Originally posted March 18, 2014, this post has been updated with new additions.
I realized the importance of accurate headshots years ago at a conference when someone I worked with closely didn’t recognize me (at all!) from my picture. This was probably because my headshot was 6 years old at the time.
These days, with Zoom, it’s even more important for me to have photos on my website that actually look like me … so when I show up on Zoom, they don’t say, Who’s that?! Even though the last time I redid my headshots seems like yesterday, it was 2014. Things have changed since then. My hair. My glasses. The 7-years-more-experience look in my eyes. 🙂
Getting over it
I know it’s hard to get a new photo — especially when you think you look better in your old one. All of my personal hesitations got in the way, and before I knew it—my 2008 picture looked nothing like 2014 Jill. Then, my 2014 picture didn’t look very much like 2021 Jill!
Sure, it’s a journey. It took me getting over myself and my insecurities. But at the end of the day, I want to be myself. I want to be real (in the same way that I recommend authentic images on your website).
You’re beautiful. You don’t look like you did 7 years ago. And that’s perfectly okay. Time goes on, your face changes, and having an old headshot is pretty much like smacking your current 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 my headshot evolution…
A few more pics from the photoshoot…
8 headshot tips for a photo that’s really you
- Put yourself in good hands. My photographer neighbor made it easy. When she started her business in 2014, she needed a logo, and she came to me. I said, “I need headshots—let’s barter!” In 2021, I hired professional photographer Teryl Jackson of Teryl Jackson Photography. I definitely recommend a professional who 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.
- 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.
- What to wear? I ended up super casual 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.
- Get your hair and makeup done! I’m all about being myself and owning what I look like — but there’s nothing wrong with a slightly polished version. A little hair and makeup help will make you feel more comfortable in front of the camera and send across some of those confidence vibes.
- 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.
- Location. I love my office. I knew I’d feel most comfortable here. And since I’m behind my computer every day—my location was an easy choice.
- 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.
- 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.
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.