Why Do I Need A Professional Portrait and Headshot?

Or a Selfie Intervention for the Camera Shy & Overly Self Critical

As a professional photographer, I have to admit, it’s baffling to hear the question, “why do I need a professional portrait and headshot?” That’s like asking a Dentist, why do you need to floss? But this is not a place for me to judge…unless you’ve never flossed. I have heard all the classic stalling tactics from the camera shy and from the overly self critical about why they don’t need professional images or at least not right now. If that’s you, if you will indulge me, I want to offer a few quick reasons to consider. 

1. You’re leaving an impression

Like it or not, you’re leaving an impression. A great headshot will give people a hint of your personality. A great portrait will leave a legacy for generations to come. Think about it. Does your current headshot really reflect a portion of who you are? Or is it a good-for-now image that you needed to quickly take care of?  

2. It’s been a minute, if ever 

Time to stop stalling. Your schedule will not free up. You will have to make the time. Your headshot from a decade ago is not quite an accurate reflection of where you are today. More on that later. And your family portrait is missing two of your children, who are now adults and in college, because they weren’t even born when you had the portrait taken. More than that, clutch your pearls if you’re camera shy, a portrait can be of just you. Why oh why would you do that? Take a look further down this list of reasons.

3. No more self-criticism 

There are no good pictures of me. I hate how I look in every photograph I take. I need to lose this last little bit of 1998’s Thanksgiving weight. Sound familiar? We can be overly critical of ourselves. The truth is, everyone has a great feature to highlight. And in-fact, a professional photo session can leave you feeling empowered and more confident than when you walked in the door. Why? Because you’re allowing someone else to artistically highlight the great feature that you offer. 

4. A selfie can only do so much

“What’s a professional photograph worth if I have my phone?” Ok, listen. This is now turning into a selfie intervention. A selfie can only do so much. And it’s definitely not a headshot. Plus, have you ever noticed that selfies make you look a little weird? That’s because of the type of camera lens on the phone used when taking front facing images. Selfies are convenient, they are fast and they save relationships.

Ok, about that last part. Have you ever asked someone to take a picture of you with your phone? Then they hand it back to you and you restrain your facial expression because you do not feel it’s a flattering picture of you. And you start your internal dialogue of, “did they really not see that I blinked? A countdown would’ve been nice”. Then you ask them to take another picture but this time if they could stand four inches back on their tiptoes and wave their free hand when they’re about to snap.

While you have learned from experience, you now stick to selfies and end up filling up your camera roll with about 8,000 photos hoping for the perfect snap. You never delete all of these selfies from your phone and now you’ve run out of space and have to buy a new phone. You know how it goes. Do you really have that kind of time?

This is now turning into a selfie intervention. A selfie can only do so much.

5. A bad photograph speaks volumes

Just as much as a great image can, a bad photograph speaks volumes. For one, please, please stop cropping people out of your photos to make a profile pic or your avatar. That can cause confusion and even suspicion on what you are concealing and why is there not one single solo image of you in this digital age. Secondly, for social media platforms, pixelated and grainy photos do not always convey a cool retro look but simply convey poor image quality.

Thirdly, let’s talk about those portraits you would take for the yearbook and you had that very stiff “cheese” smile on your face. You begged your mother to not order a single picture because they were hideous and if anyone ever saw a single photo, especially Mike from Geometry class, you would disintegrate like a vampire looking into the sun.

Sorry, flashback, maybe that was just me. Look, we all take a bad photo from time to time. I’m the first person raising my hand, I did not escape the stiff smile. That’s where a professional photographer steps in to guide you and relax your face.

6. No, you’re not vain

We do not want to come off as vain if we invest in a professional photo session. But with as many selfies as people take, I don’t think someone would blink twice. This is more about having a great photograph that embodies the energy of you, your family or your career path.

Professionally, this is becoming more of an unspoken requirement to have a headshot that makes you standout to post on your social media platforms like LinkedIn.

Personally, professional portraits are more than just images or digital files on a computer or phone. They are your history, your memories, your transformations, your journey, your celebration of this wild life experience that can be printed, framed and passed down for your future generations to come. 

7. Reflection of where you are today

Who is the person you see in the mirror? Remember, we’re not being critical here. What are the best parts of you? For portraits, you want your image to reflect what you value, your ethos and exactly where you are today, no matter how vulnerable. If you are just restoring your energy levels from your last round of chemo, don’t be afraid to make a monumental portrait of this transformational time in your journey.

When it comes to headshots, you want your image to reflect where you want to be. There does not need to be a perfect time. You do not need to wait until gas prices go back down or the next full moon or whatever block you have given yourself. The beautiful thing is that if the worst case scenario occurs and you are not pleased with how you look in your photographs, you can always do it again. 

8. Think of your future self

Some would say, think of the legacy you want to leave. A timeless photograph professionally printed is one of the only things you will invest in that appreciates in sentimental value as time goes on. What’s one of the first things people do after a loved one passes away? They look for photographs to remember the essence of that person. When your mini me turns the age you are today and asks to see photographs of you when you were their age, what will you show them?

Forget about the bad photos in the past, the stiff smiles, the closed eyes or the fact that you’re camera shy or overly self critical. So, you’re not thrilled about having your picture taken, that’s a great deal of us.  A professional photographer is experienced in making you feel relaxed, making you feel seen and making you feel celebrated. Moreso, a professional photographer is experienced in highlighting your best features from your personality to your nose and can read body language to determine the best way to guide you through posing. 

Deep down in the depths of your subconscious you knew you needed help, you knew a selfie intervention was not far away. So, today, will you agree to stop the selfies and get professional help with your photographs? 

A first step, learn more about how we work with you and join our First-To-Know list here

Ready for a change today? Find out how we can guide you during your Headshot session or our popular VIP Portrait Experience sessions by scheduling your free consultation call here.

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