Are you still using a photo someone took of you on their phone, with your friends awkwardly cropped out of the scene?

Whether it’s for a journalist, your website, a conference agenda, or your social media profiles, sometimes you just need a great-looking, professional headshot. Here are five tips to get you started.

1. Match It to Your Brand

The purpose of your business headshot is to put a face to your brand. So, above anything, your entire look should reflect your brand’s image, including:

  • The background and props you choose
  • What you wear
  • How you pose

💡 WEBSITE INSIGHT: Are you an artist? Consider a photo of you working with your medium. Give your audience a look behind the scenes. This is a great idea for other professions as well. Behind the scenes photos of you and your team can build excitement and crediblity on your website!

2. Research Poses

Few of us are models, so we don’t really have a ready-to-go library of poses. Before meeting with your photographer, do a search for headshots online. Which poses make sense for your brand and look?
💡 WEBSITE INSIGHT: Getting new headshots taken? Be sure to have your photographer take photos in both landscape and portrait orientations. Wider photos look great in full-width image spots on your website!

3. Use Natural or Professional Lighting

Opt for a professional setup or natural lighting in order to get the best quality photo. While some adjustments can be made in photo-editing software after the fact, getting great lighting from the start is immensely helpful.

4. Choose a Simple Backdrop

From studio-style to brick-wall, the backdrop helps set the scene. Just make sure it doesn’t distract from the main event — you!

5. Dress as if You Were Meeting a New Customer

💡 WEBSITE INSIGHT: Your website is often the first place your clients will “meet” you. Be sure to make a great impression with quality photos and your signature look!

Unless it’s a busy print or fussy construction, that’s probably a good choice for your headshot photo. Also: don’t go overboard on the makeup (simpler is better), and don’t get a new haircut right before the big day.