In Home Staging Marketing: Your Home Stager Headshot, I shared the importance of having a professional looking photo of yourself for marketing your home staging services and the 8 key pieces of information your home staging photo should say about you.
In part 2 of this series, I’ll share some specific tips for getting a quality head shot taken and some examples from Staging Diva Graduates, like Katrina Gibbons of Stylus Home Staging in Australia, shown at left.
1. Ensure your home staging head shot looks good in different sizes.
You can even have your head shot show up whenever you comment on a blog.
For social media purposes, your home staging head shot isn’t much bigger than a postage stamp. So it needs to look good when it’s very small. But you also want it to look great at larger sizes, for example when you use it on the “About Us” page of your website.
2. Ensure different cropping of your home staging head shot will work.
Your photo might have a nice background or you might be holding props, but you want to make sure that the photo also works well if you crop more tightly around your face. That’s why I don’t like one of the traditional poses some photographers use for women where they have us put our hand under our chin. I suppose it’s supposed to make us look demure, but when you crop the shot tightly it doesn’t work so well.
This pose isn’t as strong when tightly cropped. Still a great photo of Amy Luria when a larger loosely-cropped shot is needed.
This pose is warm, professional, approachable and works great at different sizes and with tight or loose cropping.
For example, Staging Diva Graduate Amy Luria did everything right. She invested in having a professional photo taken and she also paid for multiple poses so she’d have some choices for different purposes. I love her photos because she’s struck the ideal balance of those 8 factors I mentioned in my last post on this topic. However, I don’t think the pose with her hand up beside her face works nearly as well as the other pose when cropped more tightly as shown above.
3. Pay special attention to wardrobe, hair and makeup.
I’m a busy mom and I work from a home office. Most days you’ll find me in very comfy clothes with no makeup. This is not the case if I’m going out to a client or getting my photo taken! You want your home staging photo to communicate that you’re stylish so pay attention to your wardrobe and accessories. As we saw in Amy Luria’s photos, simple black works well, but she dressed it up with an attractive necklace.
Even 20 year old models don’t get their photo taken without hair and makeup. While few of us will invest in a whole styling team for our shoot, there are still things you can do. If you aren’t accustomed to applying your own makeup and you aren’t prepared to hire someone for your shoot, you can have your makeup applied professionally at a makeup counter of your local department store.
Staging Diva Graduate Susan Atwell of Atwell Staged Home invested only $100 to have a professional stylist at her shoot to take care of her hair and makeup and adjust her clothes as necessary if they were buckling in the wrong places during a pose. She says she “felt like a super model for the day” and the results are clearly worth it when you look at the variety of shots she had done in various poses and with different backgrounds. Look how well this head shot incorporates into the header of her blog (above).
4. Don’t assume you need to have a conventional angle or cropping.
It’s OK to break the rules sometimes, especially if you want your home staging head shot to stand out. This shot of Staging Diva Graduate Liz Murray of Renaissance Home Staging & Redesign is a great example. The colors really pop in this photo of Liz amongst the decorative pillows.
5. Consider what type of home staging client you want to attract.
Your home staging head shot is part of the overall marketing image you will use to attract home staging and redesign clients. So you want to style yourself to be appropriate for them. If you live in a small town (and your clients do too), you’ll be dressed far differently than you would if your desired staging clients are from New York’s Upper East Side.
In either case though, you still want to look: professional, stylish, contemporary, friendly, open, personable, easy to talk to and trustworthy.
6. Your “best self” doesn’t mean “perfect.”
While you wait for everything about you to be “perfect” (which it never will be), or you wait until your self-esteem improves to the point where you enjoy having your photo taken (not likely), new business opportunities will continue to pass you buy.
So, follow the tips I’ve provided here and get your home staging head shot done now so that you won’t be holding back your marketing efforts. As Staging Diva Graduate Stacy Goade of Alaska Premier Home Staging says, “Professional photos are essential if you want anyone to take you seriously. As home stagers we are all about enhancing spaces and beautifying other people’s homes. We need to spend time doing the same for ourselves. How we present ourselves is how others will respond to us.”
You’ll find more tips on getting an excellent home staging head shot, even if you get a friend to shoot it for you, inside the Staging Diva Ultimate Portfolio Guide: Winning Clients With The Perfect Home Staging Portfolio.
Have you had a professional head shot taken or did you get a friend to shoot your photo? What tips would you share with other home stagers and interior redesigners? Please share your experiences in the comment section.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Home Staging and Voice Of Possibility Group Inc.
Debra Gould has an MBA in Marketing and knows from personal experience how to make money as a home stager. She developed the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love. Debra is frequently profiled in the media for her home staging expertise and is the author of Staging Diva Ultimate Portfolio Guide: Winning Clients With The Perfect Home Staging Portfolio which includes a whole section on getting the right head shot for your home staging marketing.