May 29, 2024

Say Cheese? Headshot Tips for Asset Management Firms

Headshots send a message to the world. They offer insight into you, your personality, your brand, and ultimately your firm. Like anything related to the brand identify of your firm, they require careful thought and planning.

Whether your photographer utters the iconic “say cheese” expression or not depends on the tone and style of head shots you want for your firm. We’ve spent time over the years helping firms determine the best headshot style for their organization. Here are a few tips.

Go Pro
First and foremost, work with a professional photographer. It matters. They will bring consistency to the headshots and are experts at putting people at ease to capture the best possible images. While there is a lot of hype about AI photo creation, it fails to capture the authenticity and essence of a person, and no one wants their team to look artificial.

Think Branding
Before any images are taken, work with your photographer and brand team to ensure that the look and feel of the headshots is in line with your brand identity. Your brand identity is about more than font types and colors. Your team’s headshots should be an extension of your brand.

Select a Style
The biggest branding/style mistake you can make is not having one. Do you want to convey trust, approachability, your fresh thinking or reinforce your focus on ESG? When consulting with your photographer, have a vision in mind to start the conversation. For example, we want to highlight our firm’s half-a-century history of delivering exceptional results through conservative investment strategies.

Where your headshots are taken (inside or out, against a formal backdrop, or a brick wall etc…) is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. This will not only dictate the setting of the photos, but the finer details as well.  Will they be in black and white or color? What, if any, editing will the photographer do? Will people be standing or sitting (or both)? Is the dress code business casual or more formal?

Keep it Consistent
While it might seem obvious, everyone needs to have the same headshot style. Asking a photographer to edit a photo that someone took on their iPhone in their backyard to look like a professional image won’t work. Think of it like picture day at school. Everyone selects their preferred outfit, but there is no mistaking that this is a team, and the photos were taken purposefully.

What to Wear
Worried about what to wear? You aren’t alone! There’s a lot of advice out there, but we prefer to keep it simple. After all, if you feel relaxed and confident during the photoshoot, you will look better in the pictures. Follow the general guidance from your firm (business casual etc…) and:

  • Wear colors and styles that suit you and make you feel confident. If pale colors wash your skin tone out, don’t wear them. If you have a go-to power suit that gives you an extra boost of confidence grab it. Your photo should be a reflection of you and your personality within the brand of your firm.
  • Avoid clashing patterns and colors. Patterns are okay in small doses, just don’t overdo it.
  • Keep accessories (scarves, jewelry, pins, hats etc…) to a minimum. The headshot is about you, we need to see your face.
  • Hair styling and make-up should give the overall impression of being put together, not over the top or like you are headed to a gala event.
  • Bonus tip: If appropriate, try standing up for some of the headshots. There’s more energy in your posture when standing that will translate to the pictures.
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