How do you know? ... If you should update your profile image or headshot?

In my experience, many people know they should update their headshot, another group are on the fence, and others simply aren't concerned for a variety of reasons.

The most frequent reasons that I hear from customers for the update are:

  • they're on the job hunt & want to spruce up their image
  • they're in the midst of a career transition from one phase/ industry/ career to another and want a new image or set of images that reflects the change
  • they want something that actually looks like them
  • they already have one, but they detest it

However, if none of those apply & you're wondering if it's time, then I have a list of things for your to consider: 

1) The vintage of the photograph

  • How current is the portrait?
  • When were you last professionally photographed for your career?
  • Does the image look like you?
  • In other words, if you were meeting someone for the first time, would he or she be able to recognize you from you headshot?

2) Connection to the audience

  • In the photograph, where are your eyes directed?
  • Are they directed to the audience to engage them?  Or are they looking off to the side?
  • Also, how distant are you in the photograph?
  • For instance, is the perspective near and close, or far and distant?

3) Consistent presentation across media

  • Is your portrait of comparable style & quality wherever it appears?
  • Specifically, are you presenting a professional calibre image across platforms?
  • For your professional profile images are you mixing professional images with snapshots?

4) Confidence level

  • What body language are you using in the image?
  • What does that body language convey?
  • Does the expression in the photograph engage your client?
  • If you were to ask a stranger, would they think you're confident in yourself & your brand?

5) Relevancy

  • Is the image appropriate for the brand you wish to project?
  • Does it reflect you at your best now?
  • Does it reflect where you want to be in the near future? 

The truth is that you probably know whether or not it's time to update your headshot. The trickier part is determining what images you need for your brand and knowing where and how to make the best use of your images.

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