I won’t sugarcoat it.
Taking new a new headshot photo as a professional woman on the later side of age 50 is hard.
I held on to my spring 2021 photographs for 4 months before exposing them publicly, on my website and social media pages.
That was after I had two of my best friends review them!
Even though I had a blast doing the shoot, I got stuck at first when I saw the photos. I couldn’t tell if they represented my personal brand in an authentic way.
While I may be confident in my work, and I love being an executive branding and career coach, I’m finding it harder as I get older to see myself in photos.
I know I’m not alone based on the dated headshots I’m seeing out there on LinkedIn and the convincing it takes for my clients to schedule their photography sessions.
You’ll want your headshot photos to be aligned with who you are. They should help you stand out in your own unique way.-Carole Dupre’
Are you putting off that headshot photo session because you’ve always dreaded them? Or because you don’t feel confident you can enjoy it and get photos that reflect who you are?
Here are 2 things you need to do to love your next photo shoot
Number 1: Interview and find the best on-location photographer and makeup artist for your personal brand and style. (Yes, you can get your makeup done professionally and have your photos still look and feel authentic.)
Jenn Ocken is my go-to portrait photographer and the right fit. Why? Because she customizes her shoot for me, much like I customize my coaching services for my clients.
She takes lots of photos in natural light at a choice location, not in some fabricated, cold studio where lots of other professionals are using the same background for their photos.
You want your headshot photos to be aligned with who you are. They should help you stand out in your own unique way.
For HerNature, authenticity is the essence of my brand. So it’s essential that the photos feel genuine, in a natural setting where I can be myself, using light from the sun.
Also, with COVID-19, finding a pro to do your makeup can be challenging. Plan ahead.
I thought one week would be plenty of time to find a makeup artist near my photoshoot location. I called no less than 6 makeup artists, and the one I booked canceled the day before the shoot.
Fortunately, at the last hour, I was blessed to locate makeup maven Makeup by Shelby Michelle who matched my style and could help me feel confident.
Shelby is on my iPhone’s favorites list of contacts now. If you are in the Baton Rouge, LA or New Orleans areas, you’ll want her on your favorites list, too.
Number 2: Recruit at least one of your most cherished friends to support you during the shoot. Ask your friend to be included in the actual photos.
It’s amazing the positive difference a friend’s presence will make. You will be more relaxed and calm. You will have someone to focus on beyond yourself. Your smile and body language will be more natural.
Trust me when I write that having your friend there is the real secret to getting professional headshot photos that truly represent your best self and authentic personal brand.
Send her a printed photo in a frame as a thank you. (Thank you for showing up, Rachel Hull. You are beautiful inside and out.)
Bonus Tip Number 3: Your headshot session was a great success. You pick your favorite 5 or 10 photos for your online branding. But how do you know which headshot is the best?
For free or minimal cost, you can get objective input on how you come across in your photos through Photofeeler. By giving your opinion (voting) on other people’s photos, you earn feedback on your own photo for free. Or as a timesaver and to get more feedback faster, there’s also the option to buy credits instead of voting. The categories are Competent, Likeable, and Influential. I highly recommend it for your LinkedIn headshot if you’re on the fence about which one is best.
Why your updated headshot is important for your personal brand
When I started my business, I made a commitment to update my professional photos on my website itshernature.com, and across my online media at least every 3 years.
These days, especially with us being online all the time, it’s important as a professional that new connections aren’t surprised when we meet them for the first time in real life (or on Zoom)! This is even more important if you are making a career change, networking on LinkedIn and searching for a new job.
This year, it was my third photo session with Jenn Ocken Photography. That translates to 6 years of being on my own and thriving as an 𝙚𝙭𝙚𝙘𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙗𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙘𝙤𝙖𝙘𝙝 and founder of HerNature® Personal Branding.
Time sure is flying. When’s your next headshot session?
I’m here if you’d like a partner or a coaching session to clarify what the look and feel should be. You’ll want it to reflect how you want your brand to be known. As I’ve shared, it’s not as easy as it sounds. And that’s okay!
As founder of HerNature® Personal Branding, Carole Dupre’ guides high-achieving women in landing jobs and launching businesses that honor their true nature. She is an executive branding coach specializing in mid-career transitions. She develops resumes and LinkedIn profiles and helps you build your brand online.
Cover Photo: Carole Dupre’, River Center Branch Library fourth floor veranda and grounds, downtown Baton Rouge, LA. By Jenn Ocken Photography. ©Carole Dupre LLC. All rights reserved.