Headshots are important. In business, our headshot is often the first thing people see about us.

How do you feel
about YOUR current headshot?


Open your LinkedIn profile and take a look at your profile. Is your headshot current? Does it effectively communicate your personal brand?

Personally, I haven’t been thrilled with my headshot. Until now, that is.

A couple of months ago, I was coaching an amazing CEO on her personal brand, and I asked her to send me her headshot so that I could include it in her personal branding template. I was BLOWN AWAY by her photos! She looked beautiful AND professional AND most importantly, she looked like herself.

The photographer who so skillfully captured this CEO’s unique personal brand was Helen Tansey of Sundari Photography.

Helen Tansey, headshots photographer
Helen Tansey

Long story short, I started recommending this photographer to all of my Toronto-based clients, and recently booked a corporate photography session of my own. I was thrilled with the results!

Helen is a pro. So I asked Helen if I could interview her for a Talk About Talk episode focused on headshots and photography.  And here we are!

 

3 things to Talk About this week:

1. Choosing the right photographer
2. Headshot tips from photographer Helen Tansey
3. Andrea’s LinkedIn Headshot Checklist

 

1️⃣ Choosing the right photographer

If your phone has a good camera, you can certainly ask someone to photograph you with your phone. (Selfies are a no-no!) But if you want to take it to the next level, I encourage you to use a professional photgrapher.  It’s probably less expensive that you think, and well worth the time and money!

Here are a few tips to help you find a great photographer:

  • Ask for recommendations from trusted friends and colleagues, especially folks with headshots that you admire.
  • Visit the photographer’s website and check out samples of their work. Do you like the style? Is their style timeless or trendy?
  • Find out what kind of packages they offer. What do you need? Do they provide hair and makeup? A studio space? 
  • Set up a consultation if possible and make sure you feel comfortable with the photographer. 

Andrea Wojnicki headshots photography

As I said, I was thrilled with the photos I received from Helen Tansey. And it was so much fun!

In retrospect, I attribute the success of the photoshoot to the TRUST I put in Helen. Based on her work that I’d seen, and based on our consultation, I trusted her emphatically.  I was putty in her hands! 

So if I had to choose 1 criterion for you when choosing a photographer, it’s this:

Find a photographer you TRUST.

2️⃣ Headshot tips from photographer Helen Tansey

When I spoke with Helen for our podcast interview, the first thing I asked her about was what advice she has for getting the best LinkedIn headshot. 

Though you may be tempted to use any old photo for the sake of expediency, Helen cautions against that. After all, people are forming their first impressions of you based on your profile picture. 

Quote by Helen Tansey, photographer - "Sometimes people just want to get a headshot up there. But you have to remember, especially with LinkedIn, first impressions are huge... So I think it is really important to invest in getting a great headshot and keep it really simple." - headshots - Talk About Talk

So if it’s time to update your headshot, consider these tips from Helen before you book your photoshoot:

1. Keep It Simple
The focal point of your headshot should be YOU. Stick with a solid background and avoid patterned clothing. 

2. Invest In A Great Headshot
Your headshot is an opportunity to communicate your personal brand online, so put down the selfie stick find a photographer you trust who knows what they’re doing.

3. Let Your Photographer Direct You
This is key. Your photographer is a professional who knows how to find the best angles and help you feel confident in front of a camera.

You don’t need to watch YouTube tutorials on how to pose! That advice to stick your neck out?  Helen said, “It just makes you just look like a lizard!” (LOL)  That advice to hold your hand like a claw?  You look like a beast.

a neon sign with the words "say cheese" - image by Wyron A via Unsplash - headshots - Talk About Talk

Like I said, trust your photographer.

 

3️⃣ Andrea’s LinkedIn Headshot Checklist

My clients often ask me for advice on improving their LinkedIn headshot.

 

Andrea Wojnicki - LinkedIn profile and headshot - Talk About talk

Here’s my list for you:

1. It needs to look like you – today. Have you ever connected with someone online and not recognized them when you met in person? Kind of like when the blind date you’re meeting looks nothing like their dating-app photo! Using a recent photo will help avoid this awkwardness.

2. Colour vs. black & white doesn’t matter, but definitely use a high-resolution image. We’re often looking at LinkedIn on our phones, where the headshots are tiny. Make sure yours is clear and not pixelated.

3. Make sure your face takes up most of the space in the circle. You might need to zoom in. Make it easy for everyone scrolling LinkedIn on their phones to see your face. 

4. Use a stand-alone photo of you only. No matter how great you look in that group photo, we’ll be able to tell you cropped-out your partner or your friend.

5. Solid and/or neutral background. Having a punch of colour in the background can be effective, but keep it solid and avoid anything that distracts us from your face.

6. Wear what you typically wear to work on an important day. This doesn’t necessarily mean a suit, but stay away from sloppy t-shirts and hoodies. 

7. Big smile! Did you know that a recent study found that people who smile in their headshots are viewed as more likeable, competent, and influential? Bonus points for showing teeth! 😁

 

There you go – 3 things to Talk About this week:
1️⃣ Choosing the right photographer
2️⃣ Headshot tips from photographer Helen Tansey
3️⃣ Andrea’s LinkedIn Headshot ChecklistMy thanks to Helen Tansey for sharing her insights, and for the amazing photoshoot experience! If you’re in the market for new headshots, I highly recommend Helen’s Corporate Branding Photography Package. Mention “Andrea from Talk About Talk” when you book and she’ll give you two bonus touch-ups!Do you have a before and after photo to share? Please email me or message me on LinkedIn anytime.
Have a great week
Talk soon,