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October 2, 2019

First impressions: 5 reasons your employees need professional headshots

When you guide your employees through the process of securing professionally created head shots, you’re helping them as much as you’re helping your company. Call it a win-win for all.

Why? These days, the carefully planned photos are pretty much standard for working Americans who wish to present a friendly-but-professional public persona to the outside world. Now that people’s identities are so easy to find online, most people want to be represented by personal images that are flattering and somewhat conservative.

“Investing in a high-quality, professionally taken headshot is an investment in your personal brand,” notes public relations specialist Nancy Marshall on "If you look professional, potential clients, investors, collaborators, etc. who don’t know you personally are going to be more likely to agree to that first meeting.”

Here are other excellent reasons why you and your employees should invest in high-quality headshots.

  • It reminds others of who you are. In this world of 7.7 billion people, putting your face with your name helps current and potential business contacts recall you and your business role.
  • It lends you credibility. Today’s younger consumers are all about transparency in business dealings, and they’re also very visually oriented, based on Statista reports about how often they share photos online. As such, connecting your name with a face that looks friendly and competent may strengthen your authenticity and foster trust. “People do business with those they like, know, and trust,” Jayson DeMers advises businesses on "It's much easier to like, know, and trust a person behind the brand, rather than a brand itself. Wherever possible, allow prospects to see the people that power your brand.”
  • It presents you at your personal best. The truth is, most of us aren’t naturally photogenic. And amateur snapshots often can’t correct that. Even highly attractive people don’t photograph well when they’re poorly lit, awkwardly posed, out of focus or snapped in front of the wrong backdrops. A pro can help you look your best by adjusting all those variables while advising you on flattering clothing, makeup, angles, etc. “Having a quality image of yourself to share with your professional peers boosts your self-confidence, and it can even inspire you to share more of yourself with others, take a few risks and overcome work-related challenges,” advises Marshall.
  • It can be customized to your brand. Apart from capturing attractiveness, a pro shot can be structured to represent a certain image. In Forbes, photographer Mark Liflander discusses tricks of the trade (adjusting clothing, expressions, body language, settings, etc.) for portraying specific traits in a photo. “Sometimes it’s easier to look confident and professional in an environmental portrait that relates to your business,” he notes. “One client posed in front of his construction project. His pride and joy were evident, and came out naturally in the photograph when he stood next to the building he helped to build.”
  • It can be multi-purpose. In additional to adding it to your LinkedIn profile, you may add it to your business cards, resumes, blogs and personal website(s). It might also accompany websites, press releases, pamphlets, speaking engagement announcements and other promotional materials issued by your organization.

If your employees remain unconvinced about the benefits of professionally created headshots, you may wish to use the aforementioned advantages as talking points.