Everyone has a headshot – or at least they should. (That said, we’ve all seen oddly-cropped blurry pictures on LinkedIn, unfortunately.)
To the naked eye, a headshot is a headshot is a headshot, right?
Absolutely not. Your headshot is the most important professional photo you’ll ever take. It provides a first impression for potential employers, represents your professionalism, and gives your company credibility through professional images of the leadership team.
Skimping here could have a material negative impact on your career trajectory. If you use a blurry, awkwardly-cropped photo on LinkedIn, you may not get called for an interview. Go cheap on your company’s executive headshots and risk sending the wrong message about your company.
To get headshots right, you must hire an experienced, professional photographer that focuses on corporate headshots. But finding the right photographer for headshots is not like hiring any other type of photographer.
You’re looking for a true professional – your image is literally on the line.
Don’t settle for the wrong photographer for this important job. When you interview photographers, ask these questions – and listen carefully to the answers – to ensure your headshots turn out great.
1. Are you a full-time professional photographer?
A side hustle is great, but it’s not what you need for your professional persona. If photography – specifically business headshots – is not the photographer’s main gig, take a pass. You’re looking for a team that creates professional corporate headshots, full-time.
2. Do you focus on business photography?
Ideally the photographer does zero of these: wedding photography, newborn sessions, family holiday card photos, Insta of lunch, school photos. Zero. Nada. These skills do not transfer to headshot photography.
Ask to see a portfolio of their headshot photography for corporate clients. You want to see 12 different company shoots that use a white background with studio lights, and 12 environmental shoots (outdoors or in the office). You don’t want to be anybody’s “practice” to get more experience. You want to benefit from the experience they already have.
3. How many headshots do you take in a month?
This is a follow-up to the previous question. The right professional headshot photographer does hundreds – yes, hundreds! – of headshots each month.
4. How will I review proofs?
It’s critical to see the photos real-time on a screen during the shoot. It’s not enough to squint at a tiny image on the camera. It’s not okay to wait days until you see and select the shots. A professional corporate photographer brings a computer to review shots of each subject in real time. They have done this before; they know that there is always that one executive who hates his nose or prefers his “good side.” Been there, done that. Avoid surprises by hiring a pro.
5. Do you retouch the photos?
Even perfect-looking people need photo retouching. A good headshot photographer will retouch images to remove stray hairs, eye circles, a blemish, a wrinkle or two. They’ll use subtle techniques to make your best features “pop” so your headshot makes a great impression.
6. Do you have a brick-and-mortar location?
If you hire a new executive or someone has to miss “picture day,” you need somewhere they can go to get their off-schedule photo taken. A studio is the best bet for getting consistent backgrounds, lighting and poses for a series of executive photos. You don’t have time to wait around while a photographer tries to set up in a remote location.
7. How long will it take to get the final headshots?
A professional headshot photographer gets it done; it should not take weeks for your photos to be “ready.” They have retouching processes in place and are ready to finalize your shots and deliver them within a few days, max. The days of waiting a month for a photo are (long) over. Everything is digital.
8. Will I have unlimited rights to use the images?
You should specifically have unlimited, unrestricted rights to use the photos, forever. You should never have to go back to the photographer to get the “original” image or to ask for permission to use it beyond social media or your website. By the same token, unless you’re a professional model, you don’t want to see your headshot on the photographer’s brochure.
Choosing the right photographer can change your life.
Not to be (too) dramatic, but whether you’re creating your own profile to find your dream job, or organizing a shoot for your company’s website, the image you portray sets the tone for what’s next. Want to be a CEO? Get a photo like a CEO has (rather than that shot from ten years ago). Want to grow your company? Set the tone with professional photos of the leadership team. Set the bar high. See yourself differently.
A professional corporate headshot photographer helps you put your best face forward. Don’t settle for less.
About Korey Howell Photography Group
Korey Howell Photography Group is a well-established corporate photography studio in Austin, Texas, known for providing a professional and personable headshot photography experience resulting in dynamic, flattering portraits. The Korey Howell Photography Group team’s state-of-the-art photography, editing, and retouching skills have delivered corporate and individual portraits to thousands of happy clients. They offer on-location shoots and sessions at their studio in northwest Austin. www.koreyhowellphotography.com
There’s no getting around it, if you are searching for a new job, then you’ll be engaged in hiring interviews. Some people whiz through interviews with ease and grace, while others get a bit jittery and nervous before and during an interview. Whether you are the type of professional that flies through an interview with calm and ease or you have to practice deep breathing exercises first, interviews these days can differ from the traditional interview formats of the past. Many companies may opt for a phone or video job interviews instead of the traditional in-person interviews. Sometimes this is done as a preliminary step to narrow down the candidates, and other times it’s used as the primary method of hiring. No matter the job interview you’re going to get, we can help you prepare for a non-traditional job interview with these tips and practices:
Video interviews are similar to in-person interviews in that the interviewer will see you and interact with you as if you were there in person. The only difference is you’ll be communicating using digital technology. That means the interview takes place via the computer. While this sounds simple enough, you may run into technical difficulties if you aren’t familiar with the technology. Follow these tips to make it a great interview:
- Find out how they plan to conduct the interview, and then practice using the technology beforehand so you’ll be comfortable with it. This is important because you don’t want to look unprepared or become frazzled if you have trouble navigating the equipment.
