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How to Curate Professional Website Headshots for Your Coaching Website

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The Life Coach's Tech Roadmap

The only 5 pieces of tech a coach needs to set up an online business without overwhelm.

5 simple website fixes to get more coaching clients

Five sure-fire ways to increase the number of clients you sign from your coaching website.

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It’s Jennie Lakenan, certified life coach & consultant for your web design strategy needs. Over the last handful of years I’ve designed dozens of websites for coaches. My mission is to get more coaching into the world and help elevate the quality of life of humans at large by delivering expert custom website design and strategy to coaches.

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The Life Coach's Tech Roadmap

The only 5 pieces of tech a coach needs to set up an online business without overwhelm.

5 simple website fixes to get more coaching clients

Five sure-fire ways to increase the number of clients you sign from your coaching website.

We’ve all encountered the vexing issue of blurry website headshots once or twice.

The problem with blurry photos is that your headshot is likely one of the first things new visitors will see when clicking on your coaching website. You want that first impression to be memorable in all the best ways.

Thankfully, curating professional website headshots isn’t as difficult or daunting as you might think. Let’s explore how to help your website photos be professional and authentic.

Keeping Professional Website Headshots Sharp: No More Blurry Pictures

Consider this a friendly caution for your website photography, especially when it comes to professional website headshots. Let’s say you’ve hired a professional photographer. They’re doing their thing, capturing the best shots they can. That’s great — they know their craft. But the catch lies in how these photos will be used on your website.

Unless clearly communicated, the photographer may not consider the intended use of the photos. After receiving the final proofs, you start cropping them for your website (or your developer does), and — oh no, the images end up blurry!

But don’t panic. The outcome depends on how you display your photos. Small thumbnails in the sidebar? No problem. A full-width hero image, like on my homepage? This is where pixel density becomes crucial.

Pixel Density: The Secret to Clear Website Photography

Digital images are composed of pixels, which are tiny dots that collectively form a picture. When an image has a small file size, it means there are fewer pixels. As a result, when you zoom in or crop the image to fit a hero section on a website, the overall quality of the image diminishes.

This reduction in quality can lead to pixelation, where the image appears blocky or blurry, especially when viewed on larger screens or printed materials. For professional website headshots, it’s crucial to use high-resolution images to maintain sharpness and clarity.

Source: Uptime.com

Higher resolution means more pixels, resulting in better detail and smoother edges, even when zoomed in or cropped. This ensures your headshots look crisp and professional across various browsers and screen sizes, helping your website presence feel polished and leaving a positive impression on visitors.

To make sure your images have pixel density for all the cropping, here are a few strategies for taking great website photos.

Room to Breathe: 3 Steps to Getting Professional Website Photography

Your headshots str like your digital handshake—they introduce you to visitors and set the tone for your website. It’s about looking good, yes, but moreso it’s about genuinely connecting with your audience.

In this section, we’ll explore a few steps to securing professional website headshots, and how doing so can improve your online presence.

1. The Empty Space Strategy

Communicate with your photographer that some photos will be used as banner images on your website. Ask them to pull back and take loose shots with plenty of empty space around you, the subject. This strategy guarantees that your cropped image will remain clear and sharp, enhancing the overall look of your website.

This is crucial. A blurry header image doesn’t appear professional and can be distracting, taking away from your carefully crafted website design. For instance, the header image on Aimée C Gianni’s website effectively uses empty space. The additional space on one side also leaves room for a headline introducing herself.

And if you’re worried about previously taken photos without sufficient space, no worries! Your images can still work well as professional website headshots on your website.

You simply need a website design that allows cropped images next to text, rather than full-width photos. The outcome can be equally attractive.

Check out Kym Showers’ website for an example of this approach.

2. Creating a Visually Pleasing Background for Your Professional Website Headshots

Your backdrop can make or break your website headshots. A cluttered, busy background with too many details or colors can divert attention from you, the main focus. Choose a non-distracting background — a brick wall or pleasing interior setting, for instance.

This thought applies to nature backgrounds, as well. As tempting as it might be to snap a few professional website headshots against a wall of lush outdoor greenery, unless an outdoor, super green color scheme matches your brand’s color palette, I’d recommend keeping even outdoor shots in a neutral color tone. The point is to keep the attention where it belongs, on you (as the subject) and not more on the beautiful landscape around you.

Pro tip: Create a variety of possible images using your background(s) of choice. Snap a few standing up, a few sitting down, or even a few candid movement snaps.  Just remember to keep your face directed to the camera.

Heather Frazier’s website showcases an excellent example of a clean, bright background, helping her site to feel uncluttered and calming, keeping the attention on the copy.

3. Selecting the Best Location for Your Professional Website Headshots

One of the most frequent questions I hear about photos is, “What’s the best place for a photoshoot? Inside or outside? Casual or professional?” The answer largely depends on your professional identity.

Are you a medical professional turned coach, aiming for a polished look in a business suit and office setting? Or are you the relatable mom-coach, favoring a casual vibe in a comfortable setting like a coffee shop or a cozy living room?

Think about how you would want to present yourself to a new client and reflect that in your website photography.

Ready to Take Your Next Website Headshots?

Now you know how to get clear, professional images for your website.

Remember, make sure your photographer captures a few pulled-back shots, avoid a busy background, and give the photos to your website designer in the highest resolution.

Pro tip: Create a shot list that you can refer to with your professional designer to make choosing the most professional website headshots that much easier.

This list should include at least 8 to 10 final photos for use on your website. You’ll appreciate having more than that, but 8-10 is sort of the bare minimum I find most coaches need for their websites.

What NOT to Do in your Website Headshots

When getting headshots taken for your website, avoid these common mistakes to be sure you present yourself professionally and authentically:

  1. Steer Clear of Selfies: While selfies are great for personal social media, they don’t generally project the right professionalism for a professionally designed website. Invest in a professionally taken headshot to show you mean business.
  2. Mind Your Facial Expression: Your facial expression sets the tone. Avoid overly casual expressions or extreme smiles that might not match the tone of your website. Instead, opt for a friendly and approachable look that reflects your personality and brand.
  3. Update Headshots Regularly: Your headshot should reflect your current appearance. Avoid using outdated photos that no longer represent who you are today. Update your headshot regularly to maintain authenticity and relevance.

By avoiding these pitfalls, your professional website headshots will effectively represent you and your brand. Remember, your appearance and first impression are an essential part of your online identity—make it count!

Curating Professional Website Headshots Using AI

I’ve lost count of how many of my clients have asked for or about AI-generated images for their coaching website. It’s true, there are options available that help people create awesome professional website headshots that don’t require hiring a professional photographer. The answer is AI!

Several AI tools can help you generate and edit professional website headshots for your coaching site. They’re also super easy to use and can save you time and resources, especially in the beginning of your business.

AI Headshot Generator Example Grid of Photos

It’s simple: upload a photo, and the AI goes to work fixing the lighting, touching up your skin, and even making sure the background looks clean. The AI makes suggestions throughout the session including the best angles for your face.

How cool is that? It’s like having a personal photographer right on your computer.

Though it’s shockingly easy to use these applications, the hardest part is deciding which one to use. But before you run out to Google which AI generator you’d like to experiment with, check out my in-depth review of 4 AI headshot generators.

Up Next: What to Wear in Website Headshots?

There’s more to professional website headshots than just crisp, clear images.

How you present yourself in these photos can significantly influence how visitors perceive you and your brand. If you’re wondering about what to wear for your website photos, I’ve got you covered.

Read here for what to wear for your website photoshoot to build trust with your audience.

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