First impressions and how to take headshots

Be honest. Have you ever...

1. Looked up someone online before you met them? Say, your doctor, dentist, mechanic, or realtor?

2. Judged that person based on the photo you found online?

Studies show that it takes just seven seconds to form a first impression. But first impressions rarely happen in person anymore.

These days, everyone from your friend who’s dating online to your local florist needs a headshot to improve their “online presence.”

It’s a little sad, but it’s true… appearances aren’t everything, but they’re a lot.  If you don’t have a good headshot, you need one.  And if you can learn how to take headshots, now’s the most lucrative time you can add them to your photography tool belt.

Different photographers charge different rates, but Bonnie charges an average of $250 for each one-hour session.  And Niels Johansen says his clients want video headshots, too – quick, 30-second videos that essentially look like headshots, but are videos, and often include a little sound bite of what the client does for a living.

For a headshot video and a few photographs, he might charge as much as $500 or $600. 

What’s more, headshots are fun. Bonnie told us she loves being able to connect with people, to get them comfortable in front of her camera, and her favorite thing to hear is…

“I never imagined I could look so good in a photo.”

We all know that it feels far better to give a gift than receive one, and taking good headshots is like giving others an amazing gift.  If you can make your client look good in a photograph, they’re eternally grateful.  And doing that isn’t that hard.

Basically, you need to:

  • Scout your locations before you shoot
  • Use a reflector to reduce wrinkles and shadows in unwanted places
  • Eliminate clutter and unwanted distractions

Oh, and most of all… connect with your client.

Headshots are just one of the several new markets we’ve been going over this week in Santa Fe. Bonnie’s instructions (and an inside look on how she gets clients and how much she makes shooting headshots in her spare time) was enough to prove you’re leaving a lot of money on the table if you don’t give it a try.

From headshots to videos… local photos to stock and food photography … there is an opportunity out there for every photographer.

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[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]