Visuals are an integral part of making a lasting first impression online. When potential clients, business partners, or employers want to put a face to your resume, what would they see? A professional headshot session is a sound business investment for a number of reasons, but only if you use it to your advantage.

Here are the mistakes you should avoid:

1. Taking the Photo Yourself

You could try and place your phone on a stand and take a few headshots yourself, but chances are, they won’t look as professional as you’re hoping. Investing in a professional headshot session is convenient and well worth the cost if you’re serious about building your brand.

2. Selecting the Wrong Outfit

What you wear to your session can have an impact on the end result. It’s important to choose an outfit that matches your personality and that you would wear on a day-to-day basis. This is not the time to try a completely new look unless you’re rebranding. It’s also better to choose more than one outfit just in case.

3. Not Practicing Your Facial Expressions

The last thing you want is to receive your headshot photos only to realize you have a forced smile that makes you look fake. It helps to practice your smile and facial expressions prior to your session to ensure the best results.

4. Using the Wrong Background

The background of your headshots can be anything you want, but it’s better to not choose something outdated or distracting – all the focus should be on you. The background can be interesting and help tell your story but should never detract from the main subject of the photo.

5. Following Trends

Ideally, your headshots should last at least 2 years, meaning, they will be relevant for at least 2 years. This won’t be the case if you jump on board with a trend that will be irrelevant and unrelatable in 6 months.

Now that you know what to avoid, you can start your search for a headshot photographer who knows how to showcase you professionally online.