Headshots 101

I’m sure you’ve got a lot of questions and concerns about getting a new headshot. I’ve created a page with info about searching for a headshot photographer. I encourage you to review this page, even if you’ve already decided on a photographer.

So you need a headshot?

Whether you are looking for a new job (or planning to), starting a business, refreshing your profile, or some other reason, you now find yourself needing a new headshot.
There are many options, especially here in New York, so how do you choose?

How important is your headshot?

Every impression you make with your headshot has a value. Whether it’s your linkedin profile, a website, book cover, or magazine cover, your image is being seen. How many profile views do you get per year? How many website visits? Do you include your photo in your email signature?

Think about how you want people to think about when they meet you. Confident. Trustworthy. Approachable. Friendly. A great headshot will help you make that impression. A lazy one will make no impression or, worse, strike a negative chord with the viewer.

How important is the photographer?

A lot of people start out using a selfie as their headshot because they don’t realize using a selfie is just like cutting their own hair. A professional headshot photographer is trained to know the difference between a bland headshot and one that makes striking impression with your views. They can be make a huge difference to the quality of your image, and often they will create the best image of yourself you’ve ever seen.

It’s important to remember that, like in all walks of life, not all photographers are equal. Some are headshot specialists and have trained for years to hone their eye for expressions, and some are just going through the motions for a buck, and of course everything in between. A trained photographer can spot the difference instantly, but how can you?

First, we’re all familiar with “you get what you pay for”. Although not foolproof (see the next step) it is a good way to separate the pros who value what they do from the amateurs and others who don’t appreciate how important a headshot is. While you might get lucky with a $150 headshot, chances are you’d be better off with that selfie and saving the $150. If price is no object then the choice is clear – Peter Hurley is the best headshot photographer in New York and possibly the world.

If price is still a concern, then the next step is select a few photographers and check out the images on the websites. Do the people look interesting? If people are smiling, are the smiles real? Do you feel positive about the people on the site? If yes, then that’s a good sign that photographers knows how to capture natural expressions and can help you choose the images that make the be impression. If you don’t feel anything when view the images or have negative impressions, then that is probably not the right photographer for you.

Of course I’d love for you to consider me as well, but even if you don’t, I hope you found this helpful. One more thing, If you are interested in some headshot tips, you can subscribe below to receive info on my headshot offerings and a few weekly emails on getting better emails.