What Message Does Your Headshot Send?

A headshot is not simply a picture. It’s a composition with a very important message. But are you communicating what you want to?

The small details can make or break your next headshot so let me help you send the right messages with your headshots.

‘I Did My Research’

What made you pick your outfit, background or look? While research isn’t necessary it will impress your viewer if your headshot shows you did your homework.

Here’s an example: Find out about the dance company you want to work for. Learn about its projects and style your dance portfolio accordingly.

‘I Don’t Care What You Think’

This is not a good message to send. Yes you want to show you’re original and you can think for yourself but employers want team players.

When you don’t even attempt to hide tattoos—still a feature not accepted by all employers—an employer will assume you’ll act the same when employed. Even an eccentric outfit can cause bosses to reject your resume. If you’re going to work with conservative clients on their behalf your clothing may become an issue and no business owner wants to employ hard to manage personnel.

‘I Don’t Take my Job Seriously’

And does your overall appearance showcase professionalism? Or did you arrive for the photoshoot with messy hair and creased clothing? In a worst case scenario this can make people doubt your personal hygiene and that disqualifies you immediately.

No editing can change those details. Whether this shot is placed on Facebook, LinkedIn, attached to your resume or found on a company website people will make assumptions about your person based on visual impulses.

Rather put effort into a headshot so you can get that interview and impress them with your speech as much as your photo did.

‘I’m Old Fashioned and Out of Touch’

Here’s a common mistake too many professionals make: They think studio headshots only have to be done once during their careers. Please don’t let this be you.

A photograph shows your personal style, your hair and your clothing. These automatically change over time. No one wants to partner with someone that doesn’t keep up with modern developments and a 10 year old photograph can tell people your thinking is a decade behind too.

It’s also about authenticity. You want someone who sees your picture online to recognize you in the street or at a conference. But how will they do this if your photograph doesn’t show the gray in your hair or the new you after losing weight? If you want people to trust you you must be honest on all platforms.

‘I’m Your Best Option’

And this is what all these messages can work towards: Showcasing you as the best person for the position. And when your photograph communicates all the right messages this is possible. That’s the power of photography. Will you allow it to work in your favor?


This is important people. When you harness the power of the visual medium you can come out on top whether it’s in the entertainment industry, job market or leading a corporate company. Now analyze your photos and make sure your next one is better.

Scroll to Top