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What's in a Face?

What does your profile photo tell people about who you are? Is your LinkedIn profile photo the same as your corpoorate portrait?

Many times the headshot or the purpose of the headshot or profile portrait is overlooked. Most not knowing that your profile portrait is the impression you will leave on your client or potential clientor even a love interest in your dating profile. So why is it so many people don't place any mind to it more often.

Was once told by a casting director in movie production company, that they get tonnes of headshots for their casting calls. The headshots (Comp Card) is split into 3 piles: Yes, No, and Maybe. The No pile is usually where the majority of photos go. Each headshot is give about 2 seconds before they go into the different piles. Maybes are given a second look of another 2 second look ending up with only a Yes and No pile. The Yes pile is then forwarded to the Director and producers for their selection.

While this might be a bit of an extreme example, the idea of a headshot or portrait that tells people a little about you is just as important. Many times that first impression has already been made before even meeting you and that usually sets the tone when you actually meet. the Cognitive and Emotional Journal published a research in 2012 that showed it took a person within 100ms on whether that person can be trusted or not.

With the new age of social media, making the first impression is even more important. It is a representation of your the bussiness, your services and your products. Having a poorly done headshot just screams that you don't really care or just lazy.

I would always say that a face tells a story, and always important that a headshot should be targeted towards your audience. Customization comes when you are showing who you are. ie. while corporate headshots may have a corporate identity and feel, the headshot should still be about who the person is. A short brief is needed for a headshot/portrait and need to be brought up to the photographer, as the photographer would have experience to help you get the look you're going for. Even if it is a corporate look, good direction from the photographer is always needed.

A few points to consider:

1/ Purpose of the Headshot/Portrait

2/ Who are your target audience

3/ Who are you that would help you get your message across

4/ Where are this images going to be used

Have you taken a look at your face recently?

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