8 signs you need a new headshot

What goes through your mind when you meet someone who looks nothing like the headshot you’ve seen of them?

It’s likely, if their headshot was clearly taken at least five years ago, or their look has changed significantly, you’re immediately going to feel misled.

If you can’t trust this person to be honest about the way they look, what else can you not trust about them or what they do?

In this digital age the way that you present yourself online can have a big impact on people’s decisions about whether to connect with you or your business.

Your headshot - whether it’s on LinkedIn, your website, or even your email and phone avatar - is often the first impression people have of you, so when you take a look at yours now, does it accurately reflect you and your brand?

Do people get the idea that you’re a pro in your field, or does it convey you’re just doing the bare minimum to get by?

It won’t matter how great you are at what you do if your headshot tells a different story. If your image doesn’t fit your words or what you’re telling potential clients or employers, then you will be creating a disconnect.

Our perception is our reality. If the message we get is that you don’t care (or know) enough to put your best face forward, then that might mean you’re not worth the time.

How do you know if you need a new headshot?

If you answer yes to any of these, then it’s probably time for an update!

  • your headshot is three or more years old

  • your stomach drops every time you’re asked to send through a headshot (for example for an event or for the news media)

  • you are using a selfie or a blurry photo

  • you hate your headshot and avoid using it whenever possible

  • your headshot has been cropped from another photo

  • you’ve changed your personal style, such as the way you dress

  • your looks have changed noticeably

  • your business has changed direction or you’ve got a new job

A woman smiling in front of a pink garage during a personal branding photoshoot
Lifestyle-type images which show a bit more of your personality and shot outdoors, on the street or in your office or home are on trend for personal branding images

An outdated headshot is almost as bad as not having one!

If you have a killer headshot that you loved it’s understandable that you’d want to keep using it. But, sadly, you can’t keep using it forever! We are always changing and growing older (damn it!) and your headshot needs to reflect that.

I don’t know about you, but I always feel a real jolt when I meet someone who looks nothing like I expected them to from their headshot - because it was clearly taken at least five years ago or they've got a completely different hairstyle.

Style - even for headshots - changes with the times

To go back to first impressions, if you’re using an old headshot you could be unintentionally making yourself look behind the times, because the style of your shot is outdated.

Traditional headshots on the blue or grey background can have an old-fashioned, stuffy feel to them.

Modern headshots and personal branding images often have a much more fresh and natural feel to them. It’s a more open, unlimited look and can reflect a little more about who you are. They’re shot in offices, outdoors, on the street and even in your home.