Applying for a job is a job.
If you have the technical and soft skills to land a job, then there’s no reason for you not to get the job you want.
So, if applying for a job is a job, then you would ideally want everything as professional as possible, correct?
If that’s the case, then you do NOT want the first impression from your future employer to be a bad first impression.
It drives me mad that so many people put up selfies as their LinkedIn profile picture.
A photo that is done on a “blank” wall and with decent lighting is much better than using a selfie to promote yourself.
Why are headshots important?
If you are on the hunt for a good job, then a headshot is important because it is the first thing an employer will visually see about you.
If you’ve turned on your resume, then they will see words on a piece of paper.
What they really want to know is if you look clean, what your hobbies are, what you do in your spare time, if you’re posting to Facebook often during work hours, etc.
These are all things HR will be able to see nowadays with the creation of websites like Facebook.
Where should I get my headshot?
This is a topic I have been approached with by several clients.
Before coming to me to get their headshots done, they told me that they were quoted at $200 - $300 for 3-5 photos from studios.
I am of the belief that you can generate the same quality from an outdoor shoot (albeit in a different aesthetic) than you could with a studio shoot.
So, I wanted to briefly talk about the pros of using an outdoor location over a professional studio.
Here’s five reasons why I think that you should get your headshots taken outside.
1. Photographer can control lighting in post-production
I mention this aspect of photography often in my street photography blogs.
If a photographer can get the right lighting, then they will be able to masterfully control almost all elements of the photo in post-production.
This eliminates the need for having bright studio lights.
2. Convenience of location
Instead of having to jump into your car and drive to a studio to get your photo taken, you and the photographer can arrange to meet somewhere convenient and take photos at a nearby park.
3. Nature elements make the picture more casual
I just want to say that this is just a personal preference, but I love natural lighting photos more than I do studio photos.
Whenever I see someone on LinkedIn with a professional studio photo, I feel like it’s a bit too “extra”.
Everyone knows that we get up and dress up for these pictures.
Having a candid and natural photo of you gives your employer a better insight to who you are.
As mentioned above, I feel like studio photos are static. They just don’t feel as dynamic as natural lighting photos.
4. “Golden Hour”
To put it simply for those who don’t know what Golden Hour is:
Golden Hour is the time of day where the sun is setting.
Instead of the sun being up high and casting a harsh light on you, you’ll get nice shadows and an orange-y (Golden) light.
5. Customize your headshot!
I mentioned that I’m not too big of a fan of studio headshots because most of them feel static.
Going out and shooting outdoors gives you an opportunity to customize your headshot.
Not all of us on LinkedIn are trying to attract a standard, professional office setting job.
Others are going onto LinkedIn to connect with others in the fashion industry.
If that’s the case, then why not get a crisp, HD DSLR photo of you sporting your best clothes out in the city?
Or if you’re in the tech industry, why not a headshot of you looking intensely at a computer monitor?
I am a huge believer in standing out from what everyone else is doing.
I don’t want you to be overlooked because of your headshot!
There are pros and cons to outdoor headshots.
Sometimes it could be better just to get a studio headshot.
There is no such thing as “the best” in photography.
Everything is subjective because “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”.
I can’t sell you on an outdoor headshot if you’re already set on a studio shot.
Ultimately what it comes down to is what YOU want.
If you want the standard, professional office setting job and you think a studio could do a better job than a photographer outdoors, then go with the studio.
If you think a photographer outdoors can capture your true, unique feel over a studio, then go with the photographer outdoors.
I can only recommend what I like.
And what I like are the outdoor shoots.
What I suggest, as always, is that you don’t overthink a decision like this.
Get a nice professional picture to show off who you are and then go from there.
My name is Joshua Smith and I am the owner and operator of MediaSmith LLC.
This company is located out in Phoenix, AZ (actually Goodyear, AZ, but we do a few events outside of the state and it’s easier to find us by typing in “Phoenix, AZ”).
I have created tons of content for MediaSmith LLC such as:
- A documentary focusing on a Bluegrass musician by the name of James Reams
- Filmed and photographed dozens of weddings and corporate events
- Increased the digital footprint of other companies by helping them create content themselves
If you’re interested in partnering with us, please don’t hesitate to contact us by clicking here: