“I’m applying for a position that requires me to send a professional headshot. I went somewhere else and I hate what they did. I need them by Wednesday. Can you help?”
This is what “somewhere else” did.
I got that email from Dheeraj on a Friday. Luckily I was able to squeeze him in on Monday afternoon.
When he got to the studio, we took a second to talk about the goal for his headshots and what he was wearing. Then I started moving him in front of the lights. He noticed my white backdrop and asked, “Oh, can I have a gray background?”
“Sure!” I said as I turned off a couple of lights. “Dive in there.”
I got a mildly perplexed look as I stepped behind the camera. I’m guessing he was thinking “I just asked him for something different and he didn’t change a thing.”
I took a test shot to make sure my light was doing what I needed it to do for his face. I showed Dheeraj the screen. It showed the light on him was perfect and a dark gray background.
“Ok, that shot is already a million times better than what the other place did and the fact that you know how to make that white background gray… I know this is the right place.”
As always, I spent time with Dheeraj. I coached him the entire time to get his best angles and authentic reactions. Once I knew we had great choices for him we stepped to the computer to review his images. ( What Tethering Means for You)
“This is so much better. The other place was like a fast-food restaurant. I was in and out in less than 5 mins. They just sat me down and didn’t say anything to me.”
I did find out that the first “photographer” he had gone to was a national department store in a mall. (Here’s how to find the right photographer for you)
So what is my point with this story?
A headshot is not just a picture of you. It’s a marketing tool. It’s what you’re going to show employers, clients, casting directors, your social media network, etc, so they get an idea of who you are. They will have immediate thoughts about who you are just by looking at your image.
What is your image worth?