Is your headshot as old as mine? (And is it on your website?)

New headshots have been on my TeuxDeux someday list since last year’s Creative Freelancer Conference when someone I work with closely didn’t recognize me (at all!) from my picture. Hmm, could this have been because my headshot was 6 years old? Yeah, probably.

The 2014 CFBC is coming up May 14–16—and I’m speaking at it. Yay! Yet another reason to update my ancient headshot. But before getting snapped, I had some stuff to get over…

Why I waited 6 years to get a new headshot…

For starters, I don’t think I’m photogenic at all. There have been approximately three pictures in my life that I actually like. Although if I look at them long enough, I might start to dislike them. So, considering I liked my picture from 2008—why change it? Well, the main reason is, I don’t look like that anymore. (And if your picture is from 2008, you probably don’t either.) My hair is different, I’ve had a baby (which changes everything!) and, well, I’m 6 years older.

Like a smack in the face OR Getting over it

All of my personal hesitations got in the way, and before I knew it—my picture looked nothing like 2014 Jill. I had to get over it—and so do you. You’re beautiful. You don’t look like you did 6 years ago. And that’s perfectly okay. Time goes on, your face changes, and having an old headshot is pretty much like smacking your 2014 self in the face. So mean.

If you’re a creative person, it’s likely you’re married to aesthetics and visuals. All the more reason your photo needs to be accurate. And, if you don’t have your photo on your site, you really should. It’s a great way to add personality to your website. Sold? Good. It’s time to get new headshots.

Here’s the old and the new…

u part wigs uk

New 2014 headshot

Not only do I now look like me (yay!), I also love the Instagram style of my new photo. Plus, photos in circles are all the rage. My old headshot harkened back to skeuomorphic days when design mimiced real world objects (a.k.a. the piece of tape and photo border). Read more about flat design vs. skeuomorphism and what’s hot and what’s not in web design (an article I wrote for my longtime client, Solamar Agency). Now for some headshot tips…

7 headshot tips for a photo that’s really you

  1. Put yourself in good hands. My photographer neighbor made it easy. She’s starting a business, she needed a logo, and she came to me. I said, “I need headshots—let’s barter!” Thank you Megan Gentry Photography! (I don’t want to think about how much longer this would have taken if I did not have a photographer neighbor.) If your neighbor isn’t a photographer, you can find a local photographer. A professional knows about lighting, angles and editing in a way that you probably don’t. And even if you do, it can be hard to see past ourselves, especially when it comes to putting ourselves out there.
  2. Have a conversation. If you’ve found a great photographer, they’re going to have a process to help you. Hopefully this process includes a conversation. Mine got to know me and my concerns, like and dislikes.
  3. What to wear? I ended up super casual (long sleeve t-shirt and jeans) because that’s what I’m comfortable in. That’s my style. Stick to your style—you don’t have to be dressed formally. It’s important that you look and feel natural, not stiff or contrived.
  4. Colors. There are a few things to consider here. 1) Think about where your picture will be on your website. It should go with your color scheme, not clash. 2) Be careful of wild patterns, especially if they take away from your face. It’s fine in fashion, but not in your headshot. 3) Wear a color that suits your skin tone and doesn’t wash you out. Your photographer can help you make these choices.
  5. Location. I love my house. I knew I’d feel most comfortable here. And since my dining room is my favorite room—my location was an easy choice.
  6. Go ahead—be trendy. Trends can be cool, and they can show that you’re current. Since your picture shouldn’t be more than two years old (just like your website should be current!), go ahead—use desaturation, yellowing, or whatever trend moves you.
  7. Find inspiration. Spend some time online looking at headshots of people you admire. In the same way you’d approach a design project, this will give you inspiration and something to show the photographer.

Need new headshots? If you’re attending CFBC, you’ll not only get to meet me in person (you’ll find me because now I look like my picture!) but you can also get headshots taken. The details are being finalized, but I’ll keep you posted.

You love what you do, right? So do I. Do your business proud by showing yourself off.

If your new headshot needs the perfect website, I’d love to help.

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5 thoughts on “Is your headshot as old as mine? (And is it on your website?)

  1. Great article! I buckled to peer pressure last year and also got a professional headshot, and so glad I did. It’s hands’ above better than the grainy picture I’d been using before.

    But you got me at the photo in a circle bit. That’s exactly how I styled my photo, but I did it because I thought it looked modern and different. Who knew that it was an actual trend?! Awesome. Look forward to meeting you at CFBC in Boston!

  2. Thanks Jill – this is something I’ve been meaning to do as well. My headshot is at least 20 years old now. I had a pro photographer do a series of photos way back when.

    Of course, now I’m older, heavier and I’ve never been photogenic either. Well, the pro photographer I worked with did miracles…I looked like a model. Having a pro makeup artist for photo day also made a huge difference…for both color and black and white images.

    For my next image update, I’d like to take some goofy shots along with more stylish ones to mix it up on my site. I think for me, being outside has been the most successful in looking my natural self.

    Thanks for the tips on getting good images too. All good info!
    🙂

  3. @Sonia Yes, I think Google+ started the photos in circles rage. Now it seems like they’re everywhere—and I love it 🙂

    @Sherri oooohh, pro makeup artist. I’m gonna do that next time. Great idea!

  4. My headshot photographer insisted on a pro makeup artist at the shoot. And wow, it made such a difference. I never put on much makeup but she piled it on and made look amazing and yet somehow still me.

    I suddenly saw the resemblance between me and my cousins (that I had always looked up to as a child) so what was a business event ended up feeling like a emotional, personal journey. I actually wanted to cry except it would have ruined all her work!

    1. Yeah, the last time I had a makeup artist do my makeup was at my cousin’s wedding, gosh, 6 or 7 years ago. Made me feel so pretty 🙂

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