Professional headshots for realtors are very important, as they can make or break a sale before a client even calls you. Look too serious? They may think you'll be a pain to work with? Look too casual/relaxed? They may not think you'll take their search seriously. It's the first impression they may get of you, so it's important to make it a good one.
As they say, the devil is in the details. There are some little tips/tricks that you can do to help ensure you get the right headshot. Here are a few that I've put together to help as you plan for your session.
1. Get a Fresh Trim or Styling
Getting a fresh trim/styling will help you come across looking your best. If possible, try to plan a trip to the barber or salon a few days prior to your photoshoot. Don't try new styles, colors, etc. Stick with what you know, and how people would recognize you.
2. Your Outfit Is Key
It's important to know your clientele. If you work in fast-paced, corporate environments, you'll want to dress more formally than you would if you worked in a smaller, hometown atmosphere where you could get away potentially with a polo shirt and khakis.
Try to also avoid busy patterns and excessive jewelry. These types of pieces can also distract attention away from your face. The sole purpose of your head shot is that you potential clients to come away with the impression of how trustworthy, competent, and confident you look. If you decide to stick with designs/patterns, make sure they're not bold, and try to stick with darker patterns.
Another key issue is to make sure your wear proper fitting clothing. Resist the urge to wear something that may be more comfortable, but looks boxy/baggy on your, or the suit that was in style decades ago. There are quite a few resources online for proper fitting guides.
3. Choose an Appropriate Background
One of the most important things to consider is the background of your photo. Take sure it doesn’t come off as a distraction from the subject of the photo (you). Plain white backgrounds are one of the most popular, as it offers no distractions, and is easier for people to focus on you, especially when used for online profiles such as Linkedin, Zillow, Google+, etc. Plus, if you use it for marketing materials, it saves a lot of time and effort to put it on a different background.
Using a scene for your background is fine as well, but consider your market. If you work in a more rural area, you may want to consider a countryside, farm, trees, etc (blurred in the background to not distract the viewer). And if you work in a more urban setting, you may want to consider brick walls or cityscapes.
4. Don't Be Afraid to Wear (Some) Makeup
Studies have shown that even the slightest bit of makeup can help a woman seem more likable and trustworthy. Avoid the "glam shot" and don't overdo your makeup. Similar studies have shown that this has a negative impact on the viewer.
5. Don't Forget to Smile
Studies have found that people who were perceived as happy in their photograph were viewed as more trustworthy. On the flip side, those who looked unhappy were viewed as less trustworthy. Similar results have been recorded in similar tests done from other institutes, so the data should be viewed as reliable.
I hope this helps give you some ideas when planning your shoot. Feel free to email me with any additional questions!