More and more professionals are choosing to include a headshot on their business cards. This is a particularly popular option among service professionals like realtors, financial advisors and coaches.

I include my headshot on my business cards as it helps those that I’ve just met remember me later.

If you’re considering doing the same, you might be wondering what headshot to use or if you should include a photo at all.

To begin with, every professional should have one good headshot, whether this is for a business card, marketing materials, or their online profiles.

Let’s take a close look at the dos and don’ts of business card headshots.

What to Do

Firstly, if you want to include a headshot on your business card, do hire a professional photographer. These photo sessions don’t take too long and are affordable too. Before you hire a photographer though, make sure that headshots are one of their specialties. A photographer who specializes in headshots knows how to tell your story and highlight your personality.

Hiring a professional also means you will receive high-resolution images that have been retouched and formatted to look good on your business cards.

Before you start your session, take the time to consider your audience. When it comes to selecting clothing, it’s a good idea to start with what you usually wear when meeting with clients. What you wear and how you look will create a positive first impression. When it comes to choosing an outfit, think about the following options and which one is best for you.

Business professional, business formal, small business, and business casual.

Choose colors that look good with your skin tone. I suggest staying away from any clothing or accessories that will distract the viewer from your face. This is especially true if your business card is colorful and creative – you will want your headshot and background to be simpler.

What Not to Do

Stay away from busy, distracting backgrounds that take the focus off your face. The background you choose should also speak to what you do and offer. Your photographer can help you choose the best background option based on your profession & personality. Props are typically not recommended for headshots as they could distract from your face and/or take up too much space. However, this may be a rule that in some cases be broken.

Lighting is also important. If you won’t be shooting in a studio, don’t choose a location that has insufficient natural lighting. Speak to your photographer about lighting options if you will be shooting at home, in your office, or in a public location. Remember, those overhead lights in your office are not your friend when it comes to portrait lighting.

One last suggestion. Be sure to discuss your headshot session with your photographer so you can share some insight into what you’re all about and what you specialize in. This information will help them showcase your personality through your photos.

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