I recently changed Mee headshot, I’ll show you the old one, and let you pick Mee brain as why I changed it. And insider’s look to a photography brain.
And why you should consider doing the same.
This is my old headshot. My sister (an amazing photographer) took it while we were on vacation in the mountains. I used it because a.) I had a great tan b.) it was in my fav place in the mountains c.) every time I look at this picture I am drawn back to that peace & d.) because I feel like I am really looking at the camera, looking at myself with no apologies, no non-sense, just Mee and being so comfortable, I am looking right into your (aka my/Mee soul)
Before I show you my new one that I posted, let’s talk about what goes into a headshot-especially if it represents your message, your future and your brand. Think Re-Brand.
Love this photo-shows I have style, and that even though I live in the country, I have city in my blood still. But it doesn’t work for a headshot, because it is too far away, it would be used in one season only -winter- and unless I tell you I love red walls and I was in the city for this photo, you would have to guess why I posted it. If It was my red wall along my office, home or place I did my thing all the time, then yes, brand.
What NOT to do
Let’s say we just met in a forum, I have been reading what you wrote and I am really excited about working with you-based on our engagement. But what if you didn’t write anything, what if we aren’t in the same group, and what if I don’t go to your house every week and I don’t know the behind the scenes you? That doesn’t mean we can’t be friends, (You know we will probably be BFF 4vr very soon) I will still probably want to buy from you, be friends with you and also share your heart messages. Hello. Your personal facebook and social media photos matter.
So, I am trying to be friends with you, but like I said above, I have a little bit of information to go by, I like what you post, we met somewhere online, and maybe we even grabbed a coffee or two together. We want to be friends on facebook. But then I go to try and find you….
Mee with my pet Bear. Yes this is a bear that was being skinned. Cool profile image? I think not, because it is so small and no one would know what that was. This is a see 1 or 10 kind of times image, not every darn time you open up your mobile phone or laptop.
“Wait. Does she have a dog? No is that a cat? I don’t know…On our coffee date, you might have mentioned a dog?”
-Your Profile photo is of your fav pet. Great! Print it out, set it next to your desk. Actually!! Make a gigantic poster of it and give it out as Christmas gifts, but DO NOT HAVE IT AS YOUR PROFILE PICTURE. Period. I am not in love with your pet, I don’t even know your pet. And, unless I come over to your house every day, I probably don’t even know you have one. Why would I search your name and know it was you if you have a pet as your photo?
Tip: Be in the photo with your pet. Let that love shine, but make sure we know and see You.
This is my favorite photo of myself. Because I had dreamed for 7 years of taking this photo, and finally, I was taking it. I was having a good hair day and my little man was smiling. It is perfect. FOR MEE. Not for Mee Profile image & not for a Headshot. It would be good in About Mee section where I show some photos of my family, maybe strategically for Mee branding. But print it out already, put it on the wall next to my desk. End of discussion.
Her and Mee- this was 6 or 7 years ago. YES BUT this is such a great memory! Just because it is a great memory for Mee, doesn’t mean it was for you! Heck! You probably weren’t even there!
“Wait…does she have kids? Awww those faces are so cute. But we met, she told Mee to help her with her website online, and there are 300 Sarah’s. All I see here are little kids. I think I met her kids once…Squint eyes to think…tilt head…yes but how many did she have? Were they boys or girls? Ahhh I don’t know… This must not be her.”
-Your photo is of your kids. Maybe it was of your kids when they were little EVEN HARDER since I probably didn’t know you when they were little. Now I am trying to find you based on your kids that I don’t really remember, and add in years previous. Tell a librarian without a computer searching software, to find something that was older and with no real description. Watch her cry. Trying to find a needle in a haystack when you do that to your friends. We love how cute your kids are, just not when we are trying to find you, or take you SERIOUS when reading your comments in a common facebook group we both share.
Who am I going to take serious? The one with the Headshot of her and her work, or the children laughing, whom I probably don’t know, wasn’t there for the moment and don’t get the inside joke or emotion.
There are some exceptions to this rule. You with your kids. The key is YOU. But they are not in focus, you are, and we can really clearly tell who you are. They are besides you, behind you, heck! climbing on top of you, but you are the main focus. Tip: double check to see if we can see tell it’s you when you are micro facebook commenting size.
Cute photo of us. But if I was using this as a profile photo, would you know who was speaking? Let him have his photo, and Mee have mine. Clarity sells in a second. Make it count
“Is that her tongue down his throat? I can’t even see her face, all I can see is her and him making out, watch Mee cringe. I give up, I don’t want to see this, I should cover my own eyes.”
-Your profile photo is of you and your lover. This is the number one profile picture I see. This is hard because I love my lover too. We make a really great couple. But what am I trying to PROVE to you by showcasing our love? Am I trying to convince you of my own personal love connection? Or am I trying to create a friendship with you? I think this would be Dale Carnigie 101 if he were still alive. The photo needs to say “hello, let’s be friends, start fresh.”
Unless you have a brand where it is 110% comprised of the two of you in your business working together, don’t have photos taken of you both. Like Duzy, they are super cute together, but they planned every step of the way. And Hey Sweet Pea, but they specifically planned their social media posts and their online classes to have both of them as the focus, so it’s NATURAL for them both to be in the photos together.
Tip: Ask yourself, will that new friend, within seconds know which one of us is posting? If they don’t know Mee yet, maybe they don’t know I am guy or a girl. I want to stand out and be remembered. Clarity wins you sales. Use photos of you and your partner for Social Media content.
So what do you want your photos to be of then? Great, so glad you asked!
What TO DO
Examples of Headshots I have taken. Clean backgrounds, you can see faces clearly. But don’t end here. Let’s move on to Branding photos
I was in a group where Hey Sweet Pea was asking all of us why we had the profile headshot images we had, what was our thinking behind that image? WHY did we post THAT ONE? Then they challenged us to go further and see what the “feeling” was when looking at through another’s perspective. If it didn’t have that feeling, then change it.
Q: How do you want people to feel when they see your headshot? Go beyond having just a good picture, get creative, think about what is it doing for your brand!
How to change your photo, a couple of quick tips:
a.)Take it yourself. Think glorified selfie. You can do this if you want, but you are going to have to keep in mind your body shapes, your face, your hands, your posture, are you moving on camera a way that will look good? I am here to encourage you, it might take 400 images, but you could do it to at least give you something, a start.
b.)Work with a pro. And maybe a team of pros.
Here are some quick tips to working with Pros to get you what you want! That look! Fabulous YOU!
Tips for working with pros…here are some things to think through
- Makeup and Hair. Please, even if you are a hippy, or a naturalist (read Natasha’s 2014 must Organic Natural make up here)Put on makeup for the day. Rule for Makeup, always more for Photos and TV. The line above eye and eyebrows are the most important makeup piece on your face, because it draws the viewer to your eye and not other places.
Hair, bigger hair is best. I can apply makeup after the photo shoot on your photos, and so can a good editor (think blemishes be gone!) but hair is something that I just can’t do well in Photoshop. Bigger hair, like you think you are going to fly away or get your hair stuck going through the door (ok maybe not that dramatic, but I would love to see that!) the better. Flat hair = flat looking photos.
- White on White. I always get asked to take photos outside. I say, sure, but in a really controlled white wall environment, I can give you even better looking images. Nature is amazing, but controlling the elements is not, think: my time and yours is very precious. Also, if you get photos on a white wall you get to cut yourself out and paste it in like your: header, email, sign up list, book, ebook, pdf, contract..etc. If you are that kind of person. Just keep this in mind, most brands go well with white. You can change you wardrobe and accessories easier, so that way it’s not so busy. Clean, simple and to the point. Then you can apply graphics, inspiration…etc on top of those bad puppies
- Style your clothes so that they match your branding. The worst idea ever was when I dressed up for a photoshoot in a blue blazer and it didn’t go with the look of the comfy brand I had taken those images for. It was too dressed up. Then there was the time I got my photos taken in a neon orange shirt, for a very VERY pastel website. I had to turn all the photos black and white or edit them like crazy, so it would match. After spending days in photoshop matching everything, I learned, do it first! Think about outfit, it matters!
- When you are being photographed, don’t just pose, also PRETHINK what do I do on a regular work day? What are my specialties? Do I make things, do I have a podcast, do I edit photos, to I create graphics, do I draw? Those are the things we REALLY REALLY want to see photos of.
I love this last tip so much I created a couple of examples for you to see. Now where I don’t think these are good for profile photos, these go with your brand. Show your audience you doing that thing that you do best, that thing that you have a passion for. If you could choose 1-5 of those things, what is it? Then get your photos taken doing those things!
Click on Makers Re-branding in Pinterest to see all these images and where the great biz and makers are from and befriend them!
We want to see you doing your thing. We want an inside look at who you are and what you are about. That builds trust
People buy from other people. Show us
One of my favorite examples of social media is the image above of the girl drawing the large photo of the girl and painting her lips. It has been shared on Pinterest, twitter, Tumblr and facebook over 14million times. I went and looked at the actual photo she drew, the one of the girl, only a couple hundred times. The point: Show us you
Ok now for My latest image, I said I would share.
Be In Photos
This was taken by Mee. Will it be the last image? No. And secret-it was taken with my cell phone.
Why I changed my image. I have a pro photo session scheduled, but I decided it was time to change it before that, and the main reasons were because:
I am in 5 facebook groups that really matter to Mee that people get to know Mee, trust and can see who and what is going on in the photo. To Mee the most important thing is to be able to create connections and relationships.
Also, I have been noticing that my facebook photo is connected to ALOT of things. My contact on other people’s phones, my birthday on people’s calendars, my email, social media, and again, I want people to remember who I am.
I just signed up for an event that is taking place in a couple of weeks in person, and to do that I registered online. The coolest thing ever? We could see who else is registered and take the same classes as our friends. I have been meeting people all over my local province because of this great new registration software (If you need to create an event, I would recommend Picatic!)
And guess what else the registration needed?
A photo of Mee. Was I scrambling? Nope. Uploaded and sighed contently.
Decide what you want out of a photo. What do you want it to convey, what are the feelings about it? Decide then create, experiment. BE IN PHOTOS. #ShowThem