5 Tips for Taking a Memorable Real Estate Agent Headshot

Take a memorable real estate agent headshot

Image by susan402 via Flickr.

The real estate agent headshot. That all-important piece of marketing collateral that so many of us fret over. We’ve all seen the agent out there with the 20-year-old headshot. Glamour Shots anyone?

The problem is, people are vain by their very nature. Most people don’t like any photograph of themselves, so when they find one they like, they tend to hang on to it forever.

Don’t do that.

Difficult as it may be, you need to change your headshot every few years. Let’s face it, we change over time. The agent headshot is ostensibly about your brand. The last thing you need is someone looking at you and saying, “Wow, you don’t look anything like your picture!”

What are some other do’s and don’ts for real estate agent headshots? Here are five tips.

Use a professional photographer

There’s no place for selfies in agent headshots. Pay a few bucks and find a photographer. While a studio portrait photographer will probably take an acceptable picture, see if you can’t find a photographer who will go out on location.

Location matters

Pick a backdrop that complements your specialties. Do you sell beachfront properties? Have your headshot taken on the beach. Golf course properties? Go to the course. Do you specialize in a particular location? How about using one of that location’s landmarks in the background? If nothing else, a professional, solid color backdrop goes a long way.

Get electronic versions

You are probably going to use that headshot on the Web (for your website and social media) more often than you will in print. Get electronic formats of the photo (ideally JPG, PNG, TIFF and GIF) in the highest resolution possible. Mall studios often don’t have electronic formats available. And don’t let anyone tell you that you can scan an existing image. The quality won’t be as good, and it’s likely to violate the studio’s copyright of the photo.

Don’t use props

Don’t include things like a cell phone, a for-sale sign, or your pet. Props are distracting and can look amateurish. Stick with a well composed, well lighted headshot that is closely cropped.

Don’t abuse Photoshop

It’s okay to use photo editing software to make a minor fix, such as removing a blemish that appears in the headshot, but don’t abuse it. Changing your eye color or hair style doesn’t do anyone any good. You want the headshot to look like you, not some cartoon or artistic rendering of you.

Bonus tip — finding a photographer

Mall and department store photographers do reasonable work, but they can’t get to your office or any location other than their studio. You might want to consider a mobile photographer. Try an Internet search for “headshot photography.” Many professional photographers — such as those that take high school senior portraits or wedding photos — also offer headshot packages. If your local high school has a large art department, ask if the students can take your headshot for practice. A school will often take many images and do post-editing, all for free but with excellent quality.

There you have it, a few simple tips for improving your real estate agent headshot to better reflect you, your business, and your brand.