Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Corporate Headshot

 After canceling the last session for fear of embarrassment, I’m taking my corporate headshot. This will be my professional image for the next few years. Clients, higher-ups, and even rivals may come across this picture. I’m nervous. In my nervousness, I took to the internet for helpful tips and examples of good pictures. 

Corporette recommends: “To start, we would recommend first looking at the existing pictures for your firm. Particularly, flip to the female partners — what are they wearing? Our guess is that they’re wearing a classic suit and pearls. In light of the debate about how to wear shirt collars, we would recommend wearing a collar-less shirt (just our humble opinion), and the best pair of pearls you own.”

Clarabridge provided a list of headshot tips. Here’s my favorite: “Exercise that morning.  Waking up early and going for even a quick run will do great things for your complexion, alertness, and metabolism throughout the day.”

Real Simple compiled a list of great tips:  Engage the photographer in a conversation about some topic you both may find of interest... If your mind is focused on something other than the photo, you'll appear less rigid.

Main concerns are hair, makeup, outfit, position, and lighting. I may not get much of a say in lighting. Based on pictures of other women of color from my job, the grey suit is a popular choice. 

My game plan: 1. Wake up early. 2. Exercise. 3. Actually eat breakfast. 4. Get a mini makeover 5. Try not to over think it. Though I often dabble is bright colors and patterns (in moderation of course), for this picture I'll go simple blazer and a shell. My hair will be the real balancing act. I've decided not to straighten it or wear a wig for this picture. That's not how I look at work everyday, so why would I post a picture for the world that's so different from who I am? I'll post a follow up about how it goes and any after-the-fact tips.


I stuck to my plan and my headshot turned out great! I woke up, did a mini 15-minute work out to get blood circulating, got dressed and headed to my makeup appointment. I wore a T-shirt over my outfit to avoid getting make up on my clothes, but the makeup place had smocks. I let Andrea (my artist) know that this was a corporate headshot look and that I needed to be conservative and professional. She did a great job and really listened. When the time came, I met with the photographers and took about 20 initial shots.  We talked through ones that we liked and narrowed it down to 3. I wasn't satisfied. I just couldn't commit, so we did 10 more. When I found the one, it was a group consensus. The photographers were professionals, so it was important to me to have their feedback, but it was my call. A few weeks later, I had a brand new, flawless photo up on my company's website. I liked it so much, that I used it for LinkedIn too.
  • Outfit:        Button-down and blazer
  • Hair:          No wig, no weave, just well-placed natural curls
  • Makeup:    Subtle, warm, and professionally done
  • Other:        No glasses so my face would be fully visible

How did you prepare for picture day?

***   The photos in this post are from Dave Cross at . There is no connection between these images and the text in this post. They are for the purpose of serving as visual examples of amazing headshots to help the readers.

No comments:

Post a Comment