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What is a Headshot?

There are many terms in the photography business, and it may seem a bit confusing at first. One such term is ‘headshot,’ which instantly conjures an image in your mind, but is it the right one? No matter what you think a headshot is right now, we’re going to explore them in greater detail. We’ll […]

Who Needs Professional Headshots? Do I Need One?

You might be wondering if your profession requires you to get a professional headshot. Even if it doesn’t, you’d be in a better position if you decide to get a headshot anyway. After all, there are many, many reasons to have a nice, professional photo of yourself taken. Everyone from the CEO to the janitor […]

LinkedIn Photo Tips 2021

Although LinkedIn is a social media platform, it’s unlike any other. Rather than sharing your personal life with your peers, you’ll be networking to find, or remain in, your ideal job. This requires you to think through your profile picture choice. After all, you’re not going to want to post a funny photo, nor should […]

How to Plan a Personal Branding Photoshoot

If you own a business, especially one online, you’ve more than likely heard someone say “personal branding” at some point in time. You may or may not know what the term means. Let us explain. It’s simple: When people refer to personal branding, they’re referring to branding (read: marketing) themselves. So your personal brand is […]

Why a Professional Headshot is Important

You know that old saying “first impressions make the best impressions”? Well, it’s true. Research has shown that it takes people about .10 seconds to judge you based on their very first encounter with you. Furthermore, research also suggests that those first impressions are very difficult to change down the road. So what people see […]

10 Tips for an Amazing Family Spring Photoshoot

Have you taken a look out your window yet? If not, run! Spring has sprung, folks. Budding trees. Beautiful flowers peeking out. The sun is actually starting to feel warm again. That means it’s the perfect time to schedule your family photoshoot! With such beautiful weather, you just can’t go wrong. Especially not if you […]

10 Professional Photo Shoot Tips For Your Photo Shoot

So you’ve decided to do a professional photo shoot with a Chicago portrait photographer. Congratulations! A photo shoot can be a fantastic memory in and of itself as you create photographs that you will carry with you through life and hand down through the generations. But in order to make the most of your photo […]

Market Your Business With Professional Headshots

You know this already, but it bears emphasizing: image is a vital part of any business. We live in an increasingly visual society. Much of the business you do will be online and so the image you portray there may be the only way people can engage with you. They’ll either like it or they […]

Why Hire a Professional Photographer?

It goes without saying—but I’ll say it anyway—cell phones are everywhere. There’s nowhere you can today where you won’t find someone using their phone, whether for business or pleasure. And frequently, whether you’re at work, a concert, or wandering a store, you’ll see people using their phones to take photographs. With the advent of phones, […]

7 Reasons Family Portraits Are Important

You see it everywhere today—people capturing the world around them using their phones, whether it’s a concert, sports event, school play, or any family gathering. To be clear: there is absolutely nothing wrong with that picture (pun intended). It’s wonderful that people can capture memories so easily and conveniently on the go.  However, when it […]

Tips for the Best High School Senior Portraits

What are senior portraits for high school? Senior portraits are the photographs you take toward the end of your final year of high school, when you are preparing to graduate. Whether you have the portraits done by a photographer contracted by the school or by an individual you yourself hire, a portrait will involve a […]

Building A Compelling Brand With Personal Branding Headshots

Some people overlook the importance of clearly establishing a personal brand. Today’s world is indisputably digital—and every bit as visual. Online platforms are increasingly your first opportunity to create a lasting, positive, professional impression on prospective clients. They’ll be looking at all the little details, and that includes examining your headshot for signs of professionalism […]

Do I Really Need a Professional Headshot?

It’s easy to overlook a headshot. It’s just a picture, right? Why would you need one? Well, the truth is there’s a very good reason why you absolutely need a headshot, ASAP: first impressions. The way the world works today, business is conducted online more often than not. You apply for jobs online. You submit […]

How to Get the Perfect Portrait Taken By a Professional

While you’d think having a professional portrait done should be easy, many people find it nerve-wracking. It makes sense—a portrait is something you’re not only going to share with people but is a memory that you will cherish for a lifetime. And you want that memory to encompass the whole photoshoot! To that end, here […]

How to Make Family Portrait Day Go Smoothly

When you decide to get your portrait of your family and/or children done in Chicago, it’s an exciting occasion! There’s all kinds of work involved in finding the right photographer, and once you’ve put in the work and settled on the photographer who you know will help you craft the perfect family portrait in your local Chicago area, then it’s time for Portrait Day.

