Selfies vs. Professional Headshots: What Visuals Do You Need?

We’ve already crossed and surpassed milestones in terms of capturing moments and faces. We’ve gone through a time when subjects will need to sit still for seconds for the photographer to capture the moment. Then slowly, the process became a bit faster, and we can get a disposable camera from a vending machine and snap away all those memorable experiences in Disneyland. But over the past decade, something more amazing and life-changing happened: the birth of the selfie.

The advent of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets led to the rise and proliferation of selfies. With social media as one of its “advocates,” the phenomenon rose to greater heights. No longer are self-portraits exclusive to celebrities, athletes, and trailblazers, even the common person can take out his phone and take a selfie. And be honest, even toddlers as young as four years old know how to take a snap using a phone or digital camera. It’s an amazing development in photography made possible by technology and human’s relentless pursuit for innovation.

The Debate

Over the years, there has been a debate on whether beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in the subject himself, or the technical skills of the photographer. It is, after all, the photographer who manipulates the lights, shadows, and exposure of the photo. Is a subject beautiful because of himself or the one who views the photo or the photographer? If celebrities understand the angle on which they will look beautiful in front of the camera, does that knowledge make them an artist or someone who knows their craft?

The truth is that beauty photography is a technical skill, something you have to master. The profound knowledge of the photographer will add beauty to that subject, regardless of how the subject truly looks in person. The photographer is the one who has the “eye” to see what will become acceptable as beauty in general standards. It is this eye that you are paying for when you want a professional headshot taken.

With selfies, the understanding of beauty is self-inflicted. It is the subjects who decide what is beautiful because they see selfies as mirrors and nothing more. They look at the screen and if they see what they like, they click on the shutter button.

Selfies vs. Headshots

But though selfies have dominated the landscape of social media in the past years, this is not the same when it comes to professional photography. If anything, professional photographers made it a point to differentiate their works from that of an ordinary social media user. They have highlighted how important it is to have a professionally-produced headshot for your personal and career use.

portrait of a man

It Is All About the First Impression

The professional headshots are the same ones that future employers and hiring managers will notice on your resume. These will create the very first impression they have of you. How good do you look when you smile? Do you look charming or are you aloof? Do you look like someone who will fit their company culture? Yes, a hiring manager can analyze a lot of things from one glimpse of your headshot.

Your headshot is similar to a company’s logo. It is the first image that customers will associate with you. It will generate the trustworthiness of the brand, which is you. Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter or hiring manager. Who are you going to hire if their credentials and interview results are almost the same? Someone who has a professional headshot or someone who didn’t bother to take one and simply choose a selfie to put on the resume?

Character Shines Through a Professional Headshot

Selfies are okay for social media, but that’s the extent of their usage. Beyond social media, there’s really no use for selfies. Yes, even in your living room. Why would you want to use a selfie in your living room if you can have a portrait of yourself by a professional photographer? The fact is that there’s so much of you in a professional headshot. Selfies are more of a mirror of how you look on that particular day whereas professional photographers make it a point to show more of your character in your headshot.

People are going to make judgments no matter what, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about their first impression of you. If you are applying for a job, that first impression could be a game changer. If you are designing your home with your self-portrait, that’s all the more reason to invest in a professional photographer who will guide you on how to look your best.

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