Do I Still Need a Headshot?

For as long as I have been in public relations, when onboarding a client, we have always asked for or arranged for high resolution headshots of key leadership, usually those in the c-suite as well as those who may serve as spokespeople for the brand. These headshots were used for thought leadership pieces, award opportunities, speaking engagements, and more.

But it is 2023. In this age of instant images and social media, is there still a need for headshots?

The answer is yes, however, they need to evolve with the times.

We recommend several key individual images of leadership or spokespeople for a brand or business today. They are:

  • A traditional, color headshot, which means a tightly cropped portrait of the individual’s face from the shoulders up on a plain, white (or light blue, or other muted color) background. This is vertical and likely what businesses are used to having shot.
  • A similar color headshot, but zoomed out a bit, usually from the waist up and horizontal. Many media outlets today have set templates for images, and depending on the outlet, some need the traditional vertical shot while others need something horizontal.
  • A lifestyle shot of the individual. This does not mean a photo in jeans with the family dog, or a screenshot from the person’s social media pages. It will likely still be in a professional wardrobe, but with a background either in the office or outdoors. Avoid doing this one in front of a screen of any kind. Natural environments work best. It should be shot with the individual in the foreground and vertical.
  • A similar lifestyle shot, but horizontal for those outlets with layouts that require that format. Try changing the background slightly for this one, so you have a variety in your arsenal of visuals.
  • If you are in a creative industry or vertical, consider one shot a bit more whimsical, but still in line with the brand’s vision and values.

Finally, we also recommend that if possible, to have images of the key leadership interacting or standing together as a team both vertically and horizontally as well.

Written by
at Feb 8, 2023

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