5 Signs It’s Time to Invest in New Corporate Headshots

A poised, professional headshot is the best marketing strategy you can invest in. Yet many professionals neglect this important investment for years. If your headshot is dated, undermines your brand, or looks unprofessional, it’s time for an update.

Why You Need a Great Headshot

First impressions matter. In an image-conscious digitally driven society, most people’s first impressions will come from an image they see online. People look at how polished you appear, whether the image is recent, and notice whether your image matches your branding — either consciously or unconsciously. Without a regularly updated image, you miss out on a powerful marketing opportunity.

So how do you know when it’s time for a new image? Look for these signs.

1. Your Appearance Has Changed

Time changes us all. Some people cling to a headshot from 10, 20, or even 30 years ago because they’re afraid of showing the world a face that has aged or changed. Noticeably dated photos, however, do you no professional favors. They make you look less credible, and more concerned with appearances than an accurate image. So don’t hide behind an old image because your appearance has changed. It’s time for a new headshot if:

  • It’s been more than five years since your last headshot.
  • You’ve lost or gained weight.
  • Your hair color has changed, or you’ve dramatically changed your haircut or style.
  • You’ve dramatically changed the way you do your makeup.
  • You’re wearing trendy clothing in the photo and trends have changed.

2. Your Headshot No Longer Matches Your Brand

No single headshot style is right for everyone. A lawyer who specializes in environmental law, and who spends her time volunteering on natural resource preservation, might choose a photo in a natural setting. On the other hand, that would be a very unlikely choice for a patent lawyer at a large, international firm.

Consider how your headshot looks on your website. Are there stylistic clashes? How do you feel about using your headshot in press releases? Does it add to your credibility, or detract? Do people ever seem surprised by your personality or approach to your work? If so, it could mean that either your headshot or your branding–or both–no longer represent you.

3. Your Headshot Looks Dated

A dated headshot–no matter how attractive–is always unprofessional. It’s like using a 1980s mall Glamour Shot for your photo. Dated headshots are a giant red flag telling potential clients that you don’t take your image seriously.

Your headshot is too dated if:

  • It excessively relies on props or staging.
  • It’s 10 years old or older (and many images look dated at the 5-year mark).
  • Your fashion choices are no longer in style.
  • The lighting is very dark or very shadowy.
  • There are unusual filters or editing used on the image.
  • The photo looks substantially different from those used by other people in your firm.

4. You’ve Started a New Endeavor or Marketing Campaign

A big change at work–winning a major case, taking on a new practice area, embarking on a new marketing campaign–is a great time to change your headshot. In fact, your clients will probably expect to see a new image. A fresh headshot creates a sense of evolution and change that can support forward momentum associated with new work projects.

Consider also changing your headshot if:

  • You’ve recently switched employers.
  • You’re leaving your firm and going into business for yourself.
  • Other people you work with have recently updated their headshots.
  • Your website has undergone a branding change.

People with a significant public presence—whether as public speakers or on the web as bloggers or social media presences–may need to change their headshots as frequently as once per year.

5. You Don’t Like Your Current Headshot

You know you need a headshot for your website, social media, and for press releases. If you hate that headshot, you’ll feel less confident about your public persona. If you once rushed a headshot just to have something, or if you no longer like the style of the photo, it’s time for a change. A good headshot is one you feel proud to show the world.

Choose the Right Photographer

Most people feel a little self-conscious about their appearance. It’s normal to worry that your headshot will look awkward or unattractive, or that you won’t know how to pose. That’s why it’s so important to choose a skilled legal portrait photographer.

A talented photographer can choose lighting, background, and staging that makes everyone look their best. We work with you to understand the message you want to convey with your photo. Together we’ll create a photo you’re proud to share with the world. Call us today!

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