We’ve all been there. You’re waiting to meet a new person, and you don’t recognize them until they introduce themselves. Why? Their headshot is 5 to 15 years old. This reason is just one to update your headshot consistently.
Want to know the other reasons?
For many, a headshot isn’t a priority. It’s something you have to get because you’re looking for a new job or doing something for a publication. If you’re an actor, it’s like doing laundry. It should be a refreshed continuously fixture. Work a 9 to 5? I’ll bet you don’t think a headshot needs to be updated often and you’re mostly right. You’ve got some more leeway compared to actors, but you should update your headshot every few years.
Psychology of a Headshot
A headshot is your first impression when meeting someone. And with everyone doing a routine Facebook or LinkedIn stalking session before meeting you in person, it’s all the more reason to be authentic. There’s nothing worse than having one image in mind of a person and then having them step in front of you and looking different. It creates an imbalance in our brains and lowers our initial trust factor.
Establishing trust and likability are significant factors in getting hired or landing that date. If your headshot isn’t the real you, then you’re immediately putting yourself at a disadvantage. Give yourself every edge possible and maintain an up-to-date headshot.
Here Are 4 Reasons to Update Your Headshot
Headshots are a Tax Write-Off
Yeah, pretty straight forward. Getting a new headshot isn’t free, but luckily it counts as a marketing and advertising expense for work. So remember to include it when submitting for your next tax return.
You’ve Changed Your Look
This one is crucial for actors. When auditioning for a role, part of getting that gig is if you fit the director’s vision. So if you’ve changed your hair (cut or color), lost some weight, been hitting the gym for the past six months, or acquired a scar, then you need to update your headshot.
These factors also apply to corporate types, but it’s not as crucial. Significant changes warrant an update, but minor ones aren’t as big a deal.
Aging is the hardest factor to accept for updating your headshot, though. As we get older, our bodies change, and not all of us like those changes. You need a headshot refresh if your current headshot could attend Kindergarten.
Booked for the Wrong Role
Another big one for actors. Many people have just one headshot that they apply to any and every job. That’s like saying there’s only one way to fight crime – be Batman. Sorry, but there’s a reason Bruce Wayne also makes appearances because his look gets him farther than his mask and cape does in certain situations. If you walk into every audition looking like Batman, you’re only going to land jobs for masked vigilantes. You’ll never get the Ryan Gosling role in The Notebook.
Walking into an audition for a comedic role with a dramatic headshot creates that imbalance issue I mentioned earlier. Don’t create barriers or obstacles to getting your part. And don’t count out wearing the proper clothing – it can affect your audition too.
For corporate types, this isn’t as crucial. You can implement a one-size-fits-all approach, but only if your current headshot is working in your favor. If your LinkedIn profile picture has you with a mean-mug or a sad expression, your job offers will be affected. People are visual creatures, and we make judgments based on first impressions. Make it count.
Headshots to Show off all Your Possible Looks
Hey actors, I’m not trying to pick on you, but once again, pay attention. This ties into the previous point – you need to have multiple headshot looks handy. So the next time you get your headshots taken, get your comedic, commercial, and dramatic headshots done all in one sitting. You don’t want to be rushing to get an appropriate headshot days before an audition.
9-5’ers, again not crucial to have more than one, but you may consider it so that your LinkedIn, team page of a website and side-hustle don’t all use the same image.
I hope all of this information was helpful, and you have a better idea of how often to refresh your headshots.
If you’re ready to get your next headshots and like my style of photography, please check out my headshot services page. I’d be happy to help you.
You can also Contact me with any questions.