How to: Pick the right headshot photographer

I received a newsletter via email the other day. The newsletter’s point was was to get the audience to sign up for an educational event (that is all I can say, it’s a small community). The featured educator was photographed in front of a wall with bad lighting and a frozen smile that said “I’m uncomfortable and can’t wait to get out of here” when it should be saying “you can trust me to do business with you.”

_MG_5553As I talked about in a guest blog on last month, there are several key components to getting the most out of your image. When I say image, I mean your actual personal branding image which can be captured as a literal photographed image. What does your image say about you?

Choosing the right headshot photographer is the first and possibly most important decision if you want quality headshots to capture your image.

Even if you are thinking “get me out of here,” a talented headshot photographer can help you relax and get professional photos that show confidence and reliability. The photographer can also help you make the other important decisions such as what to wear and the photo shoot location.

How do I know which headshot photographer to choose?

Linda Richards Photography would love to be the one to help advance your career by providing quality, professional headshots but I will be the first to admit that we may not be the right fit and we are comfortable letting you know or hearing it from a potential client inquiry. It’s more important for you and us to look at your options and make the decision based on your needs and preferences.

_MG_7246So what do I suggest?
Get referrals 

Look at your friend’s headshots and headshots you see of connections on social media sites like LinkedIn. See something unique or anything you like? Ask who took their photos. That gives you an idea of the photographers out there who are doing good work.

Portfolio speaks for itself

When you’re looking at various photography portfolios, make sure you are looking specifically for a headshot photographer. Shooting family photos or event photography takes a different skillset than headshot photography and it’s important that the photographer you choose has experience with headshots.

When looking at the photographer’s portfolio, ask yourself, what do I see? Do the people seem relaxed or nervous? Do the people look sincere? Lastly, does every headshot look identical or does the photographer have the creative ability to mix it up to fit each client’s needs? I like to play the game, “guess the career” when I surf through portfolios or LinkedIn.

Elin-7003Another tip you may not think about when looking at a portfolio is to see if the photographer seems to have experience working with someone from your industry and ethnic background. Both play a role in choosing the right kind of lighting and background.

Client testimonials?

Another deciding factor is if the photographer offers any kind of referrals or testimonials on the website or upon request. Like any job interview, the photographer will only tell you about the happy clients, but that’s OK. See if there are any consistent comments that the photographer demonstrated qualities you find important.

Professional treatment

_MG_6651My last piece of advice is to contact the photographer that you would most like to work with and find out how easy the person is to reach, is the person flexible and does the photographer offer options for pricing and packages?


So, what do you want your headshot to say about you? It may be time to update your image