Environmental Headshots vs Portraits: Marketing with Photography

Environmental Portraits are portraits taken of a subject in a surrounding; often their workplace, which helps tell their story. They are a great way to give the viewer an insight into the life or work of the subject and are an effective way to market yourself or help define your personal brand.

Data Reveals the Importance of Image in Job Search

A 2005 study by Princeton psychologist Alexander Todorov found that people make snap judgments (impressions) about a person within a tenth of a second of viewing a photograph of their face.

We are Providing High-Quality and Affordable Headshots in the Chicago Area

It’s 2018 and we’re livin’ in a digital world. People want to see who they’re dealing with and it’s important to give off a great first impression. A professional headshot is the most immediate and effective way to do so. Like it or not, people are Googling you and it’s up to you to control your image.

What is a Headshot?

There are many terms in the photography business, and it may seem a bit confusing at first. One such term is ‘headshot,’ which instantly conjures an image in your mind, but is it the right one? No matter what you think a headshot is right now, we’re going to explore them in greater detail. We’ll also explain the difference between headshots and marketing portraits, so you’ll know the difference between the two services. So let’s read on, shall we? 


Is a Headshot Just Your Head?   

Technically, no. However, the bottom of a headshot usually starts around mid-chest and goes upward. Other things that all headshots incorporate include a heads-on approach, along with the subject being obviously aware of the camera. In fact, they should be looking directly into the lens. 

Differences Between Headshots and Marketing Portraits 

As far as headshots and marketing portraits go, ‘differences’ may be a strong word to use. Rather, a headshot is a portrait that’s just cropped tightly. The two serve different purposes, though. 

Here’s why you’d want to book one over the other:

  • Headshots serve to put a face to a name. In today’s online world, people want to see who they’re interacting with. Therefore, a quality headshot is an immediate and impactful way to show yourself in a professional manner. 
  • Marketing portraits are a little more abstract; they serve the same purpose but they allow you to tell your story a little better than a simple head and shoulder shot does. Being photographed in a specific environment, whether it’s your office, a restaurant, etc., allows for a greater sense of your business.

Qualities of a Professional Headshot  

A professional headshot should instantly convey that you know what you’re doing. Their entire point is to make you seem friendly, trustworthy, and competent. This is much more important than you may realize, especially in today’s internet-based society. 

Considering the fact that people will make their initial impression of you in about 1/10 of a second, you want their first glance to be a good one. More often than not, their initial impression will be formed upon looking at a picture of you online. So, you need to make sure it’s a good one! 

For instance, what if you’re using your headshot on LinkedIn to help you look for a new job? Hiring managers will get a feel for who you are almost instantaneously, and this could push your resume to the top of the pile or into the garbage bin. While there’s nothing fair about this process, it’s simply the way people are wired. By the seventh second, their entire first impression of you will be formed, and you won’t usually get a second chance to change their mind. 

People are almost always dressed to impress in their headshots. There is some room for creativity, depending on your industry, but the general rule of thumb is that you should dress for whatever job you’d like to have. This typically means business wear. However, if you’re not comfortable in the outfit you wear, it may show through in the image. Therefore, you might wish to find something nice looking but also comfortable. 

In a professional headshot, look for the following: 

  • Includes your face and shoulders 
  • Wear neutral clothing 
  • Make sure you can see catch-lights in your eyes

Is a Selfie a Headshot? 

Even the very best selfies cannot compete with a professional headshot. That’s because they’re not taken in the right environment, nor do they have the feeling of being professionally done. Surprisingly, though, many people choose to use a selfie instead of getting a headshot. This is most likely because going to a studio takes time and costs money. But if you consider again that your headshot will provide a first impression of you, it becomes much more worthwhile to have a professional photographer take your picture. 

You may see some articles that discuss how to take a good enough-looking selfie to pass as your headshot. During the beginning stages of Covid, this was pretty much all you could do. But if you examine the guidelines behind getting a good selfie, you’ll see that it’s much more complicated than you think. 

You’ll need to hit each of the following points to even have a chance at getting a good headshot. 

  • Do a self-study through photography
  • Choose a good backdrop 
  • Pick the right outfit
  • Make sure your camera or phone is on the right settings 
  • Use a tripod
  • Pay attention to lighting 
  • The right pose
  • You may edit the photo, as long as you don’t over-edit it 

As you can see, this is a lot to keep in mind. That’s why most people reach out to a skilled photographer instead. 

The Takeaways

To summarize, your headshot should include your head and shoulders. You should also look directly into the camera and be as friendly as possible. It’s highly important that you don’t use a busy background. Instead, choose something neutral such as white or gray. 

