New Year, New Headshot :: My experience updating my branding for 2018

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A brand new year has arrived! The chance to start again, to do those things you've been putting off. To clean out the closet, repaint the house, make that career move, meet that person. If any of this sounds like you, you're one of the billions that feel that way in January. The real challenge is actually making those moves and doing those things that will give you a headstart on the year, give you confidence or just get your a$$ into gear. 

I'll be the first to admit that I sometimes struggle with "getting started" in that department. This year I vowed to be a doer, an early starter, a mover and to do those things I've been putting off. So in the spirit of that, I went into the studio today to reshoot my personal branding and to update the branding we use for Boem Headshots. Because I'm the face of the brand, I feel it's really important to get it out there and to own it... so I set out to shoot a new headshot... and anyone who knows me will tell you how much I hate having my photo taken... I find it very hard to get something I like and feel confident using. Today I set that all aside and just took a whole bunch of images in various ways until I had something usable :-) Here is the process as it unfolded:


Now normally I'd shoot 200-500 images in a standard headshot session for a client, but man, I couldn't handle seeing my face that much! I ended up with about 40 images that had some sort of potential. In the end, I settled on 2 headshots that I felt comfortable with representing the brand for a while. One had a white background and one with a darker background. I wanted to keep it simple so I had more options for when and where I choose to use them which I'll show you in a bit. In the usual way, the best headshots resulted from the last few images I took as I got more comfortable in front of the camera and started working towards what I wanted. As in most shoots, the concept I started out with changed a bit and the end result was different to the image I had in mind when I started. Here are the two images I chose:


This is a darker image but the same pose as well as lighting. I like having both options as it gives me a few different options to use as the year goes on. Obviously being able to use colour or Black and White also creates more options. I find that i tend to rotate the images once or twice every 6 months between colour and black and white.


Here is the white background version of the headshot. There is a slight difference in tone as I wanted it to be a little brighter and more modern than the darker version. Once I had this shot, it felt like I could settle, so I did my usual edit on it (hating my face) and ended up with a headshot that I felt comfortable with. 

Like most of my clients, I had no idea where or how I would use the image, but I knew that I needed one and that my previous headshots were a little out of date. Here is the rub: once you've got a great headshot, the opportunities to use it will pop up everywhere. Let me explain.

We live in a digital world, with 90% of your interactions with new people happening online. This means the first image they see of you is your headshot. This gives them 1-3 seconds to form an opinion about you, your skill, your personality, your honesty... and they'll make up their minds then and there whether or not they'll do business with you. Yes' it's that quick! It's critical that you are in control of that perceptive process by having a headshot that you feel will represent you honestly but still putting your best foot forward. For me, I felt it was the 2 images above. 

Now the process starts of uploading your headshot to your networks and getting it out there. Here is what I did with mine:


I started off creating the various sizes I'd need for all my networks: Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, email, google, google plus (what?) and other networks I use regularly. Once this was done, it dawned on me to create a new business card... which is something I desperately needed, which then led me to a few other things and place I could use the headshot. 

Most of my clients have told me that once they get their headshots and use them where they wanted to, a whole new set of opportunities popped up that they never intended. I've never experienced this first-hand but I did today! It's amazing the power a new headshot has at kicking you into gear! Here are a few examples of the new headshot in use:


I even updated my email signature which has been the same since I went through this process last! As you can probably see, a brand new headshot is incredibly valuable and ties all your social accounts together, creating one consistent brand image, which is the ultimate goal for an online presence right?

So what's next? Well, I'm getting my business cards done, creating a new lookbook for 2018 and really beefing up my branding and marketing for the year.

All this, from one new headshot. What can it do for you?

Any questions or comments please hit me up.