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Why Do Medical Schools Ask for Headshots?

Why Am I Being Asked for Headshots for Med School?

Many documents are required when applying for admission to upper-level academic institutions and programs. Applying for med school involves completing a series of documents, and you’ll be asked to include a recent photo with your application. Since you are trying to make a good impression and show your professional side, it’s best to forget about the last selfie you posted on social media. You’ll want to include a professional headshot with your application.

Why do Medical Schools Want Headshots?

Medical school admissions officers and some faculty members look through thousands of applications from students who hope to be accepted. The application process is detailed and thorough. The first thing they will see is your application and your photo. Whether your application is literal or virtual, you’ll be asked to attach a recent photo. 

One reason why medical schools ask for headshots is to identify the applicant on the day of their interview easily. Admissions personnel also use headshots to weed out applicants who do not appear to fit the part. It’s also a great way to demonstrate that you can follow directions. Admissions counselors use headshots as a way to get to know the applicants they are working with. 

Why Hire a Professional Headshot Photographer

Obtaining a professional headshot is a valuable part of an application to medical school or residency. The photo is the first thing reviewers will see, and it will influence their first impression of you. This is one reason it’s important to hire a professional headshot photographer. A professional headshot creates a great first impression and helps establish trust. It also shows that you are serious about your career and profession and that you are dedicated to success.

When you invest in a professional headshot, you get a lot in return for your investment. You’ll be able to use it on a website, whether it’s a practice where you work as part of a medical team or your personal practice down the road. It is part of your brand; think of it like a business card. It should be engaging, intriguing, and present a great reflection of your personality. 

What’s wrong with having a friend or family member take a headshot with their phone? In short, just about everything. They are not likely to have the right equipment that a professional headshot photographer has. Sure, their digital camera can take a great shot of the sunset at the lake. Maybe they are great at taking photos at the bar. But technology has advanced, and even the latest smartphones can’t measure up to a professional photographer’s equipment when it comes to capturing finer details.

The lack of experience can kill your headshot. Your unprofessional friends are not likely to understand proper lighting, aperture, shading, camera angles, or exposure compensation like a professional photographer does. Knowing these elements and how to manipulate them to get a great headshot can mean the difference between looking like a true professional and looking like a mess.

Choosing a Professional Photographer for Your Medical Residency Headshots

Your medical residency headshot is your chance to present yourself to others. In order to make that great first impression, you’ll want to choose an experienced headshot photographer that will be able to showcase you and your professional image. But how do you choose a professional headshot photographer? Here are a few tips.

  • Check out the photographer’s previous work.

Take a look through the photographer’s portfolio to see what types of medical school headshots they have taken. You can tell a lot about their work ethic and style by looking at previous photos. Consider the lighting, camera angles, and how professional their headshot images appear. 

  • Read previous customer reviews.

You can learn a lot about a photographer by reading reviews from their previous customers. Reviews are helpful for determining what you can expect from a photo shoot. Look closely at reviews that talk about how the photographer communicated and behaved during the shoot. Were they relaxed and knowledgeable when it came to capturing the photos? Did they explain what they were doing and why?

  • Pre-shoot communication.

Once you’ve looked at the professional headshot photographer’s portfolio and customer reviews, reach out to them with your questions and ideas. Chatting for even a few minutes on the phone can give you a great idea of who they are and how they deal with people. You should feel very comfortable talking to the photographer. They should be helpful when it comes to a location for the shoot and what you should wear. Their experience should be able to guide you to get the results you want.

  • Understanding of headshots for ERAS.

Headshots for medical school or residency will have specific requirements. They must be a certain size and resolution. Even though a higher resolution might sound like a better deal, the file has a size limit, which means headshots must be smaller than 100 KB. Headshots that do not adhere to the specifications are likely to be rejected immediately.

What do you wear to a headshot academia?

For an academic headshot, it is advisable to dress professionally, opting for solid colors or subtle patterns, with clean and well-fitted clothing, while considering the expectations of your field, and keeping accessories minimal and understated.

What makes the perfect headshot?

The perfect headshot will vary depending on the individual and the purpose of the headshot. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you create a headshot that is both professional and flattering.

Is it OK to wear white for a headshot?

No, white shouldn’t be used as an outer layer for the reasons listed. While white can be a flattering color on many people, it can also be difficult to photograph well. White can easily wash out in photos, especially if the background is also white. Additionally, white can be distracting, drawing attention away from your face.

Should you wear lipstick in a headshot?

Yes, Lipstick is absolutely appropriate and even advantageous to wear in headshots. In fact, adorning your lips with lipstick can greatly enhance your facial features and lend a more defined appearance to your lips when captured in a photograph.

If you are gearing up for medical school or your residency, you need a photographer like Kyle Bondeson, who has years of experience providing high-quality, professional headshots reviewers will accept. You don’t want to put your future into the hands of an inexperienced photographer who understands the unique ERAS requirements. Contact  Kyle Bondeson Photography to book your session today!