Your brand is more than just your logo or company name. It is everything about you that you want people to see. To sum it up nicely, it is who you are and what you do. For the sole entrepreneur, you ARE your brand. The way you display yourself on your website, social media sites, as well as in person, is very important. You need to have an up to date and professional headshot.
A headshot does not need to be the typical head and shoulders image, up against a backdrop with drab lighting and a fake smile. Nowadays, photographers are offering lifestyle professional images which are unique, exciting and pleasant to view! This type of image will give people an insight into your personality as well as your business. You can be photographed in your office, out at your favourite park or urban area. You can then use different looking images throughout your website, as well as on your social media sites.
Diana Nazareth, (Diana Nazareth Photography) in Toronto, appreciates a more candid and casual approach to headshot sessions. She says “I love doing headshot sessions, especially for creative, smart, and successful women entrepreneurs. My approach is more casual and candid because I think that’s the ideal way to convey who you truly are as an entrepreneur. I also pay close attention your specific headshot needs to be able to provide you variety ofimages for your professional use.”
When choosing a photographer, you want to look for someone in your area that has headshots as part of their portfolio. If you are a member of the WIBN, check the directory listing as there are a few photographers that are members. You can also search Google by searching “Toronto Headshot Photographer”. Change the words as needed but be sure to include the location when searching.
Now that you’ve got some names, create a short list by analyzing the photographer’s website. Look at their images, and not only their headshot images, but all the images on their site. You’re looking for consistency here. Are all their images in focus? Are the images bright and cheerful looking, or are they dark and underexposed? These types of things help you determine if the photographer is skilled in his/her trade.
Now, look closer at their headshot portfolio and ask yourself these questions:
· Are the images sharp and in focus?
· Do the people in the images look natural?
· Do their eyes & skin look natural or does it look like someone has gone nuts with Photoshop?
· Are they dressed professionally?
· Do the pictures look too bright or too dark?
Yes, it’s a lot to think about, but you want to make sure you choose a skilled photographer so that your money is put to good use!
Now that you have your shortlist, contact at least three photographers to get to know them. I recommend you do this on the phone so that you can get a feel for their personality. Having the right vibe with your photographer will go a long way in creating wonderful images for you.
Petra King, (Petra King Photography) based in Ajax, likes to take a relaxed approach to her headshot sessions. “Offering on-location sessions allows the client and I to connect, relax and have fun. Having a relaxed atmosphere allows my client to be unique and stylish to show off their personality. I love being able to provide a variety of images for you to use professionally and personally.”
Things to discuss with the photographer:
· Your business
· Your vision for your headshot
· Clothing recommendations
· Pricing,contract and payment policies
I can’t stress this next point enough: do not base your decision on pricing alone! This is a custom photography session you are requesting – expect to spend at least $150 if you’re in a metropolitan area like Toronto or Ottawa. Remember, this is a business expense. The photographer you hire should have a business license, insurance, HST number and be able to provide you with an invoice for your record keeping purposes.
Danielle Bernier (Danielle Lynn Photography) based in Ottawa knows that professional images are an investment in your business. “Professional headshots, like professional portraits of any kind, is an investment in your brand, in your image and therefore, an investment in your business as a whole. It’s important to remember that a crisp, clean, highquality image helps create the impression that you care about a high standard of quality in the products or services you offer.”
Once you’ve conducted your interviews, you should have enough information to make your final decision. Contact your chosen photographer to set up your session. This will likely involve signing a contract and the photographer collecting your session fee in advance to reserve your date, depending on their payment policies. Also, please make sure you let the other photographers know that you’ve decided to go with someone else. There’s nothing worse than being left hanging while you’re waiting for someone to make a decision.