- Make sure you use the microphone properly. If it’s too close to your mouth it will sound muffled. This won’t sound good. At all.
- Clear the background so there are no distractions. The last thing you want is for the interviewer to be seeing a cluttered desk or a big picture behind your head. Appearance matters – even during a non-traditional job interview such as a video interview. You could lose points for having a cluttered or messy foreground or background.
- Wear professional clothes just like you would for a regular interview. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can dress casually. And please, for the love of Pete – wear pants.
- Sometimes there is a slight lag in video transmission. So, it’s best to keep hand gestures to a minimum.
- During an in-person interview, if you don’t maintain good eye contact, the interviewer may think you’re dishonest or shifty. However, with a video interview, not looking into the camera the right way may just make you look technically goofy. Remember to look into the camera and not at the screen. This may take a bit of concentration.
During a phone interview, you won’t need to worry about your appearance, the visual background, or even where you are at when it takes place. However, you may need to work harder to make an impression. The interviewer will only hear your words but cannot see how you express yourself. So, choose your words carefully. Sometimes visual cues can add to our words making them stronger (or weaker). In addition, people tend to hear others better when they can see them. It may be because we unconsciously do a bit of lip reading as well as listening. Talking on the phone, with no other visuals, takes more concentration (for most people). Conversations can be misunderstood as well. When participating in a phone interview practice these tips:
- Speak up so the interviewer can hear you. Try to stay focused and don’t move around too much.
- Speak clearly being careful to enunciate your words.
- Speak at a moderate speed. You don’t want to talk too fast because it will be harder to capture on phone.
- Keep some notes on hand to which you can refer, but don’t constantly look at them. That would be weird.
- Remember silence is more noticeable on the phone so try not to pause too long before answering the questions.
Whether it’s a video or phone interview, practicing beforehand is important. Think about your skills and experiences so that you will be ready with an answer. Be prepared also for questions that are designed to test your critical thinking skills. Above all, be your authentic self. To look your best in professional headshots that will help you snag that job interview in the first place, contact us today!
You know it’s coming. It’s the day the pink slips show up for the entire department. Or the manager calls you in and begins with “I’m really sorry about this outsourcing decision from Corporate…” Or you’re so bored and unchallenged on the job, you’re checking out employment websites, tweaking your resume and setting up interview appointments during work hours, and you don’t care who knows.
It’s time to start over with a new job or a new industry. Some people make the sudden jump with little preparation and land safe, sound and financially secure in a good place. Most need a few tips before taking the flying leap into the employment future to start a new career:
Educate yourself early and never stop
Learning does not end with a two or four-year degree. There are technical schools, additional degrees, adult education classes and certificate programs. Some colleges and universities allow access to campus for the non-student use of libraries and research facilities.
Attend organization meetings in a field you’re interested in
If you’re unsure about your career path, or a membership fee is expensive, ask to attend a monthly meeting as a one-time guest. Don’t be a wallflower in the back of the meeting room. Paste on a name tag and introduce yourself to others. Use this one shot to network and ask about the career field: what jobs are available, additional training, salary and travel. This is an opportunity to hear about the life from those who live the work.
Internships and apprenticeships are not just for the kids
Online job boards and career placement centers provide information on these temporary and seasonal learning experiences. Some pay a small stipend, and many converts to college credit. It’s an ideal immersion experience to start a new career: you work full-time for a relatively short period and decide if the field is right for you.
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Be a Jill of all trades (and master a few)
Learn skills outside your comfort zone. If your job is 40 hours a week at a desk, ask a family friend to teach you basic automotive skills: changing a flat tire, air and oil filter, jump-starting a dead battery, lubricating doors, and hinges and replacing spark plugs. Mastering a very different skill set not only saves you money, it removes the blinders and redirects your everyday thinking. You now know you can change course in your career because you’ve not merely gone outside the box, you’ve built a totally new one.
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Find and mind your mentors
Mentors are friends, family, and coworkers who know more than you do about something and whose advice you trust to move you to the next level of life and work. Seek and keep mentors in your circle; they are your network to a new job and a safety net when your world washes out and you need someone who reminds you that failure is just steps below success.
Transition with volunteer or part-time work
Volunteer work looks great on your resume; it highlights your socially responsible abilities. Part-time work provides extra cash for wants and needs. Both offer the chance to train for the transition to a new full-time career. Watch for openings, ask the human resources department about upcoming opportunities and chat with managers about how much you enjoy the work, appreciate the training and how you want to put it to permanent use.
Invest in your personal style
Keep your wardrobe current, your hairstyle clean and simple and maintain your physical health. Stay away from trendy fads and fashions for your career search. A prospective employer wants the skills, enthusiasm, and drives you to offer, not a runway reject.
Keep your resume updated and include a professional headshot from Korey Howell Photography. No matter how you leave your old job or where you start a new career, an accurate resume and polished photo say “I am ready to carry on towards this new career!”