2021 Style Guide For Headshots & Personal Branding

2021 Style Guide For Headshots & Personal Branding

5 personal branding trends to follow

2021 feels like a fresh of breath air. In Melbourne, 2020 had us enduring long lockdowns and disruption to business and daily life. But now, 2021 has an uplifting feel in the air. We resume our normal life, and people are beginning to get back into their routines again.

While we in a covid lockdown up last year, many of us had a lot of time to reflect on our businesses and personal brand. It definitely had me focusing more on the behind the scenes of my business – things like my website, brochures, and guides. Because of this, lots of people have realised it’s time to update their headshots, or finally get around to putting up some personal branding portraits on their website and social media.

Here are a few trends for your 2021 personal branding images… 

1 – Lifestyle Images

Not all personal branding images or professional headshots have to be in a studio. The studio is certainly a great place to capture professional images, but many people are moving towards an outdoor setting.

Lifestyle headshots are becoming more on-trend. When captured professionally, an outdoor headshot can be just as clean and appealing as any studio image.

One of the key things to consider is the background. A lens will ensure your headshot background will have a lovely soft, blurred effect. 

Melbourne corporate headshot of man smiling at camera on light grey background

2 – Smart Casual

Each year I notice more and more professionals and industries ‘ditching the tie’. 

That’s not to say that you should no longer wear a tie, but it’s a trend I have noticed for professional headshots. Many people are choosing a nice collared shirt, often paired with a blazer for a smart-casual look in their personal branding headshots. 

Always consider your industry and what you might wear when meeting with a client. It’s fine to wear a tie, but you might also like a couple of more casual images without it too.

3 – A consistent Team

As websites are updated and teams start to go back into their offices, many companies are putting their professional image first by utilising team and staff headshots. 

Typically taken on-site, a consistent headshot across all team members creates cohesion and unity.  Ensuring the background and lighting are the same for each individual looks great across a web presence.

Plus, team members can use their shots to update their LinkedIn, email signatures, and other professional profiles too.

4 – Brand Portfolios

With social media as prominent as it is, professionals are expanding their personal branding portfolios to include MORE images, beyond just a simple LinkedIn headshot.

By creating a personal branding portfolio, you can have a range of images that go across your website, in your marketing materials and online PDFs, and varied for different uses across your social media.

Some people choose to incorporate props or set a scene. Others like to just have varied images of themselves indoors and outdoors. Alternatively, an on-site shoot is also an option for a big brand portfolio. 

5 – Keeping It Natural

I have always encouraged my clients to keep it natural when it comes to professional headshots. 

This includes hair, makeup, outfits and retouching.

An everyday look is really important to remain recognisable. You don’t need to go overboard with hair and makeup. 

Stick to outfits that you would wear to work (not the working from home style, but the ‘meeting with a client’ style). Colours that work well with your brand are always a nice touch. 

In regards to retouching, my approach is: you on your best day. This means I remove things like blemishes or cuts (things that are temporary). I might tidy distracting flyaways if necessary.

One thing hasn’t changed:

And that’s the simple fact that many people still don’t really like having their photo taken. That’s completely okay.

Having your headshot taken can be incredibly daunting. Most of my clients have said they often don’t like having their photo taken. As a professional photographer, I’m here to help with that! Getting your portrait taken shouldn’t be a stressful event – it should be as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Trust yourself – you’ll be surprised at how many images of yourself that you like. 

Julia Nance - portrait of the photographer on blue background wearing orange T-shirt

Julia Nance is a headshot and portrait photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. Her vibrant creativity is inspired by her experiences. From photographing whales underwater to travelling in Europe. With a vast background in a range of photographic areas, it is Julia’s natural ability to connect with her subjects that ultimately drew her to the art of portraiture.
Corporate Headshots | Personal Branding | LinkedIn Headshots | Actor Headshots

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Julia Nance

Julia Nance is a headshot and portrait photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. Her vibrant creativity is inspired by her experiences. From photographing whales underwater to travelling in Europe. With a vast background in a range of photographic areas, it is Julia’s natural ability to connect with her subjects that ultimately drew her to the art of portraiture. Corporate Headshots | Personal Branding | Actor Headshots | LinkedIn Headshots |
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