Skip to main content

How and Why A Headshot Will Improve Your Digital Image

How and Why A Headshot Will Improve Your Digital Image

You've heard the stories. Raunchy images that get people fired, kicked off the team or less than attractive potential mate.

But what if you could make the images people find, great? You can with a headshot.

This is something I discussed with librarians last week in a workshop about taking control of your digital image. For the workshop, I also was able to secure a teacher with a passion and profession as a photographer to take headshots.

Robert Lieberman gave back to his colleagues and we benefited. I have a lot of serious headshots. I asked him to take one of me being silly. Here it is:

You can help do the same with your students and staff. Barter services with a talented teacher. Work with the photography club to take headshots of staff and/or classmates. Use a service like Fiverr where you can get a headshot (opens in new tab) for just $5.

When taking a head shot, it's important to think about what story your image tells.

  • What is your image saying?
  • Is your image reflecting how you want to be perceived by students, parents, colleagues, and potential employers?
  • What are you wearing and why?
  • Do you want props?
  • Is your image conveying a consistent personal brand?

The headshot is just the first step. Here's what's next:

  • Upload your image as your profile picture to your social networks (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter).
  • Crop it (and props if you have them) tight. Your face is often in a little thumbnail. You want people to see it.
  • Upload it to photo sites like Picassa and Flickr.
  • Make sure it is public. It won't be searchable if it is not.
  • Tag your photo with your full name. Be consistent with your tags.

The end result will be a Google search that eventually will look something like this:

Because I actively control my digital image, in general, it conveys the story I want told. I'm captured in pictures, sometimes with tech, other times with volleyball, and other times enjoying food and drinks with friends. When you search my image, that is what you'll find. That is because I tag photos I like of myself and make them public. It also means I set tagging permissions so that I have to approve tags from others before they are published. Here is an example of how to do that on Facebook.

Owning your image is important. What image will your headshot capture?

Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.

Lisa Nielsen (opens in new tab) (@InnovativeEdu (opens in new tab)) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator (opens in new tab). Nielsen is the author of several books (opens in new tab) and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab), Tech & Learning and T.H.E. Journal (opens in new tab).   

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.