DIY Headshots VS. Professional Headshots. Why it is important to hire a professional business headshot photographer.

I just read an article on LinkedIn explaining how to create your DIY headshots for LinkedIn. The article talks about how HEadshots are a “game changer” for your credibility as a business professional. I want to make a counter-argument explaining why it is better, more efficient, more effective and will have a higher ROI to hire a professional headshot photographer.  

I believe in full transparency so here is a link to the article for you to make your own decision.

1 – Understanding of Body Language

As a professional photographer, I work with my clients to create the best image possible. I find out their career goals and coach them to have the best body language and facial expressions. depending on your career goals you may not want a big smile. Maybe you want to look extra serious. If you run a comedy school your headshot will be much different than if you’re a business broker. Are you looking to build trust with your clients? Do you want to communicate you’re ability to counsel people through hard times? Professional headshot photographers know how to highlight your personality to help you achieve your career goals.

2 – Highlighting Your Unique Personality

Authenticity is the best way to connect with your audience through your headshot. A professional headshot photographer brings your authentic personality out. The majority of the headshot session is spent hanging out together (while we take photos). We talk about our hobbies, kids, vacations, career goals and successes, and debate if Rain or Shine is Better Than Earnest Ice Cream (it’s not). Next thing you know, you have an authentic headshot and it will be the best headshot you have ever had. Do you know why? You were not thinking about what the heck to do with your face. You were thinking about ice cream.

3 – Marketing Using Your Headshots

Professional photographers have a great understanding of marketing. Yes, you can take your own DIY headshot with your iPhone. Then what? There are so many more things you can do with your headshot than simply put it up on LinkedIn. I am always dropping tips to my clients on how to receive the best ROI. If you are a public speaker and the marketing team needs your headshot for printing, do you know the difference between 72 dpi and 300 dpi? I do. If you need a headshot with a 2.5:1 aspect ratio but your headshot is in a 2X3 aspect ratio, do you know how to fix it? I do.

4 – Networking Opportunities

Professional business photographers have a deep network. I work with thousands of business professionals. If you need a connection, I probably have one or at least know someone who knows someone. I recently gave a referral to a real estate broker that could be a $40 million deal. This is 100% true. Think of the ROI on that. A company hired me for company headshots that cost roughly $5000 and I was able to refer them to a potential $40 million deal.

5 – Time Efficiency

The How to Take a DIY Headshot article outlines 7 steps to take your DIY headshot. Research inspiration, choose your outfit, decide your pose, set the stage, take your shot, edit the shot, and upload your photo. Have you heard of the phrase “Time is Money”?

I am a big fan of hiring professionals. My office wall currently has a hole in the wall. I could YouTube how to DIY fix drywall, drive to Home Depot, buy all the supplies, get frustrated and end up with a subpar result, and have a bunch of leftover supplies that I don’t know what to do with. Or, I can call my handyman and for a few hundred dollars have it fixed while I go get Earnest Ice Cream.

My LinkedIn headshot sessions are 20 minutes long and we have a great time. In and out.  Info LinkedIn Headshot Sessions

When I am shooting large companies, each person spends roughly 5 minutes in front of my camera and they can get back to work.

6 – Expertise

I have been a photographer for 20 years and have picked up a few pieces of knowledge along the way. You could say I am an expert. I have put in 10,000 hours. I know how to take an amazing headshot and I know how to do it quickly. There are so many photography lighting techniques that I can use to give you the best headshot. Lighting is everything.

7 – Professional Photography Equipment

Iphones do take amazing photos now. I remember my first cell phone that could take a picture. The picture was so pixilated that I could hardly see what the photo was. Camera Phones truly are amazing. However, compared to an actual camera, the quality is unmatched. It is noticeable and will affect how people perceive your professionalism.

8 – Brand image and Consistency

Brand image and consistency are important. Especially with large companies. To maintain a consistent image, you need to have a professional photographer who recreates the same style of image over and over again. It would be impossible to have individuals in a company take their own DIY headshot and have a consistent look. If you doubt me on this, go ask the I.T. guy if this is a good idea. I will save you the time and the I.T. guy’s confusion. It is not a good idea and it won’t work.

9 – In the Know

As a professional headshot photographer, I am aware of the trends and do’s and don’ts of headshot photography. I can shed light on current aesthetics and keep your photography modern.

Professional headshot photographers a deep resource and we are here to serve you. We want to provide our clients with the best service possible and my argument is that it will pay off time and time again to hire a professional photographer who knows what they are doing.