Matt: Chris, look knowledgeable.
[Chris looks knowledgeable]
Matt: Great, let me check that out. I don’t know if you can see that there… there we do.
Chris: Okay, good.
Matt: There we go.
Matt: Hi, I’m Matt.
Chris: I’m Chris.
Matt: Another Monkey Monday.
Matt: And we’re talking about headshots.
Matt: What is a headshot?
Chris: Well, a headshot is a picture of someone’s head.
Matt: Yes it is, and it can sometimes be called portraiture. There are lots of different ways of calling it. But essentially that’s what we’re talking about. We’re talking about your face. In digital format.
Chris: Yeah, and generally we’re going to be talking about headshots in business and on an ‘About Us’ page on a website. How would you want that to look? How important is it?
Matt: Why bother? Stuff like that. So let’s get straight to why bother.
Chris: Why bother? It says here it helps people to connect with you.
Matt: Yeah, I mean, you get a lot of companies, businesses, trying to sell things, and you don’t really see who’s behind it, why they’re doing it. We know that companies that talk about their culture and talk about why they do it, they always - they have a stronger brand, they connect with their audience better. So it is about connecting. It’s about making sure that people understand the people and the drive behind everything you do. So it’s a good thing to have. People like human faces. When we look at social media, marketing, human faces always perform a lot better than things.
Chris: And it’s also important, if you’re sending an email to someone, and they can look on your website and go, ‘Who’s actually sent that email?’ and they can see you as a human being. And if you’re acting naturally in that photo, then it’s much better. You’ll make an instant connection with that other person.
Matt: Yeah so maybe you have a company and maybe you have an ‘About Us’ page, but maybe that ‘About Us’ page is, ‘My company was formed in 1929 by blah blah blah…’ Perhaps just talking about the people and what drives them and what they care about could help you connect better and engage better with your audience. We know that it works. And what you can do with a good headshot, if it’s done well, is it can actually help you put forward your culture, put forward your personality, so we wanna talk about that a little bit I think as well.
Chris: Yeah, it’s not about just, here is a picture, like a passport photo of someone, it’s actually how you feel about someone. So you could have a more relaxed company, so everyone could be drinking tea and chilling out, or you could be a stern lawyer person who’s gonna do something else, and you’ll be--
Matt: They’ll kick some legal ass.
Chris: Exactly, so you’ll wanna portray yourself in a different way. Now I’ve taken some pictures of a flautist called Nick, and I just wanted to show you some of these pictures. To show you the process we went through. So you could go and get some headshots done and you could pay fifty quid and they could do it in a quarter of an hour, and you’ve got a headshot, but that’s pretty much just like putting a few pounds in the passport photo booth. You want to delve a little bit deeper. So let’s have a look at the first couple of photos, which are basically a portrait of Nick. It doesn’t really say that much about him. The second one, we now know he plays the flute, and we’ve got to come at it from the perspective of people who want to hire him. So if you want to hire a flautist who’s gonna be in an orchestra, you want to know that he’s happy and friendly, and you’ll get on with him. So these are the next couple of pictures. We know this guy plays the flute, he looks like a nice guy. But when it comes to someone who’s going to perform solos, you don’t want someone who’s gonna not stand out from the crowd, so we’re looking for someone who’s a bit more positive and a bit more outgoing. So these last couple are him saying, ‘I really own playing this flute and I will do something creative with it.’ So just adding a crazy twist on it. So you know you’re not just gonna get a standard recital.
Matt: And I mean these aren’t necessarily done in isolation, when you get images like this as well, so how you communicate around that image as well, with written language, with how it’s-- if it’s put in a beautiful glossy thing, or whether it’s on a business card, or whether it’s on a page with lots of prose around it, a story, whatever it might be. So combining the story you want to tell with the right images is a great way of utilizing your headshots. Whether you’re an actor looking for a part, a musician, or whether you’re a business trying to show everybody who you are and what you stand for, the right headshot can make a real difference.
Chris: So to summarise that, you would always start with ‘why’, start with your culture; you’d start with your audience and what they want to see from these headshots; do some research--
Matt: Yeah, that’s really important, because if you’re working with any photographer, as well, what you wanna go to them with is, ‘Look, this is what we’re trying to say, these are our customers that we’re trying to talk to and what we wanna put across, this is what we stand for, here are some examples of companies we’ve seen that have done photography well, that look like this.’ And he can look at the lighting, he can look at the feeling and he or she - I should say - would be able to determine the right type of photography to make that work.
Chris: And something to avoid is cliches and things that look like stock images.
Matt: Yeah, I mean, that’s the other side of it. If you’re gonna put up pretty standard stock headshots, it can start looking pretty nasty. We’ve seen some pretty nasty ‘About Us’ pages in our lives. We’ve been doing this for 20 years, so we’ve seen the horror shows of a bad ‘About Us’ page.
Chris: Yeah, and if you just do something ever so slightly different than the norm, then your company will stand out.
Matt: Yeah, I’d say more than anything, trying to get individuals and personality over there is really good. I love to see that. When you see an ‘About Us’ page and you can see the people on there and get a feeling of who they are, and what they’re into. If everyone’s in uniform, for instance, that kinda turns me off a little bit. I find it a little bit - it lacks some of that independence and individuality that I like to see. So think about what your - how they’re dressed, what they’re looking like, and what they’re presenting.
Chris: Hmm, very good.
Matt: But I would let them be individuals and I would let them let their personality shine. But you may need to present something different.
Chris: Haha, let them be free!
Matt: Let them be free, let them run wild!
Chris: Well there you go.
Matt: So we hope that was helpful. Get your headshots done. We’d love to see your headshots sent to us… We’ll judge them.
Chris: We will do.
Matt: We’ll judge you. Harshly.
Chris: Alright, see you later.
Matt: Take care-- Oh, we need to do the thing.
Chris: Oh, we should do the thing. If you want to subscribe, there's a button here. Facebook-- no, I always say Facebook. YouTube thinks you’ll like this video.
Matt: Yeah, but what does YouTube know? We know best, right Chris? High five! Check this one out.
Chris: Wow, look at that one. If only I could watch it.
Matt: I feel like I’m pointing at my crotch.
Chris: Well, you seem to be. Slightly weird.
Matt: Check it out.