Top 5 reasons why most people don’t have a professional headshot, London photographer

From a recent Linkedin mini-survey of my contacts I have summarised the top 5 reasons why most people don’t have a professional headshot.

How this came about? 

I wanted to find out from my business connections the top 5 reasons they thought were holding them back from having a professional headshot done.

As a professional photographer offering professional headshots, the insights gathered has been very valuable in terms of understanding the barriers and going about educating people on how professional headshots can help you in your career or business.

Initially inspired by another photographer, this is what I found out.

  1. Other priorities get in the way
  2. Feeling awkward and self-conscious
  3. Time to prepare, clothes, hair & make-up
  4. Cost & sometimes feeling the cheaper, older photo alternative is good enough
  5. It doesn’t matter

1. Other priorities getting in the way 

For some that responded, their business or career is either too advanced or not ready for professional headshots, so the timing might not be right.

Another reason mentioned is that there could be different types of competing photography or other marketing priorities that require the attention more than photography.

2. Feeling awkward and self-conscious  

This is a popular one. Generally we all feel a little awkward, anxious and “under the spotlight” when told to stay in front of a camera and smile.

I get it! I have felt that but it usually goes away within the first few minutes. The photographer that directed me was lovely, she explained the process and I followed it (this was for formal headshots).

I offer formal headshots and informal ones, which are more relaxed. And I follow some techniques which are about diverting attention, breathing & relaxing, getting to know you and trying different angles, positions, clothes, lighting etc.

I like to see the headshot session as a bit of a play where we try different things to find the best looks for you and the ones that match your intention.

I totally agree with the advice given by another professional photographer, Teresa Walton, about “Professional headshot coaching” and why that makes a difference. 

3. Time to prepare, clothes, hair & make-up 

This is another common one as yes it is important to have hair and a look that you’re happy with.

It might take some time beforehand to prepare for it but it will be worth it in the end.

I do collaborate with make-up artists and stylist who can help with that aspect of getting ready for a headshot, if needed.

4. Cost and sometimes feeling the cheaper, older photo alternative is good enough 

Most people will mention cost. Professional headshots have a cost, because you are asking someone who has trained, has the equipment (lighting, camera, space) and has it as their job, to take photographs of you.

The time spent and use of skills have a value that is worth paying for. This includes the pre-shoot communications, the quality and the end result of the photographs.

However the cost has also benefits. Think about the leads that you are more likely to convert or the opportunities a good headshot will open, from either an existing employer or a future one.

Most people I see for headshots are people that haven’t had their headshots done for a while and time has come to have new headshots that match the stage they are at in their career or their business.

5. It doesn’t matter 

Some people fall in this group where they don’t believe it makes a difference.

However for all those that believe in personal banning, that have a business they want to grow or a career they want to progress, the importance of a professional headshot doesn’t need to be explained.

They get it and they will be happy to go through the process of creating or updating their personal imagery.

Any other reasons? 

Have I missed any other reason that might be holding you back from having headshots done professionally?

For me the most important take away from this mini-survey is the need to educate and explain what I do and how I do it.

Also the need to get to know my clients well so that when I do their headshots, they reflect their personality and their personal or professional branding.

Thank you for reading!

Get in touch to discuss what you’re looking for? 

I offer headshots in a formal and informal set-up. Often the typical image of a headshot is that of a formal one, where you look stiff and unnatural.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

You can look relaxed, natural and yourself in a headshot. The formal ones might not be for you, so it is good to try different looks and set-ups so that you can have a choice.

The work and end result can be different depending on the type of the business, profession and the overall look and feel can be done in a way that matches yours or your company’s branding.

Email me at photography@shimilimears.com or call 07934788100 to find out more.