Your photographer can help you pose, and they’ll also help you relax. Both of these are crucial elements that go a long way toward creating a good headshot. They can also help you get past the initial first impression and leave people happy to get to know you. Remember: although selfies work for informal social media, they’re not what you’ll want to use for your headshot. Turn to a professional photographer instead. 

Kyle Bondeson has nearly 15 years of experience as a photographer. He specializes in taking headshots and portraits of people in the Chicago area. Find out more about how Kyle can make you look your best by visiting KyleBondeson.com.

Why a Professional Headshot is Important

You know that old saying “first impressions make the best impressions”? Well, it’s true. Research has shown that it takes people about .10 seconds to judge you based on their very first encounter with you. Furthermore, research also suggests that those first impressions are very difficult to change down the road. So what people see first is what sticks in their mind, and that includes judgments on whether or not you’re a reliable business partner, someone they can trust to buy a product from, an individual they want to hire, etc.

With all that in mind, professional Chicago headshots are vitally important to get across the exact message you want people to receive when they look at your headshots. Maybe it’s important that you look relaxed, because a position requires a congenial people person. Or the position you’re applying for with your headshot might require someone who literally looks the part of a suited and booted professional. 

7 Reasons to Get a Professional Headshot

Whether it’s a corporate headshot, an acting headshot, or a modeling headshot, it’s vital that you seek out a professional to take your headshots in Chicago. Why? Because you might take nice pictures, but a professional photographer is trained to take photographs that will truly set you ahead of everyone else in a headshot slush pile. How?

  1. Regardless of the business you’re in, your headshot is a window into your brand. Could be your company brand. Could be your personal brand. Yes, that word, “brand,” is key. You see it in stores and you hear about it in statistics—people have favorite brands and they buy them above all others because they’ve come to trust them.
    Companies spend billions of dollars protecting their brand, because once it’s damaged—once possible new customers form negative first impressions, for instance—those clients (and that money) are lost for good. You should operate on the same principle: your Chicago headshots convey your brand. A professional photographer will you make it count when a person takes that first look in your direction
  2. If you’re already established in your industry, then a professional headshot is a way to reinforce who you are, what you stand for, what you bring to the table. If you’re new to the industry, on the other hand, a headshot can show all the possibilities you have to offer—enthusiasm, energy, creativity, dedication. Yes, those things can all be conveyed (or not!) in a headshot taken by a professional.
  3. A professional photographer is specifically trained to listen to the message you want to convey, and then will work specifically toward that end using lighting, composition, backgrounds, editing, etc. Yeah, you might have a buddy who takes nice pictures, but can you trust that person with your entire professional career? Because that’s what could be riding on these headshots, mark our words! Don’t take a chance. Professional photographers know their business—you. They’ve spent years learning the skills of their trade. They’ll guide you through the full process to ensure you get the very best results.
  4. Ever heard someone say “the face of a company”? That’s literal. It’s why, whether it’s a CEO or a celebrity, successful individuals consistently cultivate a certain personal brand, a certain business ethos, a certain look that people come to associate them with, which allows them to stand out.
    It’s not about your degree or your wealth. Whatever your business, it’s about whether your headshot shows that you are worthy of people’s trust.
    A simple example is if a viral photo leaks of a restaurant that has failed a health inspection. Pictures of hair in food, a filthy kitchen—that’s enough to end a restaurant right then and there, for good. Your headshot is a window into how you do business—in a way that impresses, or in a way that doesn’t. A professional photographer will make sure people walk away getting the right idea when they see your headshot.
  5. How much time do you spend on social media? Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn … all these platforms are places your future business partners, customers, and/or future employers will regularly be visiting. Make those visits count by using a professional headshot on all your social media pages, to ensure, again, that your brand is consistently polished, trustworthy, and always sends the right message.
  6. Professional photographers can help you decide the type of headshot you need. Styles will vary if you’re going into an artistic profession, such as modeling or acting, or a corporate profession, which requires a polished business look. The photographer can also advise you on the best outfits, accessories, etc. to wear. Definitely schedule a short consult with your photographer pre-photo shoot, to ask him or her any questions. A photographer’s job is to guide you.
  7. Pro-tips: plan your outfits before your photo shoot. Don’t wait until the day before! If you’re getting your hair cut, do it a couple weeks in advance, so you have a chance to get used to the new style. And hire a makeup professional. It’s worth it, trust us. These professionals will work together with a professional photographer to deliver the best results.

In the end, it all comes down to what we started with: the first thing people see is what they’re going to remember. So when someone looks at your headshot, whether it’s on social media, in an application packet, or as you hand the photograph across a desk at an interview, make sure that headshot says exactly what you want it to. 

