How To Get The Best Headshots And Professional Photos For Your Website

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As more professionals leave corporate America, opting for self-employment, freelance life, and entrepreneurship, micro business and personal brand sites are popping up left and right. While we at Liquid Web champion small business owners, we also cringe when faced with sites that have poor imagery.

The quality of photos, images, and graphics on a website can either elevate a personal brand and emphasize professionalism or drag it down and make it look like amateur hour.

Headshots are the most important photos on a personal brand website. Unfortunately, most small business owners don’t realize their photos are all wrong until it’s too late—until a website designer tells them their photos won’t work in the design or the design they want won’t work with the photos provided.

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Here’s the problem: In most cases, business owners hire a photographer and lets them drive the photoshoot. The photographer takes several professional headshots, crops them perfectly, and delivers a set of images that are fantastic yet limiting. While these professional headshots may work well as a social media avatar or a singular photo on a website about page, they don’t provide the flexibility needed for today’s modern personal brand sites.

Professional Headshots take considerations from both a brand perspective and a professional photographer's perspective.

Five Tips To Get The Best Professional Headshots For Your Personal Brand Site

Luckily, we’re sharing five things small business owners need to know before investing in professional headshots for their website.

1. Closeup And Far Away

Ask your photographer for both closeup headshots and far away images. 

  • You’ll use the closeup headshots for your social media avatars, gravatar, about page, and media features.
  • You’ll use far away photos—photos that have context—for things like website hero images, blog images, and marketing materials.

2. All Body Parts (And Hair) Intact

Ask any designer and they can tell you stories of recreating hair that was cropped out and adding missing arms to cropped closeup images to make a photo work with the website design the client wanted. Do yourself a favor and make sure some of the photos you receive from your photographer include your entire torso without any arms, shoulders, or hair cropped out. This will give your website designer more flexibility when creating your website.

Professional Headshots need to include pictures with arms, torso, and hair intact for use on your website.

3. Horizontal And Vertical Photos

Ask the photographer to take both horizontal and vertical images—and when selecting the final images, be sure to select photos in both orientations. There are going to be times when podcast hosts, event organizers, and other people need a photo of you and they are going to ask for it in a square or landscape format. If you only have vertical photos, you’ll be that one person with the super zoomed-in, big face photo! Don’t be that person.

4. Photos Facing Right And Left

Just as you need both horizontal and vertical headshots, you also need photos of you facing both right and left. While designers can “flip” an image to make sure you’re facing in the right direction, most people aren’t symmetrical and the flipped image won’t quite look right. When laying out content, photos of people should look at or be turned toward the most important content and having both right and left-facing photos available to your designer will improve the quality of the final product.

5. Photos Of You In Action

Take a look at the websites for some of the people you know with big, successful personal brands. If you click through their website, you’ll notice that they have a mix of photo styles. They use headshots and poses photos along with a variety of photos of them in action. When working with a photographer, talk to them about getting lifestyle photos and action photos as well as professional headshots—get photos of you working, interacting with people, and getting things done.

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