Refreshed Headshot Image Featuring The Head, Ideally Cropped Just Beneath The Collarbone
Refreshed Headshot Image Featuring The Head, Ideally Cropped Just Beneath The Collarbone

by | Apr 30, 2023

Categories: Headshots

How Often Do People Typically Refresh Their Headshot?

This morning, I was asked, How often do people typically refresh their headshot? It is a question I both love and hate to answer. I love to answer it because the answer can reveal a marketing opportunity that few others seize. I hate to answer it because the answer has the potential to give people a false sense of security. So, the answer is… most people never update their headshot. While you might take comfort in this answer, it can be detrimental to your career or business.

You Might Think You Have A Good Headshot…

Most people think they have a headshot when they actually do not. They are using candid shots, selfies, crops from larger photos, etc. These are neither professional looking nor effective headshots.

What Is A Headshot?

An Ideal, Trustworthy Headshot Revealing The Subject's Eyes
Figure 1 – An Ideal, Trustworthy Headshot Revealing The Subject’s Eyes

A headshot is an image that literally features your head, ideally cropped just beneath your collarbone. You want this close crop because your head – more specifically, your eyes – are where people instinctively first look to make important judgments about you. Primarily, they want to know whether you can be trusted. By including a larger portion of your body in your headshot, you are making it more difficult for people to connect with your eyes and, therefore, harder for them to feel an immediate sense of trust. Those few milliseconds of delay might be all it takes for your perfect client to move on to the next search result.

A Nice Business Portrait Revealing Much More Than The Head And Eyes
Figure 2 – A Nice Business Portrait Revealing Much More Than The Head And Eyes

Although Figure 2 is a nice business portrait, it is not a headshot.

Why Should You Get A Professional Headshot?

A professional headshot is intentionally designed to make an immediate and positive impact on your target market. You might be using a great looking candid. But it might also be the absolute wrong photo to connect with your target market. Every slight tilt or rotation of your head, how you smile or not, whether you are straight on or slightly angled to the camera, and the combination of all these factors, makes a conscious and subconscious impact on the viewer. A studied and well-trained headshot photographer will ask about with whom you want to connect. The photographer works with you to create not only a beautiful headshot but, more importantly, an effective headshot that sends a positive message to your target market.

Why Should You Refresh Your Headshot?

Like software or a marketing initiative, a headshot needs to stay current to maximize its effectiveness. Clothing and hair styles change. Our physical appearance slowly change every day, although we might not notice the differences. Over time, a potential employer or client who meets you in person will certainly see the differences, causing them to pause. That moment (or those minutes and hours!) of adjustment in how they perceive you can make it more difficult for you to close a sale.

How Often Should You Update Your Headshot?

Update your headshot every two years unless you had a more immediate change to your appearance or want to bring attention to a marketing promotion.

  1. Update your headshot every two years. In most cases, your appearance has not changed enough to make people do a double take when they see you in person. Two years is about the right time for you to update your headshot before people do notice any differences. It is also a good time interval to make sure your clothing, hair, and makeup styles remain current.
  2. You had a noticeable change to your appearance before the end of the two-year interval. That could mean a drastic change in hairstyle, growing or shaving a beard, a change in your overall clothing style, cosmetic surgery, etc. Again, a new headshot is all about making sure you are accurately presenting yourself to your target market.
  3. You want to bring attention to a marketing promotion. It is no secret that changing your online profile photo attracts attention to your social media account. When you are marketing a new service or promotion, the attention gained from your new professional headshot will attract a significantly larger audience.

Is making the time and investment in having a professional headshot created a pain and an inconvenience? Of course it is! So is keeping your website up to date. So is your marketing, keeping up with social media, your bookkeeping, and any of the hundreds of necessary functions that keep your business and career moving forward. Keeping your headshot up to date is an integral piece of your marketing puzzle that should be treated as seriously as every other aspect of your business. Schedule a free consultation today with Charles Cotugno Photography to refresh your professional headshot and better connect with your target market.