Digital photography has come a long way, but the truth is most of the amateur head shots (photo portraits) that I see online just aren’t good. There could be problems with the lighting or too much of a wrinkled shirt is shown or lack of quality leading to the photo being fuzzy. What I’m saying is that it is worth $150 bucks to Google a professional photographer and have some pictures taken.
You can use your new shots for twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, speaking opportunities and for your online press kit (which I will elaborate on in a future article). Given that people on Twitter are 10X more likely to follow someone who has a photo for an avatar, that alone would be worth the expense. But beyond that, as you begin your commitment to public relations, having a professionally done head shot is a requisite for your press kit.
I Googled “Austin Photographer Head Shots” and found a photographer. Within a day, I was in his studio. I am not particularly photogenic, so I was thrilled with his work. He took a few dozen shots, and provided me with a disk that had two shots saved at different sizes so that I could use them in a variety of ways.
Digital photography allows them to touch up your photo. The photographer who took my pictures does a lot of work for actors and actresses and explained that their photos cannot be retouched dramatically – only to the same degree as make up – even up skin tone, cover blemishes.
As I mentioned, you will be able to use your photo in any number of ways, but having this photo in your online press kit is the primary objective. Writers like having photos and graphics to break up the copy. It’s more likely that a reader choose a story with pictures than one without (think People magazine) so having a photo allows you to help the writer out.