Okay, maybe that’s overstated.
The last time you had your photo taken may have been your wedding, or your college graduation, or your maybe your senior pictures in high school. All of those things have something in common: You are the purpose of the photo. You have those kinds of images taken because of they way you expect them to make you feel later. And that’s a good thing, of course, but that’s not the purpose of a headshot, or corporate lifestyle photos.
A wedding photo, or a portrait session with your dog is meant to store memories of a feeling, to express some form of individuality, or to validate something you need on an emotional level, headshots are different. A headshot represents who you are to the world, but that’s not specific enough. A good headshot communicates something specific, to someone specific.
Not everyone is a photographer, so maybe you haven’t thought about it this deeply yet.
Who are you and what do you want to make of yourself? That’s the fundamental question. The universe doesn’t owe you the fulfillment of your dreams. Only by by total accident does it happen by itself–like when you post a selfie on LinkedIn and even though is painfully unprofessional, the t-shirt you happened to be wearing in the photo created an unexpected connection with the CEO of some company, which leads to a friendship and a job and a summer home in Paris. That’s all well and good, it’s the lottery of life. But if you’re playing the lottery of life, don’t bother wasting money on headshots, just put yourself out there however you can and maybe your number will come up.
Life is always a lottery though, and professional headshots are playing the odds. A headshot is for someone who wants to use a strategy. Someone who knows they have to think about their audience rather than themselves. So, in a sense, it doesn’t matter if you like your headshot, all that matters is whether the audience you need to reach likes your headshot.
Maybe you really like the concerned pensive look, and it just really feels right when you’re taking a photo, that’s fine, but if you’re in sales of some kind, your audience isn’t going to connect to it. You might like to think of yourself as ‘dark and brooding’ but you need other people to see you as approachable and friendly–would you rather satisfy your ego, or make more connections?
The mismatch between how we’d like to think of ourselves, and how we need others to think of us leads to a lot of useless images.
We will help you figure out what you need to communicate, and we’ll even help you figure out to whom. But this starts as a partnership. It may not be possible to square the images you like with the images you need others to see. So realize this–the image that will resonate in the right way, with the right people is the image you need, and that has little to do with how you think you look.