3 Simple Steps to the BEST Professional Headshot

Studio Headshot - Karen Forsythe Photography

You need a professional headshot that looks like YOU, looks great, and is polished and professional and authentic. Here are 3 simple steps to get that.

Most people realize they need a new headshot because of any number of reasons.  Outdated headshots, new websites, new jobs, new businesses, poorly crafted headshots cut from other images, selfies, weight gain or loss, hair loss, badly lit images or those with awkward expressions all have prompted people to contact a professional headshot photographer who can put all the pieces of the puzzle together to create a fabulous new headshot.

A professional headshot for your business or for your corporate ABOUT page is critical to your brand recognition.   When you take the time to create a professional headshot, with good lighting, great expression, professional presence and personality you tell people who are looking that you care about what you do, you mean business, that you are pleasant to work with and know your stuff.  

So your good FIRST step happens when you realize you need help! A selfie from your phone or a cropped out image of you from your cousin’s wedding, or that old photo of you from 2015 isn’t going to cut it. You know hiring a professional headshot photographer who can light you well and advise you about all the details for a great headshot is essential. 

The SECOND step of the process involves some planning. What is the end goal? How do I want to look?  What kind of images do I need?  How can I best utilize the images, as I create my personal brand, or represent my company?  There are endless applications that benefit from high-quality professional headshot images, from LinkedIn, to Outlook, Zoom, print marketing, email marketing, your “About” page, email signature, business cards, etc. Professional headshots can figure into all of those, in various orientations, but it’s important that they aren’t all the same image, so your clients or customers get to know you and you can exercise some creative flexibility in your marketing.  A good headshot photographer can help you with this also.

The THIRD step of the headshot is the overall “look” which includes you, your expression.  That’s where a professional headshot photographer comes in again, because it isn’t easy to just produce a natural, relaxed expression for the professional image.  Most people need coaching and help to induce the best expressions that are authentic.

In addition to your expression are other details that make your headshot fantastic. Determining the best elements for your headshot can be challenging!  For the professional business headshot, a simple background is USUALLY the most effective, and works well with a number of businesses.  I tend to steer clear of colors in the background, and prefer anything from white to dark gray.  With the background selected, I next make decisions about lighting, as different kinds of lighting work better with different backgrounds to achieve the look you want.  The lighting not only highlights your eyes, your features, but shadows (i.e. lack of light) can add a depth and quality to the Professional Headshot as well.  How much light works for you? How much shadow?  Sometimes, it’s trial and error, to see what looks good, and what you like.  What side of your face do we highlight? Again, we try it and judge together.

Here are some examples of my client, photographed in several very simple background setups.  Each a different look, very usable in business, great for SO MANY applications, because the background is free from distracting elements, and it’s ALL ABOUT THE CLIENT.

Professional Headshots - Karen Forsythe Photography

Looking for something else? Contact me to discuss YOUR headshot needs! 

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