Picking out clothing for your headshot can fun and even easy, but how do you pick out your beard? I get a lot of requests for advice on glasses and beards- two things that can be transient on someone’s face. Sometimes you wear glasses, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you’ve got some facial hair going on, and sometimes you don’t. If you look completely different with or without glasses or facial hair, then how do you choose how to look for your headshot?
Most people who wear their glasses at least 50% of the time I’ll split their session into half with and half without glasses. Then they can have the option to choose from the two different looks depending on what they’re using it for. Same goes for facial hair. Lots of people will sport a beard, goatee, or mustache for a few weeks, and then shave it off for a few weeks. If people are going to see your headshot before meeting you in person (such as on your website, LinkedIn, etc.), then you’ll want them to be able to recognize you right away from the first impression they got of you from your headshot.
Keep track of how often you wear your glasses or have a beard, and then decide which look in your headshot best matches how you usually look. Maybe even ask some people you know or work with how often they see you with glasses or a beard and see what the general consensus is.
Or you can do what my recent client did the other week: we took some headshots with and without glasses, and with and without a goatee. And it’s good that we did- he looks like a different person in two of the photo where we took one with no glasses and a goatee, and the other with glasses and no goatee. So he can use each headshot depending on what look he’s sporting at the moment.
And of course, just for fun, here’s a chart of facial hair looks to choose from if you need some inspiration…