The Business Headshot Makeover

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”

We’ve all heard it before- and in the digital age, it is more important than ever.  When potential clients first locate your business, it will likely be done online – via your website, LinkedIn, Facebook page or other site.   Putting your face on the page helps give your business a more personal feel – but here’s the part that holds most people back:  they don’t like having their picture taken.

I always say that updating your business headshot is a lot like going to the dentist – you dread going, but afterwards you are glad you went.   Think of it as “visual hygiene” if that helps.  You gotta keep it fresh.

The Makeover

I decided it would be a fun project to offer up a free image makeover for a couple of people – just to illustrate the difference a professional headshot can make.  The tough part, of course, was finding willing participants.  For starters, its hard to tell someone that they have a bad headshot on their website.  Also, people don’t like change – so they end up using the same shot for years and years.  Luckily, I found two brave souls who were willing to take the challenge and try out the Image Overhaul.  Maybe I’m biased, but I think the results were worth the effort!

The First Contestant

business headshot

First up was Will Frantz.  If you need insurance help, this is your guy:  Will’s Website.  This guy is a wizard with homeowners insurance, but his headshot was a liability.   For one thing, the lighting is coming from the wrong direction and isn’t very flattering.  It also has a very cookie-cutter look to it.  Kind of a “generic businessman” shot.


The good news is, these are both fairly easy fixes.


business headshot plano

First off, we corrected the lighting- giving his face a much more three-dimensional look and slimming him down.  We also introduced a more colorful background and slightly more dynamic posing.  Last, but not least, we got Will to loosen up a little and captured a more natural expression.  Its the most difficult part of a business headshot, but it makes all the difference.

The resulting image is a huge improvement.  I mean, honestly, which person would YOU rather do business with?



The Doctor Is In

business headshot richardsonRemember how I mentioned the dentist comparison earlier?  Well, my next volunteer falls into both categories:  a dentist who needs a new headshot.

Jeff Lide is a dentist in Richardson (check out Jeff’s website).  I’ve known Jeff over 15 years, so when I saw his current headshot I knew he would be an ideal candidate for a makeover.

We had a few specific areas that needed improvement.  First off, the shot is very flatly-lit, giving it very little depth.  The color is also off a little, giving him a very pink cast.  I managed to drag him into the studio and we came up with a new-improved version.  Here’s what we came up with…


business headshot portrait plano


For starters, the lighting has been used to add dimension to the face, while also slimming it down a little.  We even managed to get a more relaxed, natural expression.

Once again, I think we ended up with something that gives a much better first impression.  Its not that the first portrait didn’t look like him- it just wasn’t presenting him in the best way possible.  Its all in the details!



Mission Accomplished

You don’t have to be 25 years old to look great in a portrait.  We aren’t doing a bunch of “Photoshop magic” to get these images.  It starts with good lighting and posing -and most importantly- building a good rapport with the subject.  From there, we just use Photoshop to clean up a few things and voila- The Ultimate Headshot.  I was thrilled with how both of these transformations worked out.  I hope you will agree that the differences are night and day!

Go For It!

Now its YOUR turn.  If you are still using a headshot from the 80s or a snapshot from last summer – its time to update your image.  Obviously, if you live in the Dallas area, I’d love you to let ME help you with it (more portrait info).  If not, do some research and find someone in your area who knows how to create a good headshot.  Spend the money to get it done right the first time and put your best foot forward online.  You’ll be glad you did!


  1. Kimberly Sarantakes

    wow — that is very convincing! You did a great job Larry. I think you absolutely nailed it with Will — he looks younger and a lot more fun to be around in the updated shot. And Jeff looks much more polished in his updated shot. You do such good work and I love that you share what you know. You are a tremendous asset to our industry.

  2. Perhaps you should have a Seminar on the subject with Real Estate Agents. They are are the WORST abusers of having Horrible Head Shots…add to that the fact that MANY do not update their photo’s they use on Web Sites and Biz Cards for YEARS!!!

    Then when you meet them…you “say to yourself – EEEK”just have to shake your head and wonder?

    • Larry

      That’s a great point Thomas. Its always shocking to meet someone after you’ve seen their 20 year old headshot! Now if I can just find a group of agents willing to listen to my seminar…

  3. Dean Whitling

    Hey, great idea for a post. I think the before and after shots can really help tell the story and demonstrate your technique.

  4. I really like the Dentist analogy, Larry. Most people are probably shy regarding having their headshots done but, as you so rightly highlighted, first impressions in the digital age actually take place before you even MEET so the importance of a warm and professional head shot cannot be overstated.

  5. Yes the right kind of head-shot can make all the difference, after all a picture speaks a thousand words and if not photographed right you could end up looking like a crook :-)


  1. [8/6-8/10] This Week in Small Business News says:

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