Ever been duped by the “one size fits all” professional headshots concept? You know the outfits I’m talking about. The ones that spruke that they will fit all sizes, but they are really only catering to a small range of people. You get seduced by the idea of wearing something so lovely, but you are ultimately let down when it doesn’t fit your body.
“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” ~ Meister Eckhart
Professional Headshots and Personal Branding Photography can fall victim to the one size fits all dilemma. As business owners, we look for ideas of what looks good and what others are doing in terms of visual branding. We can’t help but compare. It’s in our nature as humans, because we are hard-wired to pursue a feeling of belonging. So it’s not surprising to see a lot of business owners all looking fairly similar on social media and in marketing.
The formula for most professional headshots
Lifestyle businesses have lifestyle photographs of themselves in their office, at a local coffee shop, an urban location or on the beach.
Corporate businesses and executives have photographs of them wearing a suit or jacket and photographed with arms folded or looking serious to the camera.
Professional speakers have photographs of them in a lifestyle setting, walking down the street, and speaking on stage to a massive audience.
I get it!
Formulas help businesses to get out of overwhelm, reach a solution and to be visible in front of their ideal audience. Formulas help businesses to produce content that they know will resonate, because it’s been done before.
But that is one of the biggest problems with formulas.
They are replicated over and over, and you risk people switching off. The problem with formulas goes back to the “one size fits all” outfit that we’ve all been duped by. Every person and business is different, especially if they are leveraging their unique positioning. We all know it.
So why create visible brand positioning that makes you look like everyone else out there?
It’s uncomfortable to be different
It comes down to feeling discomfort and risk to choose to step outside the status quo. I get this concern a lot from people I talk to about branding and marketing. They want to have an impact, but they are scared or unsure that doing something different will really work for them.
Now hear me when I say that this does not mean that every person who comes through my studio doors, will be asked to get really animated in their headshots. That would be just like following a formula again. We don’t do boring headshots in the studio! It means that we look at the whole YOU and photograph you based on ALL the information and customise to your specific situation:
- you, your personality, your archetype, the Future You
- your values, beliefs and opinions
- your clients and what they are needing from you
- how conservative or creative your industry is
- the future of your industry and what is required from you as a leader.
Build curiosity with your professional headshots
Ultimately, the goal is to create powerful photographs of you that stop your audience in their tracks. They take notice!
If you read my previous article, I talked about how we as a global community are moving into a time of ‘reality apathy’. Firstly, we as consumers won’t know what’s real and what’s ‘fake’, so instead, it’s expected that we will switch off. Secondly, the challenge for you as a business owner is to re-ignite the curiosity of your audience. The quickest way to do that is visually through photographs and videos. Your focus needs to be in zigging when everyone is zagging with corporate headshots, branding photography and videos. Dump the ‘one size fits all’ formula and find your own marvellous, intriguing formula that amplifies you on so many levels!
Here is an example of how a simple headshot can look different. Each person celebrated differently, amplified for their unique qualities.
Find your own marvellous formula
Capture headshots and photographs of you that are based on your personality, values and you’re unique positioning.
Tell a story and be illustrative with your headshots and photographs.
Be FULLY self-expressive in your headshots. Importantly, there is only one of you. Only one of your face (except for any doppelgängers out there). Therefore, others cannot compete when you differentiate based on who you ARE.
I DARE you to be fully self-expressed, !