There are many reasons to have professional headshots and many ways to use them. However, it’s important to remember that getting your headshot made isn’t a one-and-done sort of thing. Just as we change and evolve, our headshots need to correspond. A general rule is to have your headshots updated every 1-2 years. However, as you’ll read below, there are cases for which that time span should be reduced. The brain processes an image 60,000 faster than text. Your image makes a significant first impression, and you have only one chance to make a first impression.
Why update your headshot? Here are 7 reasons to update your headshots regularly.
1. Your appearance has changed: Your picture is often the first thing potential clients and colleagues will see of you. It’s your first impression and your first opportunity to build trust, so it’s very important that you don’t misrepresent yourself. We all age and with that, our appearance changes. Similarly, our look can change in other noticeable ways. Perhaps you’ve lost or gained some weight, colored or restyled your hair, begun or stopped wearing glasses. You want people to recognize you when they meet you in person, and if your actual appearance doesn’t match the image you’re casting, others could feel they’ve been mislead. Avoid having an outdated photo by regularly updating your headshot.
2. Your energy has changed: While hair, makeup, and styling have huge effects on your image in your headshot, your emotional element is noticeable as well. Have you grown in your business or grown personally? These changes come across in your photos and by having your headshots taken in accordance with your energetic growth, you can be putting out a more befitting energy, more in line with where you are in your business and goals presently.
3. Your business or brand has evolved: Has your message changed over the years? Does your business offer new or different services? Has your clientele or audience expanded? Just as our appearance changes, so does our work and it’s important that the image you are using to represent your business and brand lines up with the current version of your business and brand.
4. You are not proud of your image / It is not memorable: Are you proud to display your photo on your social media profiles, publications, website, etc.? Do you feel like it stands out from other headshots in your profession and community? If you answered “no” to either of these questions, it might be time to have a new one made. Exude confidence and pride in your photo and in real-life.
5. Your image is technologically or stylistically outdated: As photography trends and technology advance, it’s important to stay current with the latest standards. Cameras, lighting, and image quality get better and better every year, so if you’re showcasing an image that is of noticeably lower quality, your clients will be able to tell, and it could reflect poorly on your business. Additionally, headshot styles, posing, and other trends evolve over time, and you don’t want to appear passé or represent your brand and business with lower quality images (Want to see what I’m shooting with? Here’s what’s in my bag).
6. Your headshot is not consistent with your colleagues’: Is your headshot shown alongside those of your colleagues? Project consistency, organization, and attention to detail by ensuring that the headshots of your business’ employees are similar and of the same style.
7. Your professional presence should stay active: Be engaged on social media, your website, etc. By changing your image every so often, you show that you are both active and reachable. Maximize your exposure and be top of mind. Additionally, representing your most realistic and current self will better connect you through the often impersonal wall of the internet.
Not sure where to start?
Take a look at the image you currently use to represent yourself and your business. Do any of the above situations apply to you? If so, reach out to discuss, sign-up to join my next Headshot Party, or schedule a session. If you feel that your image is currently in good shape, set a schedule for yourself to ensure that you remember to update it when that time comes. Make it an annual event that you look forward to, get pampered, and meet new people along the way. It’s an investment in yourself and in your business that communicates to your potential clients that you believe in your work.