3 Things People Look For in Your Headshot

things people look for in headshots

Humans make judgments on others pretty quickly. This is where the saying “first impressions last” comes from. This is even backed by a scientific study – people make their judgment on attractiveness, likability, and trustworthiness at first glance. This is the kind of power a good photo holds, particularly headshots – and as someone who represents a brand; you need to take advantage of this by visually communicating your personality in your headshot.

How exactly can you do this? You can start by understanding the things people look for in headshots.


How professional do you look?

Think about it, when was the last time you visited a website and judged the quality of its brand or its service from the headshot of its salesperson? The same thing could be happening to you as well.

This is why having a professionally-done, high-quality headshot is incredibly important not just for you and your brand’s image, but for your own success as well.

Looking professional doesn’t only mean wearing a blazer or a suit and tie. It involves a lot of things; from skills to traits, such as having a good attitude and communication skills to work with people/clients effectively. Meaning, it’s about looking the part.

In sales, there’s a term called the consideration stage – the second stage of the “buyer’s journey”. This is where a potential customer compares products and services to each other before making a decision. This basically means potential clients are judging you, based on your website, your social media profiles, contact information, photos of your business, and of course, your headshots. This means the amount of work you put into your visual brands determines how you will be perceived. Thus, keep it professional.

Make sure your headshot looks professional; eliminate distractions and opt for a clear background. Do your homework and find which clothing, colors, and style works best for you. Practice your poses and choose poses that make you look confident and competent.

Moreover, don’t be afraid to take it to the next level. Maximize your headshots; use them on your email signature, business card, etc., anywhere that can leave your prospects an image of you that they can easily remember.


How trustworthy do you look?

As said earlier, people often judge trustworthiness at first glance. Additionally, people do business with a brand they know, like, and trust. This only happens when they feel you have their best interest at heart. This is why businesses are maximizing testimonials and reviews to highlight their products and services in their websites, social media profiles, etc.

The same thing can be done with your headshots and videos as well. If you can convince your target audience that they can trust you even before they meet you, then you have already won half of the battle.

The human brain is hardwired to trust others. It can read body language and other non-verbal cues to decide whether to trust a stranger or not. You can make this work in your favor by doing the poses and positions that exude relaxing energy. This makes you look approachable, easygoing, and trustworthy in your headshots.

 visually communicating your personality in your headshot


What is your personality like?

Reputation starts with personality, and nothing ruins a good reputation faster than a sour attitude. Understand that people choose to do business with someone they think will understand them. Believe it or not, you can make your personality shine through your headshots.

You should look authentic; your smile should look real (like smiling with your eyes) and your poses should be natural (you should look comfortable). A good photographer can help you with this; someone who would help you open up more about your life; ask about what you do in your life and in work, etc., during the photoshoot session.

Another good trick is to use props for your headshots. If you are a realtor, then you can hold a “Sold” sign in your headshot. For chefs, you can hold various food or a plate with your specialty dish. For bakers, you can hold a spatula. For speakers, you can have a microphone with you. All these props can help you look the part by communicating your traits and special skills in subtle (or not so subtle) ways. All without having to say a single word.


Key takeaways

In today’s highly competitive and fast-paced world, the old adage “first impressions last” couldn’t be more applicable. Fortunately, with a good headshot, you can make good and lasting impressions even before you meet your target audience and potential clients. So make it work in your favor. Get awesome headshots now! 

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