Discloser: I have not been asked or paid by the photographer or make-up artist mentioned in this blog to plug their services. Tridel generously allowed us to shoot in their Aristo at Avonshire suites in exchange for mentioning the location in a blog post - which I am doing so happily!
Professional headshots are an important part of every media kit because these are the images representing your brand. It may be tempting to use your Facebook profile photo in your kit, but it's better to invest the time and money to ensure your photos are up to par.
Media outlets request headshots for a variety of reasons, including the following:
The promotion of a television segment or interview
A phone interview (in situations where you cannot be in studio and are calling in)
Cross-promotion of your interview on their social media platforms
Usually the request will be for a high-resolution image that is readily available in a variety of formats (such as JPEG and PNG).
So how do you create professional headshots the media will want to use? I outline 3 easy steps below.
1. Choose the right photographer.
There is no way to know how your photos will turn out. However, if you do your research and ask the right questions, you can avoid any unwanted surprises.
I came across a photo of a former CBC colleague on Facebook and immediately wanted to know who took the photo. It turned out to be by an up-and-coming Toronto photographer Ramya Jegatheesan. Ramya doesn't specialize in headshots, but her portfolio was wide enough to give me the sense she knew how to take beautiful images.
After contacting her, I made sure to ask all the right questions before hiring her. Questions to consider include:
Will you shoot on location? Do you have a studio?
How many images will you capture? (A set number, or will you take shots until you get "the one").
How much do you charge and does that price include the images (edited or unedited)?
I lucked out and had a wonderful experience working with Ramya. She made me feel comfortable in front of the camera and had plenty of patience on location as we moved from room to room. To top it off I received hundreds of images in less than two weeks. Below is one of my favourites.
2. Find a location that aligns with your brand.
Most photographers have access to a studio, but if they don't, consider doing the photoshoot at a location that aligns with your brand. I fell in love with Tridel's Aristo at Avonshire suites just by looking at their image gallery online. There were several unique settings in their themed suites to capture the shots I needed.
Other elements to consider when choosing a unique location for your shoot include:
Is there plenty of natural light?
Are there a variety of backdrops?
How accessible will the location be for me and my photographer?
Will you need a photo permit?
The image below was captured in the Paris Haute theme living and dining room. The layout worked well since there was floor to ceiling windows that streamed in natural light.
3. Get your hair and make-up professionally did!
After selecting a photographer and location, you need to get your hair and make-up professional done. Make-up artists are just that, artists. They know how to contour and play up your features to make you look your best in front of the camera.
When choosing a make-up artist considering the following:
Does their portfolio include a variety of looks on diverse skin tones?
Will the make-up artist travel to the shoot location or come to your home?
Are lashes included in the price (highly recommended for photo shoots unless you happen to have lashes like Angelina Jolie!)