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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Minneapolis Professional Head Shots - When Image is Everything | Maris Ehlers Photography

It is amazing to me that in the tough job market we face today that more people aren't concerned with the image they project online via their profile images on social media sites (twitter, facebook, google +, etc), business cards and brochures. This disregard seems to be consistent across the board, whether they are safely cocooned at their current position, looking to transition to a new company / career, or already transitioning (i.e. unemployed).

I am always surprised when I am on in particular.  Here is is, the largest professional networking site, where introductions are made, connections confirmed, and the hiring gate opened in many instances, and so many of you have poorly pixelated pictures with your children's heads cut out (not entirely, sadly), or taken from your cell phone or computer camera. Any professional recruiter worth their salt will tell you that a great, not good, professional head shot is one of the best investments you can make in yourself and your career, whether you are currently looking for a new position, looking for new customers, or even looking for advancement in your current role.

Below are a list of reasons why a great head shot is crucial in today's job market: 

1.  A great picture of you can get you noticed by the right person. If you are looking for a job and a colleague of yours recommends you to someone who is hiring, it's likely that the first place they will go to learn more about you will be your linked in profile.

If this or this is what you have available, good luck to you.

2. Your head shot (or lack thereof), is often the first impression you will make on a hiring manager. It is also your opportunity for them to remember you, and you control whether that is in a good way or a bad way. If you are applying for a creative marketing position and have a picture up on your profile taken on last year's vacation with your cell phone, while you may show that you have mastered your smart phone's technology, you are definitely not proving to a potential employer that you understand the importance of social media.

3.  A great head shot can set you apart from the competition.  Here's a tip for you - the outdated, sterile blue background for the canned head shot has really overstayed it's welcome. We photograph attorneys, doctors, authors, bloggers, real estate agents, business owners, insurance agents, and politicians who get that a great professional head shot can be such an asset to them over and over again.

4. Incomplete profiles on business networking sites (liked, often get rejected by companies using these sites as a resume gathering tool. If you do not have a head shot on LinkedIn, you r resume can automatically be rejected without them reading one word of your amazing resume or profile.  LinkedIn research shows that a profile with a picture is SEVEN times more likely to be opened than a profile without one. So if that's the case, why have a crappy picture to greet them when they do open it?

When do you need updated, creative and professional head shots? 

1.  If you are currently looking for a new job
2.  If you are open to a recruiter calling you to introduce you to new job opportunities
3.  If you are wanting to increase your opportunity for upward mobility where you are today

Basically, anyone who is looking to be successful in their chosen career needs to have a CURRENT professional head shot, and it should be the best you can afford.

I have two groups of people that contact me for professional head shots.  The first group are the people who for one reason or another realize they "need" a head shot, but do not understand the value or importance of it. They want an experience similar to school pictures in elementary school. They want to spend around $50 and 15 minutes, and don't think much about it beyond "should I wear blue or black?".  The people in this group typically don't understand digital assets either, and often expect the digital files to be included in the $50 they want to spend.

The second group of people that call really do understand the importance of a great head shot, and they look at it as an investment in themselves and their career, not just an expense.

Darrin, a creative marketing professional currently looking for work, had some basic head shots from his last position, but realized that now that he is out in the market again, he needed something much better and more current than what he had, and he wanted his head shots to reflect his personality, his style and to give the viewer a sense of what he might be like. He realized that having a positive visual cue could help a hiring manager or potential team member be able to visualize what he might be like to work with.

"I have another twenty years or so left in my career, and the next position I take is critical. I want to stand out in a good way from the time the recruiter or hiring manager hears my name. I don't look at professional head shots as an expense - I look at them as an investment in myself and my career. I am my brand, and my head shot and image needs to be consistent with the experience I am trying to offer potential employers."

We spent time talking with him about the types of jobs he is looking for, what industries he wants to work in, and even looked at images he liked and that felt "like him".  We then headed into his session with purpose, knowledge and ideas, and our time together was very well spent. With great results.

Now, armed with a killer resume, updated profile, and enthusiasm for what lies ahead, Darrin also has a handful of creative professional head shots that are guaranteed to get him noticed and that represent his personal brand extremely well.

What can I expect to spend for professional head shots?

Obviously this varies based on a lot of things, including the skill, experience and demand of the photographer you choose.  With us, you can plan on spending between $300 - $500, which would include pre-session planning, shooting at a local location of your choice (including downtown), professional editing and digital files.

Makeup artistry services and wardrobe planning is also available.

Call 612-200-0900 to book with us. We WILL get you noticed.

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