June 9, 2016
Have you ever found yourself running to the local hardware store after binge-watching HGTV? It only takes one episode of Fixer Upper and suddenly I’m channeling my inner Joanna and Chip Gaines, ready to demo every wall in sight and nail up some shiplap, that pine paneling commonly used in barns and historic homes. Even though Joanna and Chip make it look easy, the truth is, they’re experts. And sometimes, if you want something done right, you should hire someone else to do it for you.
Photography is at the top of Impact’s “Don’t Do It Yourself” list. We called in photographer to the local stars Melissa Surprise of Surprise Photography to weigh in on why headshots should be left to the professionals.
Below are Melissa’s top three reasons why you should go pro with your headshots:
Ask yourself: How do I want to be seen by the world? What is the first impression I want to make? If you want to be treated as professional, you need to look like one. Future employers, recruiters, and business contacts will pause to take a closer look if they’re viewing an eye-pleasing photo. That iPhone bathroom shot won’t cut it. Put down the selfie stick, wipe those duck lips off your face and call a professional.
Professional camera does not equal professional photographer. Sure, your friend may have snagged a fancy camera, but, believe it or not, photographers do more than just point and click. Chances are, your friend doesn’t know how to read light, or which pose will send a certain message. And when it comes to editing, does your friend know how to finely tune and color correct your images? Probably not. But I do.
Are you on the fence about spending the money on professional photos? Don’t be. In the end, the benefits may offset the cost. Headshots are versatile, and come in handy with just about any aspect of your business, especially if you’re looking to pursue PR. A polished professional pic can accompany a bio, be used on a website, on LinkedIn or other social media and more. Speaking of media, a headshot is an essential item for news announcements, guest articles, award recognitions and even blog posts. To make the most out of investment, consider getting your hair and makeup professionally done or enlisting the advice of a local boutique for a professional outfit that suits your business.
And since we’re talking PR here, let me underscore Melissa’s point on the media. I can tell you firsthand that an editor is far more likely to run an item if it has a professional headshot to accompany it. News is often consumed online these days, and visual storytelling is part of the equation. Editors know that a sharp image will attract readers to a story, and subsequently, their pub. Let’s say you’re contributing an article to a local paper as an expert in your field. A professional, high-quality headshot will enhance your credibility by leaps and bounds. Sure, we all know not to judge a book by its cover, but we also all know we can’t help but do so. Your image matters, so leave the image creation to the pros, and leave the shiplap to Joanna Gaines.
Note: This article is was written by Nikki D’Aleo, former senior account executive at Impact PR & Communications.