It’s tough becoming a successful professional in this world, regardless of industry, so use every tool at your disposal. A professional headshot is one such tool and it can make or break your business prospects, right out of the gate. Don’t miss the opportunity to instantly sell yourself by presenting the very best possible image. Hire a professional photographer. You won’t regret it and you’ll reap the benefits in years to come.

I’m a Chicago-based professional headshot photographer with years of photography experience. Please review my Chicago Headshots Photography section for information, and samples of my work, and book your professional headshot session in Chicago today

Do I Really Need a Professional Headshot?

It’s easy to overlook a headshot. It’s just a picture, right? Why would you need one? Well, the truth is there’s a very good reason why you absolutely need a headshot, ASAP: first impressions. The way the world works today, business is conducted online more often than not. You apply for jobs online. You submit your résumé and references online. Prospective employers check your credentials online. Because all of that is so impersonal, people specifically want to put a face to the name. And it’s important that that face looks both professional and approachable.

Your headshot is the equivalent to what someone would see if they were interviewing you in person. It conveys a message. It sets the tone.

While a headshot is key to anyone who does online business nowadays, there are specific industries where it’s even more vital to have a great professional headshot in order to get your foot in the door.

Who Needs a Professional Headshot?

  1. People in the public eye
    This one should be pretty obvious, right? If you’re constantly in public, people’s eyes are always on you. Let one bad photograph get out there and suddenly people may perceive you in a way you definitely do not want. For instance, if your picture is spread around the internet and you look disheveled and fatigued, that’s going to affect people’s impressions of your professionalism and ability to deliver. People aren’t going to do business with someone who looks exhausted and like he can’t be bothered to run a comb through his hair. A good headshot will bring in business. A bad one will drive it away.
  2. People aspiring to enter the acting/modeling/entertainment industry
    Are you hoping to become an actor? Dreaming of one day modeling clothes or strutting a runway? If so, you probably know those industries rely almost exclusively on looks in order to get people in the door. There’s a reason actors and models are required to send in headshots in order to even start the process of auditioning or trying to book a job. Your headshot in these industries is akin to your résumé. It will tell people not only about your particular look but about how much you care about your work. If it’s clear you took the time and paid the money to get a professional to take your headshots, industry insiders will know the jobs you’re applying for really matter to you. Conversely, if you just send in a generic picture that makes no statement at all about who you are, they’ll know that the job means little to you and you’re not invested. Therefore, they won’t invest any time in auditioning or interviewing you.

    Let’s be up front here: in modeling and acting, it’s all about first impressions. And that professional headshot is the first impression, before you even walk through the door at the casting agency. So in order to maximize that impression and really catch people’s eye in a positive way, make sure you get a high-quality headshot done. It will absolutely be worth your while.

    If you’ve already had a headshot done in the past, you may wonder to consider updating it periodically, depending on the message you’re trying to convey. People change. Your headshot should represent what you specifically want people to see in you.
  3. Professionals
    Yes, this is a big category. As we said before, headshots are pretty much a must for everybody nowadays. But in particular, people such as lawyers or real estate agents can benefit greatly from a professional headshot. That’s because each of those industries involves you representing others. For instance, if you’re in a courtroom, you are the face of your clients. Therefore you need to look the part. In order to hire you, people are going to be carefully looking at your headshot. Similarly, if you’re a real estate agent, people are only going to hire someone who looks trustworthy to sell their home or to help them find the place where they’re eventually going to put down roots.

    Again, it all goes back to conveying a message of professionalism and caring enough to put your best foot forward. Professionals often have to send headshots in along with business proposals. As we said before, that’s because people want to put a face to a name. If yours is a pleasant, professional, trustworthy face, you’re much more likely to avoid having your proposal tossed into the slush pile.

    Headshots are also key to websites. When people visit your site and see your headshot beside your bio, it will either convey an image of someone they want to do business, or someone they’re unimpressed by. If they’re not impressed, they’ll leave. And it’s likely they won’t come back and do business.
  4. Entrepreneurs
    It’s hard enough building a startup from the ground up. All you entrepreneurs out there know the intense labor it takes to get a brand-new business successfully launched. And part of that launch is networking. Networking, especially online, involves … you guessed it … headshots.
    Yet again, we’ll repeat: headshots are the first impression. They’re your first step through a prospective door. You can win or lose a client in the time it takes him or her to glance at your headshot and decide, “Hmm. This person looks well-put-together and like I can trust her.” Or “Sloppy. Looks like he just fell out of bed. I am absolutely not interested in even emailing him. He doesn’t care about the look he presents—he very likely doesn’t care about the vital details of our business.”
  5. Anyone on LinkedIn
    If you’re using LinkedIn, a professional headshot is key. People are going to be glancing at your profile and then glancing away if they’re unimpressed—or, they’ll like what they see, and they’ll keep reading and then reach out and contact you. It’s all about that message. Are you businesslike? Pleasant? Is the headshot clear, versus grainy? The little details matter in business and showing that you care about them in your headshot will let people know you take all parts of your work seriously.

