The Headshot or is a beautiful photo of me drinking champagne on the way to MONA an appropriate one?

Dr Katherine Hepworth gave an excellent lecture last week on “Online Identity”.  She was one of the guest lecturers in Kirsten Day and my Practice Management course for Interior Design at Swinburne University Melbourne.

There were many things she spoke about but one thing I had to blog was…


This is my ‘headshot’:


You may have seen it on the ‘about’ page of this blog, or my LinkedIn profile or various other places where I have been asked to provide a photo of myself.

According to the criteria of the lecture this is totally inappropriate and unprofessional.

And obviously it’s not a head shot.

SO for those who are interested, the rules of a professional headshot are as per following table (thank you Katherine): comments on my headshot in italics

What is a professional headshot?
Professional Unprofessional My Headshot
Passport or smiling Duck face I am definitely smiling – hell, I’m on a boat on a beautiful day on the way to Mona with my family and 4 of my best friends drinking champange…
Head and shoulders Body / hero shot No to former, yes to the latter (without the Hero part)
Sober Party shots Well it looks like a party for one, so I think I’m pretty safe saying ‘No’ to both
Daylight / office / studio lighting High or low contrast / arty lighting Yes / Yes (I had my phone with me) / No / No /No
Smart casual / office clothes ‘Off duty’ clothes There’s only one look with me
You, alone Cropped group shot YES!! I got one
No camera effects Instagram effects This is an uneditted photo
How to take a professional headshot
Find a friend with a fancy camera My dearest friend has always taken the best photos of anyone I’ve ever known with or without a fancy camera
Find a plain background No
Find some good lighting Doesn’t get better than a beautiful later spring day in Hobart I suspect?
Put on some plain, smart clothes in neutral colours Lucky I’m an architect
Set up the shot ‘Fraid not – totally candid
Ask your friend to take many photos Didn’t ask, but he did, and most involved more people and pink beanbags
Choose the best photo, and crop it. This is straight up, no editing, no cropping 
Distributing   your professional headshot
Upload it as your profile photo for all the social media you   will use professionally Now I think I might do this…so look out for me drinking champagne on twitter and instagram, too
Upload it to profile aggregators Might need to google this to refresh my memory

I spoke with Katherine after the lecture.  In a way I wanted validation of my ‘headshot’.

‘You’re not a 20-year-old student trying to get a job and be taken seriously and wanting potential employers to know you’re not out partying every night but can turn up to work.  The rules are different if you are in private or small practice, if you are established… It’s almost the opposite – you want people to see your personality, to connect with you as an individual’

(that is a very loose quote)

Phew…I’m not ready to change it yet.

What do you think?


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