For a blog, the blogger’s headshot will always be more important than a logo. So here are my guidelines to get a great headshot for the blog
Do you wonder what one should go with – branded logo or a headshot?
Not any more. I will share a scenario where headshot makes a better choice over the logo and vice versa to help you choose the right option for your brand.
The same also applies to brand on social media.
So let us consider the scenarios.
No brainer, it is always the headshot, which is more important than anything else.
Humans naturally like to connect and socialize. Even the most introvert people connect with others. It’s just that they connect with very few, but still, they do.
We connect with others on different levels. As a business, colleagues working in the same company, living in a society, follow the same religion, etc.
The most crucial aspect of all of the above is, we connect on emotions. The emotion to live in the same place or doing the same type of work or following the same religion connects us.
We need to have something in common to connect. So let me explain this with an example, and I am sure every one of us will agree.
Do you know every person from your city?
The answer will always be NO.
Now assume you are traveling on a bus, everyone in the bus lives in the same city. You won’t connect with all of them.
As an example, I am in Surat. If I take public transport, I don’t interact with every passenger from Surat.
Now assume I am in London. If I happen to find someone from Surat, I will instantly connect. Even if he is not from Surat, but from India, I will still connect.
People like to connect, and we want to find a reason to connect. For personal brands, one can connect with eye contact or knowing the face of the person.
As a personal brand, if I see a logo, it eliminates the option to connect.
I am sure we did not doubt Logo or Headshot when it comes to personal branding, but for non-personal brands, should one opt for a logo or a headshot?
My view remains the same.
There are people behind a business.
Let them be the face of the business.
- Elon Musk is the face of Tesla
- Mark Zuckerberg is the face of Facebook
- Steve Jobs was the face of Apple
And we all connect with those brands.
But do you connect with a brand because of a logo?
More likely, the answer will be NO.
One may connect with the products of the brand for sure. However, they connect for the quality of the products, not because it has an awesome logo.
A logo is only a visual representation of the name of the company.
People connect with the individual or use the product, not because of a great logo. I am yet to see anyone buying an iPhone for the sake of its great logo.
People have a counter-argument about showoff.
The showoff isn’t because of the great logo, but because of the excellent brand value, the company has built over time. It is not the logo that can build the brand, but great products do. The great products build the value of the logo and not the other way round.
Headshot Guidelines for Bloggers
As a freelancer and blogger, it is essential to have a good headshot ahead of the logo. So here are the guidelines for creating the best headshot for a blog.
1. Eyes (Look in the Camera)
As a blogger, eyes are the first point to connect. They help people connect with you.
So it is imperative to be looking into the camera when taking a headshot. It may sound cliche or old times as well but it is still the best and the only way to connect with your blog readers.
2. Smile Naturally
The next most crucial aspect that people connect in a photograph is a smiling face.
Always try to have a smile on your face. A natural smile is more than enough. One doesn’t need to laugh. It may come out as overdone or unnatural.
3. Wardrobe – Professional Vs. Personal
My preference has always been a personal wardrobe over a professional one.
Even when I am using the same headshot as a freelancer, I prefer using the personal wardrobe over a professional one. If you prefer a professional headshot in a blazer or a tie, there is no harm in it either.
Go for the one that you like. After all, it is your headshot.
4. Lights – Natural vs. Studio
For me, the best background for a photograph is a natural background.
Some prefer a studio background, and there is nothing wrong with it either as long as you like it. Keep it really simple with lighter colors in the background along with good lighting.
5. New Headshot Every Two Years
You grow old with time. So getting a new headshot every year or two is a good idea.
I prefer natural lights and a personal wardrobe. So I can always use my personal pictures as blog headshots.
So whenever I go for a vacation, I click pictures that I can use on my blog.
The reason I do it this way is that I want to have a personal headshot in natural light.
6. Don’t use a Selfie or Mirrorshot
Never use a selfie for the headshot.
Some bloggers prefer a selfie, but it looks very unprofessional. Though one looks in the camera for a selfie, the angle isn’t always as natural for it to connect with both the eyes.
7. Portrait and Landscape
Social media images are in landscape mode, but for a blog, one may need a portrait picture as well.
So instead of opting for portrait or landscape, go for both. For square images, one can crop it.
A logo can’t do what a good headshot can. So use headshots everywhere:
- On your blog or website.
- On Freelancing sites like Upwork.
- Your online social media profiles.
- On marketing materials: postcards, business cards.
- As an avatar or gravatar in blog comments and forum participation.
Finally, don’t assume a nice camera will automatically click great pictures. If you are not good at it, consult an expert to have a perfect headshot for your blog.