When clients visit your website or check out your social media pages, do they see a friendly real estate professional who will find them their new home? The confident realtor who will successfully carry them through the selling process? Or do they just see a blank, grey box next to your name?
Maybe you haven’t had your professional headshot taken yet because you lead a busy life or haven’t seen it as a worthwhile investment. But having an active online presence is an essential part of branding yourself and reaching those wanting to invest in home-ownership with the help of an authentic, accessible realtor.
As evidenced by the impressive photos taken by social media influencers and amateurs alike, it’s possible to capture a great headshot with your own phone camera if you are unable to schedule a sit-down session with a professional photographer. To ensure the best results, here are a 5 considerations to keep in mind when taking your own headshot:
Choose attire that suits your personality and reflects the level of professionalism you’re expected to present in your office or when meeting clients.
Think about the colors you’re wearing; do they make your eyes pop and your complexion look healthy, or do they wash you out and blend in with the background? If you’re considering a black and white headshot, judge whether your outfit and accessories have enough contrast to pop without color. A tone on tone outfit can sometimes come across as boring and generally doesn’t make the subject of the photo stand out.
Finally, look at your photos on different platforms to evaluate how your clothing comes across. Do the thin lines or busy pattern on your shirt cause an unflattering rippling effect when viewed on certain screens or at various sizes?
Professional studio lighting is much, much different than the artificial lights in your home or office, so natural lighting is a more flattering option if you’re taking your own headshot. Avoid direct sunlight that causes harsh shadows on the face or very strong sunlight from a single direction (i.e. hitting only the right or left part of your face). A slightly overcast day is the preference of many photographers when taking portraits and headshots because the light is diffused and even on the subject. If you can’t take a photo outside, you can still benefit from natural lighting by posing near a window--just be sure to face it to avoid back-lighting.
Filters and auto-correction can help with lighting if you need assistance in that department, but try to not rely on them too heavily as your picture can come across as dated or unprofessional.
A simple backdrop is best. A white wall in your home, a plain exterior, natural scenery, or a cityscape make good backdrops for portraits and headshots.
Car interiors aren’t good settings for professional headshots, and neither are busy backdrops with signage or clutter. Be mindful of cropping photos from special events--you don’t want any stray elbows or ears that don't belong to you in your headshot!
The goal is to look confident and natural, so move around and try different poses. Straight on shots aren't as flattering as angles, so try angling you body and face toward the camera for a better outcome.
It’s generally best to avoid shots taken from a much lower or higher angle than you, but a photo taken from slightly above can have a slimming effect, whereas slightly below can make the shoulders and jawline more prominent and the subject look taller.
Think about something that genuinely makes you happy when you’re smiling. It’s important to come across as confident, so pose however you feel your best, whether that’s with an open or closed smile.
Not the smiley type? No problem! Just try to keep your expression neutral to avoid looking stern or angry.
Now that you have the ingredients to create a fantastic headshot, it’s up to you to set aside some time to take yours and begin leveraging it!
A professional headshot is a simple yet powerful addition to agent-branded social media pages and websites. Yours can be added to your KW White Pages, your Google+ account, dotloop, eEdge marketing, and on your Placester website and your KW email signature.
Want a custom email signature to go with your new headshot? Purchase one here to begin sharing your brand with clients, or have a new headshot uploaded to your KW technology.