By Michelle Xiarhos Curran
It sounds cliché, but it’s true: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is especially true in the business world, where the first point of contact between you and a potential client is often made online. Not only are people asking their friends and family for recommendations on who to turn to for financial advice and estate planning services, but they are also browsing company websites and using social media to gather background information and make decisions about whether or not to call you for advice. Not to mention, your peers looking to connect with other professionals in their field are doing the exact same thing.
A professional head shot is just one of the things you can do to help make that great first impression. And on July 30, the Essex County Estate Planning Council will give its members and guests the opportunity to get that perfect shot at its next networking meeting, hosted by Cape Ann Savings, Trust and Financial Services in Gloucester, and sponsored by Carroll K. Steele Insurance Agency Inc.
Cape Ann Photography will be on hand to take your professional head shot. Owner Dave Stotzer has been photographing Cape Ann, the North Shore and those who live and work here since 1988. This week, I got a chance to catch up with Dave to talk a little bit about just how important a great head shot can be.
ECEPC News Blog: Why should I use a professional headshot for my business?
Dave Stotzer: A professional-looking head shot is an effective way to make a good first impression. Professional head shots are important because not only is our lighting and composition going to make you look as good as possible, but with Cape Ann Photography, retouching is always done by us, also helping to make you look your best.
ECEPC: It’s just a headshot. Why can’t I just have a friend or family member snap a picture of me?
DS: Friends or family, unless they are professionals, will not be able to accomplish the standard operating procedure for great photographs I already spoke about. We also shoot using a neutral, plain background – usually gray or white – something most friends or family would not think of unless they were trained.
ECEPC: Where should I use my professional headshot photo?
DS: You can use your headshot not only for your business but for professional affiliations, such as LinkedIn. Or, if you are in a networking organization such as your local Chamber of Commerce or a Rotary Club, you can use it there as well.
ECEPC: How should I prepare for my headshot shoot?
DS: You should dress fairly conservatively, with no loud colors or patterns. You need to think that this photo may be used for a few years or more. Many fashions change periodically, so you don’t want to date your portrait by what you are wearing, if at all possible. Women, apply make up for evening. We always advise men to get a haircut 4-7 days before the shoot and NOT wait until a day or two before your photograph is taken.
If you’d like to sign up for your professional head shot with Dave Stotzer of Cape Ann Photography, register for the ECEPC’s Summer Networking Event here. Please indicate in your RSVP that you would like to be scheduled for a headshot, and you will receive a specified time in an email prior to the event. Admission to the event is $25 for members and guests and includes hors d’oeuvres and drinks. There is no charge for the headshot on the evening of the event. Those who choose to purchase a digital image for $30 will be emailed a secure website from which to make the purchase after the event.
For more information, contact ECEPC administrator and marketing assistant, Michelle Xiarhos Curran, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you at Cape Ann Savings on July 30!