How To Achieve A Killer Headshot: Part 1

Sophie here, and in this two-part blog series I’ll be explaining how to achieve a killer headshot that can boost your business, and help tell a more cohesive story about your brand (You can find Part II here!). When we work with clients on new branding for their business or personal brand, one of the first places we start is with their headshot.

So, why is a headshot important? Your online presence and social media plays a major role in making or breaking the success of your business. Being visible online keeps you front of mind and your headshot is the critical part of this visual story. Your headshot is an opportunity to define your image and highlight relevant parts of yourself to your clients.

With this in mind, ask yourself: what story does your current headshot say about you and your business? What first impression do you think your headshot makes?

You can tell one story from a professional headshot taken by a photographer, and a very different story from personal photograph taken on vacation (even worse if your partner or child visibly cropped out of the picture). 

Unfortunately the later probably send a message that signifies a lack of professionalism. In reality, your offline relationships are probably extremely professional, and you're likely creating great value for your clients. But how are potential dream clients going to know that if the face you show (on your website and social media), isn't in line with how great you really are? 

Or in the case that it's been a long time since you've had your headshot taken, you might think about whether or not it's time to update the story you're sharing with your clients. Transparency is incredibly important. And a good headshot that represents who you are today is going to attract a lot more dream clients than an old representation of you photographed a long time ago.

A killer headshot can do a lot of "heavy lifting" to communicate how you conduct business. If you don't yet have one, you might be missing out on an opportunity to show off your professionalism, quality, a good level of client or customer service and valuable end results.

How To Achieve A Killer Headhot: Part 1, Prim'd Marketing blog


The following exercise will help you figure out what you want to achieve from getting a new headshot made, and how you want to do it. Start by asking yourself the following first question. At the same time, also note down any keywords associated with the parts of you that you want to promote. Your notes will also help you brainstorm the style you want, the wardrobe choices and the ideal location:


Are you a legal and real estate professional who wants to promote yourself in a more formal and button up way that will be taken seriously and will encourage perspective clients to trust you and your expertise?

Keywords could include: Expert, resource, polished, black suit, structured look, indoor/studio.

Or are you an artistic individual who wants to show a more informal and fun personality in a relaxed and creative environment?

Keywords could include: Creative, inspiring, maker, stylish, bold brights, pretty pastels, patterns, statement jewelry, outdoors, creative office/workshop, dress, slouchy blazer, glasses, bright lips.


The type of people you want to attract and hire you will influence the look and feel of your headshot. It may also affect your body language at the shoot, for example a recent realtor client we worked with wanted to make sure she looked directly to camera and held eye contact with the viewer to build trust. On the other end of the scale, an artistic type may want to look away from the lens to be seen laughing with someone behind camera which portrays a fun and collaborative spirit.


 The way in which you plan to use your headshot may also dictate the look and style of your headshot. The background in particular, such as a versatile white backdrop will effect how the headshot will be used on a website, as a social media profile, on a newsletter, or in your signature block.

After answering these questions, you should have a better idea of what you want and where you want to shoot your headshot.

Next step is the prepping. Don't miss how to prep for the shoot and how to get the best results on the day in Part II:  ‘How To Achieve A Killer Head Shot.' This will include great advice from our Prim’d photographic partner Jacqueline Warner Photography.

Tune in next week, and let us know if you are considering new headshots and what your questions are around the subject.  

How To Achieve A Killer Headshot (part 1)


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