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How to Get The BEST Business Headshots

WooHoo! We just had new photos done! We love them and Kelli Hansen over at Hansen’s Photography couldn’t have been more awesome. We were in and out with individual head shots and a couple of us together in just over an hour!

It didn’t take long because we came prepared! Often head shots and photos cause delays and problems during the design phase, so this is the perfect opportunity to share some tips with you. Here are 4 must-have tips for getting great business head shots that have flexibility of use for the future built in!

  • Jennifer Bourn and Brian BournKnow how your photos will be used, and if you’re not sure brainstorm. For example, we knew our photos were going to be used in our new website footer — that means they have to work on a red background. So we chose black shirts and a textured, but not to colorful background.
  • Work Different Angles. Make sure you get final shots of you facing left, right, and center so your designer has the most flexibility when creating your marketing materials and website.
  • Don’t Cut Off Body Parts. Make sure that you get a great tightly cropped photo for Facebook and other uses, but also be sure to get versions of your photos that DO NOT have parts of your hair or arms cropped out. All too often we have to add fake arms and hair to photos so the client can get the design look they want and it adds hours to design time.
  • Bring Photo Examples. Scan Facebook for headshots that you love. Maybe you like the coloring, or style, or pose — Then bring the samples with you to your appointment, or email them ahead of time so your photographer knows what you’re looking for.
  • With these tips, you’ll not only have great headshots, but you’ll have head shots that can be used all different ways with ease.

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Comments & Feedback:Check out what others have to say about this post!

  1. Jennifer , another great, practical and inspiring article – thank you. Once again, you help us to think of things that we don’t think of – and help us be more proactive! LOVE these pics – you two are adorable. Congrats – the pic looks great! xo

  2. Hi Jennifer! LOVE the new pic of you and Brian!

    I can really relate to tip 3… “don’t cut off body parts” (WOW, taken out of context that’s kinda hysterical). My last pics were exactly like this and so limiting in terms of design. It’s frustrating when you don’t know what you don’ t know going in and have these expensive realizations AFTER THE FACT. Ugh!

    This post is going to help others avoid this kind of expensive frustration.

    ~ Gina xo

    • Jennifer Bourn

      Gina – okay, that phrase is funny out of context :) I can’t tell you how many fake arms, legs, biceps, thighs, and hair I’ve had to add to photos over the years! It adds hours to projects … Just getting the right photos up front making things so much easier!

  3. Great tips! The working different angles is something I didn’t think of but thank goodness my photographer did! I would have realized it once I began using it in the various places – left side and right side – !
    Thanks Jen!

    • Jennifer Bourn

      Yes Cathy! The different angles change things and give you more flexibility. In Photoshop you can flip an image to face the opposite direction, but often people then look different. Very few people are symmetrical and when you flip a photo there are subtle differences that become much more noticeable.

  4. Jennifer,

    I love your new photos – you two are so beautiful together! The different angles is a great idea! Left and right…Full body shots are great, and I had some done once with full body poses in different angles to use in my materials. Many business owners consider this an extravagant expense, but we should all invest well in our professional headshots. Getting a friend to do them usually isn’t good enough!

    • Jennifer Bourn

      Investing in high quality photos are a must! It’s often the first experience people have “seeing” you, and let’s face it – first impressions and how you look count. If you have a poor quality photo that is blurry, grainy, copped weirdly, or lighted weirdly, you’ll come off as less professional and credible than someone else with a professional, high quality photo.

  5. Fantastic advice. Your headshot means so much for your branding and your website. I also love how innovative designers can be when they have a few good shots to work with.

    Great new photo of you two!

    How often do you recommend people get a new headshot?

    • Jennifer Bourn

      Thanks Andrea – I think you need new headshots whenever you change your appearance. Your hair is a big part of that! That’s one of the reasons I had my headshots redone – In my old photo I had short hair, and now I have long hair and it’s darker. I stopped looking like my photo. I attend a lot of conferences so for recognizability I need to look like my photo!

  6. Shounda Hathaway

    So very helpful. I am working on headshots this week. Great info and your photo will be an example I will take with me. Love it so very vibrant and I can get an idea of who I am looking at just through the photo. When you can do that, its a great photo. Thanks again.

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