The Realtor Headshot Primer
Your realtor headshot is the keystone of your personal brand. Make sure your headshot is sending the right message about your brand. That message should be that you are trustworthy, competent, and confident enough to help people through one of the most important decisions of their lives.
Setting the Stage
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Dress for Success Know your target audience and dress to impress. What would you wear to the first meeting with your dream client? It would be somewhat formal and depending your location, ‘formal’ might mean different things, from a dark suit to a more casual look for someone specializing in vacation properties, for example. Avoid wild patterns. They distract from your message. Avoid wearing black. It is associated with funerals or evening wear. You may seem unapproachable. Go with grey, charcoal, or navy and select a tie to reinforce your personal brand. Remember to match the width of your tie to the width of your lapels.
Choose the right background Traditionally your choices for a background are black, white, gray, or photo background. White has the advantage of highlighting hair and features more than black or gray. Black says formal and too formal can alienate a potential client (see ‘smile’ above). An out of focus photographic background can be powerful if it matches clothing, eyes, makeup or if it happens to match your personal brand. The other advantage of white is that it can be more easily photoshopped into other situations as your marketing needs change.
Wear makeup (but not too much) Makeup increases people’s perception of a woman’s likability, trustworthiness, and competence. If worn, makeup should never be noticeable on men.
Practice your pose before your shoot
Practice several different poses in the mirror before your shoot to find one that fits your personality.
Don’t be afraid to tell your photographer what you like and don’t like before the shoot
Hire a professional photographer
Smile People who look happier in photographs were viewed as more trustworthy, while people who looked unhappier were viewed as less trustworthy. When asked who they would choose to be their financial advisor, test subjects chose the happier looking person every time.
Look confident in your realtor headshot
Tilting your chin and pushing your face forward makes you instantly more photogenic Crossing your arms? Crossing your arms can signal defensiveness or resistance. When they are open at your sides you appear more approachable”.
Angle one shoulder away from the camera Angling one shoulder slightly away from the camera slims your body profile and creates a photo with a bit more depth. You don’t want a “DMV-style photo.
Tilt your head slightly
Squinching is based on the idea that people with wide open eyes look fearful, while people who squint very slightly appear more confident. Believe it or not, this actually works! People who squinched in their profile pictures were rated as more confident and more influential than people who didn’t.
Practice smiling so it won’t look awkward when it comes time to take the picture. Sit or stand up straight
Relax and remember to breathe
Trust your photographer
Cropping head and shoulders portrait head and shoulders landscape square portrait for profile pictures like Facebook and Linkedin where they only allow square images top half body shot. Are you a hands in pockets or a folded arms kind of person? Here is where to establish your brand for flyers and other advertising.
Ensure your photographer gives you high-resolution versions of your headshot
Consider taking an environmental portrait along with your headshot
Get a second (and third) opinion. It is tough to objectively pick the best images from the proofs. Select the ones you like and get a second, third, and fourth opinion.