Quick Fix Business Tools: A Professional Headshot


In the workforce, it’s smart to have a handle on time management, an impressive resume and an advanced degree, but these achievements take time. Here’s one easy to implement suggestion that can be put into place quickly: Get a professional headshot.

You’d be surprised at the number of executive women who do not have professional photographs of themselves to provide to the media, their organization’s membership directory or their alma mater. With almost three decades of publishing TCW magazine, I cannot count the amateur snapshots that have crossed our editorial desks. Many of these are executive women with impressive job titles, yet too often their photos disconnect with their business persona. We see too many photos out of focus, taken in a group (“Just crop out the rest of the Book Club”), outdoors in glaring daylight or so dated they look like they came out of a high school yearbook. No, no, no. You want to project the best possible image, so book a pro. A professional photographer will use lighting to your advantage and rely on PhotoShop to minimize wrinkles and other imperfections.

Since the camera picks up everything, a makeup artist is also a good investment. Even if you think you’re good at applying makeup, keep in mind that being prepped for the camera differs from how you normally apply makeup in your day-to-day routine. You might also consider hiring a hair stylist or visiting your stylist just prior to the sitting.

The cost for an in-studio professional headshot varies by photographer, but don’t book a sitting solely on price. You want to hire a person with whom you’re comfortable, so you’re at ease in front of the camera. It’s important to see samples of their work. Look at details like the pose itself, lighting, retouching and how the photo was cropped.

Keep your headshot current. If you’ve gained or lost weight, that’s an indicator that it’s time to get new photographs. Often a hairstyle or hair color changes. Or fashions change and your photograph is now dated. It’s smart to get a fresh headshot once a year. And if cost is a factor, just think of what you paid for those wow-factor Christian Louboutins.




About Sherren Leigh

Sherren Leigh is president and founder of Today's Chicago Woman and Today's Chicago Woman Foundation. She muses about life - the good, the bad, the ugly - and anything else that's on her mind in “Girl Talk.” Sometimes funny, other times serious, she's always thought-provoking and often controversial.