Whether you are an actor, model, business person or executive, or even someone looking for a date on line, your headshot is often the first and last impression you will ever make. It is usually the first impression made on resumes, on line profiles and sometimes business cards. It is often the last impression, often on business cards, or in a hastily passed on line image.
While many factors effect general pay and spousal incomes, the ease and time required to find a spouse or employment are definitely effected by our appearance…. and, our headshot is often the only clue people have regarding our appearance, before deciding to meet with us.
In 7 Ways Your Looks Affect Your Pay @ Salary.com, a Yale University study finds employers pay a beauty premium to attractive employees of 5%, and guys, “Effects for men are at least as great as for women”.
Even if you make $10 per hour, and find a job one week faster thanks to a more effective headshot and perhaps that extra interview, your headshot investment returns an extra $400 in that one week. When you are hired on, if you make an extra 5%, because your headshot reminds people know how attractive you are, that extra 50 cents an hour works out to an extra $1,000 in that first year. So your $500 headshot investment return on your great looks is an extra $1,000 per year.
For people in more lucrative fields, the payback is of course faster and larger. Corporate executives and other highly paid individuals invest heavily in their appearance and headshots for just these smart reasons. ie, the payback is one of the easiest and best investments on oneself one can make.
For example, those making an extra 5% on a $200,000 a year income make an extra $10,000 per year. And, if they obtain employment 1 week sooner, that’s like a whopping $4,000 sign on bonus.
On the other side of the scale, the same Yale study shows a 9% income penalty for those whose appearances are ‘unattractive’.
What ever attractive or unattractive is or isn’t, and it is highly subjective, if your headshot doesn’t show you looking very much like you at your best, it is probably time to consider an update for this important investment in yourself.
How much should you expect to invest in a quality business or social media headshot?
Quality headshot rates vary widely by market.
While many pro and semi pro photographers offer lower rates, corners are necessarily cut on these discount rates. Either in terms of the craft, time, skill or equipment of the photographer involved, in most things, you do get what you pay for.
For quality headshot work, expect to invest $350-$1,250 for a professionally edited headshot with appropriate licensing and taxes included.
Depending on where exactly you live, these currently are the general mid to high quality investment range for business and social media headshots around urban America. If you find lower pricing, you may be in a very small market, or the photographer is not really at the top of his game, or he has cut corners in services to fit your budget, and so you may have difficulties looking your most effective best in your professional headshot portraits.
How do I select the right photographer for my headshot portrait?
When you find a photographer who demonstrates through their body of work the kind of headshot portrait you are looking for yourself, find out his or her rates and schedule an appointment.
The shots you should be looking at are headshots. Do not assume a great boudoir, wedding or child photographer will be a wiz at headshots.
Each kind of photography is a specialized set of skills, equipment and art. While most photographers will take on headshot work, a headshot specialist, or one with an extensive side line in headshots with work clearly demonstrating expertise and experience, is one to consider.
When you contact the photographer, make sure their energy is a good fit for you as comfort factor is vital for looking loose during your headshot sitting.
Check the price, make sure it’s in your budget, feel the trust and then book your session.