Headshots in the Gig Economy: A Guide

The gig economy is becoming increasingly popular, and with it comes the need for personal branding. Headshots are a crucial part of personal branding, especially for those who work in a freelance or gig-based capacity. A great headshot can help establish credibility and professionalism, making it easier to secure work. In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of headshots in the gig economy and offer tips from professional photographers on how to take the perfect shot.

What are headshots?

Headshots are professional photos that focus on the subject’s face, head, and shoulders. They are commonly used for professional purposes such as job applications, portfolios, and personal branding. Headshots can be taken in various styles, including traditional and contemporary, and can be black and white or in color.

Why are headshots important in the gig economy?

Headshots play a crucial role in the gig economy as they can be the difference between securing a gig or not. Here are some reasons why headshots are essential in the gig economy:

  1. First impressions matter: A study by Princeton psychologists found that it takes just 100 milliseconds to form a first impression. Therefore, having a professional headshot can make a positive impact on potential clients or employers.
  2. Establish credibility and professionalism: A professional headshot can help establish credibility and professionalism, which can be crucial in securing gigs. According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 70% of employers said they have rejected job candidates based on their appearance.
  3. Increases the chances of getting hired: A LinkedIn survey found that profiles with a professional headshot receive 14 times more views than those without one. This shows that having a professional headshot can increase your chances of getting noticed and securing gigs.
  4. Helps to build trust: A professional headshot can help to build trust with potential clients or employers. According to a study by the Better Business Bureau, consumers are 20% more likely to do business with a company that has a professional headshot on their website.
  5. Social media presence: In the gig economy, having a strong social media presence is essential. According to a survey by The Manifest, 86% of small businesses use social media as a marketing tool. Having a professional headshot on your social media profiles can help to establish credibility and professionalism.

Tips for taking the perfect headshot

  1. Choose the right attire: Wear something that you feel comfortable and confident in, and avoid anything that is too busy or distracting.
  2. Find the right photographer: Look for a professional photographer with experience in headshot photography.
  3. Choose the right backdrop and lighting: A neutral or simple background can help you stand out, while proper lighting is essential to achieve a great shot.
  4. Smile and pose naturally: Avoid fake or forced poses and aim for a natural and relaxed expression.
  5. Tips for retouching your headshot: Use editing software to enhance your photo’s lighting, color, and exposure, but be careful not to overdo it.

How to use headshots for personal branding

Headshots can be used in various ways to enhance personal branding, including social media profiles, professional websites, resumes and cover letters, business cards, and flyers. A consistent headshot across all platforms can help create a professional and cohesive image.

Headshots for different types of gigs

Different types of gigs may require different types of headshots. For example, actors may need specific headshots for casting calls, while corporate professionals may require a more formal headshot. Creative professionals, such as musicians and artists, may opt for a more contemporary headshot that showcases their unique style.


In conclusion, headshots are a crucial part of personal branding in the gig economy. A great headshot can help establish credibility and professionalism, making it easier to secure work. By following the tips from professional photographers, you can ensure that you take the perfect headshot for your needs and use it effectively for personal branding.

About the author: Violet Gorgi is a professional headshot photographer with years of experience in the field. Her portfolio includes corporate headshots, business portraits, and executive portraits. Visit violetgorgi.com to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between a headshot and a portrait?

A headshot is a specific type of portrait that focuses on the subject’s face, head, and shoulders. Portraits can include a wider range of poses and backgrounds.

2. Can I take my own headshot?

While it’s possible to take your own headshot, it’s recommended to hire a professional headshot photographer for the best results. A professional photographer has the experience, skills, and equipment to capture a high-quality headshot that represents you well.

3. How often should I update my headshot?

It’s recommended to update your headshot every two years or whenever you undergo a significant change in appearance, such as a haircut or change in hair color. Keeping your headshot up to date ensures that it accurately represents you and your personal brand.

4. How much does a professional headshot cost?

The cost of a professional headshot can vary depending on the photographer, location, and the number of photos you want. On average, a professional headshot session can cost anywhere from $100 to $500.

5. What should I wear for my headshot?

It’s best to wear something that you feel comfortable and confident in, and that represents your personal brand. Avoid busy patterns, logos, or distracting accessories, and opt for solid colors that complement your skin tone.

6. How long does a headshot session take?

A headshot session can typically take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the photographer and the number of photos you want. It’s recommended to schedule enough time for hair and makeup preparation and to ensure that you’re relaxed and comfortable during the session.

By following these tips and seeking the help of a professional headshot photographer, you can take the perfect headshot to represent you in the gig economy. Remember, your headshot is often the first impression a potential client or employer will have of you, so make it count!