How to get a more effective Headshot

Does your headshot need updating?  Is it failing your business?  Not giving the right impression to all your potential customers and clients?  Here are my 3 essential things your business headshot should have, so it is a great headshot that also works effectively for you.


Photo of my brand, my candle, cactus, star dish and white rose for effective headshot blog by Jane Mucklow Picture Your Brand


Why do you need an effective headshot?

How do you get a more effective headshot, and why do you even need to?  Your headshot is the most important out of the whole range of photos you need and use for your business.  It is most likely the first thing people will see – including potential clients and customers, potential employers, colleagues and collaborators, even journalists when you pitch for PR, as well as the friends and acquaintances who you want to bring into your audience.  Whenever anyone googles you or searches for you in social media.

So it needs to work effectively for you and your business, and work for you (not against you). 

It needs to give the right first impression. 

And it will do that, if it has these three things: It needs to look professional.  It needs to look like you.  And it needs to look like part of your brand.


Let’s talk about each of those a little bit more…



Effective Headshot Essentials #1: Your headshot needs to look professional.

It needs to look good, and look professional.  You need to show that you are serious about your business, that you are professional.  So does yours have the right look and feel about it?  Do you look confident and capable, or however you want to look?  An old headshot, selfie, wedding photo, snap from a night out or holiday, your pet or children etc., just won’t give the right impression of your business will it?!  And a professional photographer will be able to pose you to make you look good in it too, so don’t worry about that 🙂



Effective Headshot Essentials #2: Your headshot needs to look like you.

It needs to look like you – you need to be recognisable!  Even if that is still on zoom, let alone real life, people need to know they are talking to the same person that they have seen online, and know it is still you.  So if you’ve got a new hair style, changed your look, or changed your weight, it’s time to update your headshot.  Sadly we all get older too, so if you’re still using a headshot from several years ago, then it’s definitely time for a newer one that looks more like you do now.  (You don’t want people to think ‘oh she’s aged really badly’ when they meet you after seeing your photo do you?!). 

As well as getting photos that look like you, an experienced professional photographer will be able to bring out your personality too, so that you really do look like you, on a really good day, and feel like you too.



Effective Headshot Essentials #3: Your headshot needs to look like part of your brand.

It needs to look like part of your brand.  Even just a head and shoulders headshot photo can still be a part of your brand, and help to build you a strong brand too.  Plus using a photo of you, not your logo or anything else, will really help you to build a more personal brand too.  Be clear what your brand style is, your brand visual identity and your brand photography style, and get your photographer to match that in your headshot.  Whether that’s light and bright, dark and moody, colourful, more soft and muted, the right photography style will really help, along with the right backdrop, and what you wear. 

Oh and if you can get a brand colour or two into the photo too, either in the location/backdrop or your outfit, then bonus points for you!



Headshot photo of Jane Mucklow by Solight Photography

Here’s one of mine – it looks like me, it’s less than a couple of years old, I’m wearing one of my brand colours, which contrasts with the backdrop in my brand style and which is also a brand colour, I like how I look, the whole look and feel of the photo suits me and suits my brand  >>  it works effectively for my business.



So how effective is your current headshot?

Take a good impartial look at your current headshot / set of headshots.  Are they working for you in the right way, looking good, attracting your ideal clients/customers, and building your brand? 

Do they have all three of these essential things?  Are they up to date enough and look like you?  Do they look professional enough, and give the right impression of you and your business that you want them to?  Are they aligned with the rest of your brand?

Hopefully they do, but if not, it’s time to get them updated.  Especially if they no longer look quite how you do now, after the year we’ve just had (I’m writing this in Spring 2021!).



And just how do you get a more effective headshot?

You’ll need to find a professional photographer who will get all three essentials into your new headshots!  And choose the right photographer for you.

Get to know them; talk to them, follow their social media, read their blogs, see if you click with their personality.

Check out examples of their work, that they are capable of taking the sort of photos you want.  That their style suits your brand, or that they will be able and willing to work in a style to suit your brand.  See if they shoot in a studio or on location, or both, and which will most go with your brand – and that you can get to their location or if they will travel to you.

Look at reviews, and read them carefully; because what someone else wanted or didn’t want, may or may not be right for you – do you want someone who is high energy on a shoot or will you fit best with someone who is calm and relaxed etc.

Make sure they will get to know you too, your brand and your business, and work with you to create the photos you need. 

If you’re worried about posing, or what to wear, or anything, make sure that they will be reassuring and helpful.

Budget too of course will factor in your decision, and whether you want a specialist, or are happy with someone who takes them alongside a whole range of photographic services.  Check what is included when comparing costs, if it is just a shoot price and each image is extra, or if high-res images are extra, and so on.  And think about if you want a photographer who works with a hair and makeup artist, or if you’ll do your own / have it done before the shoot. 

Getting some new headshots that do more for you than your current ones needn’t be stressful.  The right photographer will use their experience to make you feel comfortable, bring out the best in you, and create some amazing new photos for you. 



Headshot sessions with me…

Let me solve all these issues by booking a space at one of my headshot days 🙂

This is a brilliant way to update your photos, without taking the time and cost of a whole branding shoot, and/or also to give you a feel for what it’s like working with me if you’re thinking about investing in a whole set of branding photos too.

And I would love to meet you in real life if you can get to Sevenoaks!

There’s more info on my website, along with lots of examples from that last headshot day so you can see what the space is like and the sort of photos we can get: Headshot Day.  At the time of writing the next one is on May 4th 2021, but the linked page will get updated with the next date once I know when that will be.  I’m aiming to run these days every few months.

Or if you would like to go for the whole branding shoot, for something much more bespoke to you, with lots more photos for you to use, then have a look at the info for that here: Branding Photos – Capture Your Brand.  (These sessions all include headshots too).

If you’re not local, then I’m sorry I can’t photograph you, at the moment anyway without lots of travelling.  But I hope this was still useful to know more about how to get more effective headshots, when to get them updated, and finding the right photographer near you.

Jane x





Take my brand style quiz to start the journey into discovering your unique brand, or how to refresh what you already have, and come and join my free community on Facebook at Your Brand Story for tips, trainings and support to build your amazing personal brand 🙂 

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How to get a more effective headshot for your small business

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