May 28, 2008
Do you have a current head shot that shows you off?
If not, how can you build a personal brand? Your picture is more memorable than your bio. Maybe that’s what people mean when they say that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
I remember in 1998, while working at broadcast.com, when I got my first head shot. It was shot by a freelancer for a Fast Company story on our company, and later I was able to purchase it to use when I was booked to speak at conferences. When I look at it now, I think, “wow, I look like such a goober.”
In 2001, I hired a professional photographer (James Bland), and had top notch pictures for promotional purposes, and used them dozens of times before I ever had a book deal, publicity campaigns, web site, etc.
I don’t really print them out these days, mostly I email them to my event/PR contacts (medium resolution) or post them on my site in full res for download (My picture vault).
I don’t know how I could have branded myself without a good picture. Review yours. Are you ready for prime time? You never know, you might need one sooner than you think.
By the way, there are a gaggle of high quality photographers at Open Source Photo, or you can Google search for locals. Setup a budget, never ask for a discount to get the best work and always study your proof sheet before you buy a picture or make duplicates.