Get a new look: Have you been thinking about changing your look by getting a new hairstyle or a new wardrobe? Schedule a headshot session to make the process more fun. A celebratory photo session to introduce the new you to the world!
July 31, 2014
Jeanne Kalinowski dropped by for headshots early this month and mentioned a website called Photofeeler.com, where you can have other people rate the profile photos you plan to use for LinkedIn or other places. It works as a tool to choose a photo: other people who have never met you or seen either you or your photo before rate your photo on how competent, likable, and influential you appear to be.
WHY HAVE I NOT HEARD OF THIS WEBSITE BEFORE? THIS IS AWESOME.
“We created PhotoFeeler so that a misleading or unflattering photo never comes between good people and opportunity,” as their website says. The site goes on to describe the importance of a first impression and how people make their decisions and draw conclusions about you instantaneously, based on the first photo they see of you on social media.
THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING FOR YEARS! Sorry for shouting- I’m just so excited. I take a lot of headshots for professionals who are in transition and searching for their new job or entrepreneurs searching for their own clients, and I tell them that more often than not, the first time someone “meets” them it’s online through their LinkedIn
profile, Facebook photos, bio page of your website, Google+ profile, or even a Google search. So the first time they see you they’re actually seeing your photo. So it’s important to have a good headshot. Duh.
You’ve heard it a million times that “you only have one chance to make a good first impression” and nowadays that first impression isn’t actually you, but a photo of you on the internet. Our lives are so intertwined with working and communicating virtually (through email, online research, social media profiles), that psychologically we’re actually believing we’ve “met” someone when we read their bio and see their photo on their website. It’s important to have a good headshot of you that does two things: 1. looks a hell of a lot like you (so when they meet you in person they know it’s you); and 2. gives people a good first impression of you.
If you’ve got a crummy group photo on the beach that you cropped everything out but your sunburned face and using it as your LinkedIn profile, it’s going to give the first impression of, “I’m on the beach. This is me on the beach… if you can see my face through the sunglasses, that is.” But if you have a professional headshot with perfect lighting, flattering poses, an approachable, confident smile, and polished attire, it gives the first impression of, “I’m put together, friendly, confident, know what I’m talking about, and am important enough to have a professional photo taken of me.
But don’t just listen to me… the proof is in the PhotoFeeler pudding. Check out the ratings Jeanne got on the snapshot she was using on LinkedIn before her Organic Headshots session, and then the professional headshots she walked away with earlier this month. There’s no question which photos give complete strangers a better first impression. Thanks Jeanne for sharing the results of your experiment!
December 2, 2013
A while back I had a client come to me in a frantic rush for some professional headshots- when she called she was actually a little out of breath as if she had run to the phone. “How about today? Can I come in today? I can get in the car right now! I need a LinkedIn profile photo NOW!” She then told me a slightly terrifying story. She had been out of work for several months, looking for a job, and not getting any calls back or interviews. With over a decade of experience in the consulting industry, she couldn’t understand why her emails and calls weren’t landing her at least an interview.
A friend of hers told her that nowadays every employer searches for an applicant’s online presence, and will especially look to see if they have a LinkedIn profile. She had one, but hadn’t updated it in a while and hadn’t uploaded a photo, so she didn’t think people would pay any attention to it or that it would even show up in searches. Her friend told her to search for her own name on LinkedIn anyway to make sure no one else’s profile shows up instead of hers, which she had never thought would be a problem since she has a pretty unique name.
So she searched for herself on LinkedIn, and 2 profiles showed up. One was hers, half-finished, not much experience filled out, and with no photo. The other profile that showed up above hers, with a photo and fully finished, was that of a woman with the same name as hers working as an entertainer in the adult film industry.
Naturally, she feared that the hiring managers at the companies she was applying to were seeing this woman’s LinkedIn profile instead of hers, and were getting confused as to what industry she actually has experience in, and with stacks of other applicants ready to be reviewed, they just moved onto the next person- who probably has a more complete LinkedIn profile that matches their résumé.
We talked about this during our headshot session and I recommended to her that she put a link to her LinkedIn profile right on her résumé. Some people are even putting not only their LinkedIn profile link, Facebook link, Twitter handle and other social media links, but an image of their headshot right there at the top of their résumé.
If hiring managers are going to vet people out through some internet searching, you should take control of your online presence. Check up on what shows up when your search for your name with search engines and within social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Then post only what you want people to see and know about you on those sites.
And direct people to your profile yourself by pasting the URL of your LinkedIn profile on your résumé and even your profile photo as well, so there will be no mistakes that they’ve looked up the correct person. This is especially helpful for people with more common names who find multiple profiles of different people with the same name.
I’m looking at you, John Smith.