5 common headshot photography mistakes

Whether you are an actor, performer, businessperson or other worker, the instrumental role that the most professional headshots can play in maximising your career opportunities should never be overlooked.

Unfortunately, several mistakes can be made that may prevent your own headshots having the desired impact – of which the below five are classic examples.

1.    Obscuring your face

If your headshots do not show the whole of your face – such as if your eyes are partly or fully concealed by your hat or hair – viewers of those headshots may not feel that vital sense of connection that they do when they meet you in person.

2.    Not using a headshot at all

Failing to use any photo in your online profiles – or at least, not one of your face – may leave viewers presuming that you simply cannot be bothered to invest any time in the creation of a credible and professional image for yourself.

Our natural human suspicion of anonymity may also mean that you receive fewer connections and career offers than if you had used a professionally-created headshot, or any headshot at all.

3.    Cropping a photo from an informal occasion

Attempting to create a ‘headshot’ from a cropped holiday snap, wedding photo or that smiling image of you from a drunken party is unlikely to convey the professionalism required to help you to get ahead in your industry.

Even if you work in a sector in which a casual photo would be more acceptable, it is still important for whatever image you select to signal your authenticity, approachability and professionalism.

4.    Using family photos

While it is vital to use headshots that provide a sense of your personality, it can be distracting for the potential employer, client or contact to see photos of you that were clearly taken outside a professional context.

Nor do most potential contacts have much reason to take an interest in any family or friends included in your headshots, other than in a personal rather than professional context.

5.    An unsuitable backdrop

An interesting background can certainly enhance the impression given by your headshots, but it is important to consider how that background is likely to be perceived in a professional context.

If you are a barrister or doctor rather than an actor, for example, a backdrop that resembles something from a murder mystery weekend may not exactly reflect the brand image, values and authenticity to which you aspire.

I’m Steve Lawton. Would you like to have truly professional headshots taken by a renowned actors’ and corporate headshot photographer? If so, feel free to consult my packages and prices to get a sense of which option may best suit you, in the event that you choose to work with me.