It sounds cliche, but making a good first impression is crucial for the success of your practice. Studies show that people judge you on your appearance in what psychologists call thin slicing within moments and often decide to trust someone within milliseconds of seeing their face. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so your headshot must be as high-quality as possible. Otherwise, you are practically guaranteed to lose valuable engagement and interest from prospective clients.
After reviewing a large segment of Grow Therapy's provider network, the most successful providers tended to consider the following when capturing their headshot:
• Proper Lighting 💡 - Data shows lighter photos result in more positive impressions than darker ones. Aim for diffused light which naturally happens in the morning or early evening just before sunset, also known as the "golden hour." Alternatively, you can replicate diffused light by placing a translucent screen, sheet, or filter between a light source and the subject so you diffuse the rays of hard light to create softer lighting.
• Contrasting Colors 🎨 - Find a color that contrasts nicely with your skin tone and hair color. Ideally, keep your clothing simple, but you can also find something that shows your personality. Play around with different tops, and even some with/without your glasses. It's always good to have options.
• No Selfies 🤳 - Your photo should look professional and high quality; a selfie can look unprofessional. If you're doing it yourself, consider a tripod. If you have the option, it's worth considering hiring a professional photographer.
• Clean background 🖼️ - Find a clean, simple background that isn't distracting and doesn't blend with your clothing.
• Review other headshots 👀 - Spend a few minutes scrolling through Psychology Today and consider your reactions: What makes a good headshot? What photos resonate with me and why? What poses and styles do I prefer?