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Add a face to your professional name with a picture-perfect headshot.

From your online presence to the tone of your voicemail, from the clothes you wear to the services you deliver—your personal and professional brand comes to life through how you present yourself.

Your personal and professional brand comes to life through how you present yourself.

And with the Internet playing such a large role in your professional success these days, our faces tend to take center stage as an introduction. That means it’s integral for the smiling face people see on LinkedIn, Facebook,Twitter, and other social media channels to project your desired image.


To make that vital first impression a good one, you may want to consider hiring a professional photographer to capture a photo for you. That can be a daunting (and possibly expensive) task, but there are a few steps that will ensure it pays off.

1. You’ll want to review the photographer’s credentials and a portfolio to ensure their work reflects the style you want to convey. Share the end result you want from the photos and how they will be used with the photographer.

2. You’ll also want to discuss the background that best fits the purpose of your shots. Do they have a studio and all the proper lighting and equipment to take great pictures? Or does being outside work best and do they have experience taking photographs in natural light?

3. Of course, you’ll want to discuss how much they charge and what you get for that price. Do they do touch ups free of charge? How many photos will you receive?

4. Make sure you’ll receive high-resolution digital copies that you can use for social media, your website, and other promotional and media purposes.

5. As always, having a signed contract is a good idea to protect your investment and your images.


Think about what you are going to wear and dress to impress your target audience.

For a professional crowd, you will want to consider wearing a suit. If business casual fits your market, then your outfit should reflect that image.

Either way, it never fails to go simple and classic. After all, it is a “headshot”, not an “outfit shot”—your smiling face should be the focal point, so don’t take away from that.

It never fails to go simple and classic.

Solid colors work best and it’s best to avoid clothes with patterns or checks. V-necks accentuate the neckline and look better than turtlenecks. Don’t wear big jewelry.

Professional photographers are experienced at getting people to relax, so even if you don’t like having your picture taken, follow their directions. They will instruct you so that you appear natural and look your best.

Finally, keep your picture updated. Have you ever seen someone’s picture in their advertising, only to meet them and wonder how long ago that photograph was actually taken? It always feels a bit odd when you realize that they were probably ten years younger at the time. Having a new photograph taken every three or four years is a good guideline.


This post originally appeared on Career Contessa here and was written by Author Cathy Goddard.

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