If you wince at your headshot, this post is for you.

It can be intimidating to have headshots taken, then to select the one that captures how you look, not to mention how it reflects your brand and persona.

Your image is often the first impression for someone looking to get to know, like and trust you. A photo sets an impression within 100th of a second, and that’s why I normally trust professional photographers to capture my clients’ image and brand. Check out our six headshot pro-prep tips.

1. Wear professional all season clothing appropriate to your role, preferably in a color complimentary to your brand.

2. Be sure your grooming is crisp, clean and natural for your role.

3. Wear minimal accessories to avoid distraction from your face.

4. If you typically wear eyeglasses, select an unshaded pair that does not impede eye contact. Have your photo taken without
eyeglasses as well, then decide which shot – with or without.

5. Choose lighting that captures your facial features without dramatic shadows.

6. Keep the background simple so it doesn’t distract from your face.

If you want to understand the impression your profile picture is projecting, we recommend using Photofeeler.com. The site allows you to upload your photo for free objective feedback on Competence (Smart, Capable); Likability (Friendly, Kind); and Influence (Leading, In Charge) from anonymous viewers.

I recently uploaded two informal iPhone pics of a client to determine which was the preferred image for his Linkedin profile. Because neither of them were professional shots, both required retouching.  We followed Photofeeler’s blog recommendations for cropping.  The anonymous votes were conclusive, which allowed us to quickly tidy the background and update the color to produce a third image aligned with his brand.

While on Photofeeler, try voting and commenting on headshots in exchange for credits. Experience how quickly you are able to judge photos of strangers and understand why your first impression is crucial!

If your profile photo or brand assets fall short on reflecting your business persona, we can help. Visit our website to learn how Impagination helps define your identity, your best client, and the key message that will convert your networks into brand ambassadors.

Learn more about how you can grow your business with more clients like your best clients by contacting me, Laural Carr, at 416.538.3330 or visit our website to learn more.