    There are many places for headshot photography in Chicago, but not all photographers are the same. I’m a Chicago-based professional headshot photographer with years of experience taking business headshots in Chicago. My goal is to help you convey exactly the message you need to get your foot in the door, regardless of the industry you work in. Please review my Chicago Headshots Section for information and samples of my headshots photography work. Then, don’t hesitate. Book your professional Kyle Bondeson headshots session in Chicago today!

Data Reveals the Importance of Image in Job Search

One-tenth of a second is the amount of time that it takes for a person viewing a photograph to form a lasting impression of the subject.

A 2005 study by Princeton psychologist Alexander Todorov showed participants photographs (headshots) of opposing political candidates and asked them to choose which they felt was more competent, based on 1/10 of a second exposure to a photograph of the headshot. The result was that 68.6% of the time, the candidate who was determined to be most competent, matched the winner of the political race.  

Simplified: Nearly 70% of the time random strangers were able to correctly predict the outcome of a political race by looking at the candidate’s headshots for the amount of time it takes for you to blink your eye.

Why Does This Matter?

You’re probably thinking “That’s interesting but I’m not running for office.”

A 2016 study done by CareerBuilder.com found:

  • 60% of employers use social media to research job candidates.
  • 59% of HR professionals use search engines to research candidates.


Well, that study is a few years old at this point, and according to Martin Yate, CPC, New York Times best-selling author of Knock ’em Dead: Secrets & Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World, these all-powerful HR gatekeepers have only gotten nosier. In a recent blog posting on CareerCast.com Yate claims, ” Up to 90% of human resources people say they check out social media profiles, especially LinkedIn and Facebook, before inviting a candidate in for an interview. This means the wrong headshot can kill your chances of even talking on the phone stone-dead.”


There’s Good News

Before you get too freaked out, you might be interested to learn that the same Careerbuilder.com study found that the 2.000-plus hiring managers and human resources professionals surveyed weren’t intentionally looking for negatives in a candidate. In fact, 60% of those surveyed said that they were “looking for information that supports their qualifications for the job.” Meaning, they want to find information that confirms their belief that you are a solid candidate to fill the position.

Why Get a Professional Headshot

Now we’re back to that super, ultra, exceptionally important 1/10th of a second. Let’s sum up what we’ve already gone over:

  1. Science has proven that people form lasting impressions of complete strangers within a tenth of a second of seeing their photograph.
  2. Somewhere between 60 – 90% of the people looking to hire you are checking out your Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram pages.
  3. They’re hoping to get a positive impression from what they find.

What’s the first thing that you see when you look for someone on Linkedin? Yes, their photo. And, whether or not you want to admit it you’re forming opinions about them before you even take a look at their profile.

A professional headshot is your opportunity to control your first impression. A well-done professional headshot will help you stand among the other avatars and look like a professional and serious candidate for the position.

We are Providing High-Quality and Affordable Headshots in the Chicago Area

It’s 2018 and we’re livin’ in a digital world. People want to see who they’re dealing with and it’s important to give off a great first impression.  A professional headshot is the most immediate and effective way to do so. Like it or not, people are Googling you and it’s up to you to control your image.

Having your headshot taken can be a brutal process: something akin to an open mic in the middle of eye surgery.  Nervously laughing at lame jokes while bright lights flash in your eyes.  Half-blind and In a daze, you hand over a small fortune and leave with a photo that you can, at best, live with.

It doesn’t have to be that way. I started this business with the goal of providing high-quality and affordable headshots in the Chicago area.  Simple as that. 

My prices are affordable, (Please, shop around.) I don’t charge retouching fees, additional outfit upcharges, proof sheet deposits or any of that other nonesense. I’m even open late and on weekends so you don’t have to miss work.

WIth more than 11 years of experience as a professional portrait photographer under my belt I’ve developed the skill and ability to deliver the best headshots you’ve ever taken. It’s my goal to provide a fun and relaxed atmosphere that helps capture images that you’ll feel excited to put out into the world.

Whether you’re a corporate professional in need of an updated business headshot, an up-and-coming performer looking for new actor headshots or if you just need a Linkedin headshot, my affordable rates and photography expertise will help you make the right impression.