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Bad Corporate Headshots Are Bad

The business world is built on the importance of making a first impression, but the sad truth is that the first impression a potential client or business partner is not always made at your first meeting. In this ever-more wired world, your first impression is probably going to be made online, whether through social networks or a profile on your company website. So in light of this, what do you think will be the biggest determining factor in making a good first impression? In all probability, a bad corporate headshot will do more to make a poor impression than anything else.

What does a bad headshot say about you?

You may not understand what the big deal is about corporate headshots, but having a terrible photo on your masthead or profile page is going to get you the wrong kind of attention. A bad headshot can say much more about you than how photogenic you are. It may give the impression that appearance is not important to you or that you are unwilling to make an investment in quality photography. These are judgments that people often make unconsciously, and according to a study by Rice University, even the smallest imperfection can have a big impact on such important judgments as hiring decisions. Poor photography can accentuate faults or imperfections that you do not even have.

What is the difference between good and bad corporate headshots?

The point of your headshot is to put your best foot forward, and there are many factors that could get in the way. It could be a technical issue or it could be that there is so much emphasis on appearing happy that you fail to project confidence. There is a lot that can be said in your expression, and a skilled photographer will be just as good at capturing the essence of confidence as they will be in the operation of their equipment

Common issues that can sink your corporate headshots include:

  • Exposure: Overexposed or underexposed pictures can do a great deal to distract from your appearance. The contract can make your appearance harsh or even artificially age you.
  • Terrible backgrounds: The focus should be on you, not blurry stuff behind your shoulder. This is a common issue with outdoor shots or photographers that are trying to be too artistic.
  •  Composition problems: Your photographer needs to know how to frame a photograph. It is the simplest thing, but something as simple at taking a picture that is zoomed in too far or taken too far away can make for a terrible shot no matter how much you crop it.

A good headshot will be be free of these issues, as well as unappealing facial expressions or poses. It is often the very first thing that people look at and will be your persona until they have the chance to meet you. An investment in quality photography for your headshot just might pay for itself.


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