Professional Headshots Geelong | Real Estate Agent Guide

A Real Estate Agent’s Guide to Headshot Photography

What is the biggest struggle in real estate marketing? It’s not selling the property.

Clients expect you have local knowledge of the Geelong property market.

And that you have a proven track record of getting a result.

But that all happens after they contact you.

So, how do you stand out?

What makes your ideal clients grab out their phones and message you?

That’s why a professional headshot must be part of your personal brand strategy.

Professional Portrait Photograph of Real Estate Agent Nathan Brown at the Geelong waterfront
Geelong Real Estate Agent: Nathan Brown

Personal branding is not about being personal.

Australian first home buyer’s average age is 36 years. And the majority of the current property market consists of Millennials. So, understanding how they choose a real estate agent is fundamental to your success.

Millennials continue to look for ways to control the buying process, including through self-education. Or they are relying on social proof and reviews to make decisions.

They almost only shop online.

In short, think of Google, Facebook and Instagram ads to reach them where they hang out.

You know they make decisions for meals and holidays based on what they see on Insta or Tiktok.

So does that mean you need to start sharing last night’s parma? No, the key here is to be personable, not personal.

Your headshots, photos and videos must project your personal brand and give a sneak peek into who you are. It’s more than sharing tips, insights and other market updates.

It understanding that your headshot and other photos reinforce your values.

Adam Jacobs shared in Forbes that when clients look at photos on social media, they should be able to connect with your values.

So if you have a photo that’s ten years old or, worst, a picture of your last holiday, clients might consider it unprofessional.

And many will make their first impression on your headshot in your profile.

High-quality professional headshots help build trust and credibility. It’s usually the first thing a prospective client sees when choosing an agent.

For most buyers, selling their home is a big decision they may only make once or twice in their lifetime.

Sometimes it’s got to feel right.

And that feeling is often based on how you present yourself online and in other marketing materials.

Professional Portrait Photograph of Real Estate Agent Chari Emirzade in the Geelong CBD
Geelong Real Estate Agent: Chari Emirzade

What type of headshot do you need?

You need to understand what exactly you want your headshot to convey. What type of real estate agent are you?

Do you specialise in a specific type of property?

If you sell coastal properties in Torquay, you need a particular type of real estate agent photo. But if you are selling rural acreage near Meredith, that’s completely different.

You must be clear on the types of clients you want to attract. This will ensure you have a headshot to build your personal brand and market to that audience.

The best headshots are when the photographer fills the frame with your face. And your eyes are in sharp focus.

One way to ensure you get the images you’re looking for is to find inspiration from other real estate agent photos. Then, you can pin it to Pinterest (you could do a mood board) or create a saved collection on Instagram.

You can share these collections with your photographer to help clarify what style of photography resonates with you. And help the photographer visualise and plan your shoot.

How to find a professional headshot photographer

Here’s the thing, yes, your new iPhone takes incredible photos.

And you could even argue, sitting your iPhone on a tripod, flick on the remote timer and then scramble back with a white wall behind you…boom, you have a headshot.

That’s not why you are hiring a professional photographer.
I mean, it’s more than having a fancy camera.
You want a photographer who understands you might be nervous. Or feel ‘un-photogenic’.
You may even hate having your photo taken.
A professional photographer will help you find the real you.
And know how to use beautiful light and direct you to pose naturally.

Think of it this way… your headshot should show your human expression that is warm and inviting, building trust.

It isn’t easy to do that with your iPhone or a selfie.

And even if you DIY your headshot, smacking on an Instagram filter or some other AI software just won’t cut it.

But truthfully, many photography studios outsource their post-production.

It’s a bit like whacking that Insta filter on your selfie.

I’m sure you have seen terrible results with heavily edited headshots.

Or that overall photoshop green lawn in real estate photography.

Outsourcing post-production can result in poorer quality as the photographer has not edited the images, true to what you experienced on the day.

Sure it might seem cheaper.
But getting it right with a local Geelong professional photographer is a wise business decision.

Of course, you will want to review their portfolio (see ours here). In addition, you will most likely check out the photographer’s social media (we are on Instagram and Facebook).

This gives you a good handle on their personality and suitability.
Finally, you will want to read their reviews and testimonials (we are also here and here).

Professional Portrait Photograph of Real Estate Agents Chanelle & Teish at the Golden Plains
Geelong Real Estate Agents: Chanelle & Teish

Location, Location, Location

You can choose the location for your headshot and portraits.
Generally, you want a clean background, so the photograph focuses on you.

If you choose to have your headshot in your office, don’t worry if the wall paint is not what you had in mind.

We have you covered as we will bring our mobile studio to you. You know, a plain backdrop and lights.

Many agents like to have their professional headshots taken as lifestyle portraits outdoors. So they chose a location that suits their personal brand and the clients they are trying to reach.

Some prefer this approach as it can appear less formal and more natural.
Shooting outdoors offers many more background options to give you a unique look.

We have taken headshots by Corio Bay, Geelong Botanical Gardens and around Armstrong Creek.

The best time to photograph headshots outdoors is the first hours after sunrise and before sunset. During golden hours when the light is softer and creates stunning images.

And if the heavens open, we will reschedule or wait until the rain passes.

No matter what you choose, it’s up to you how you want to present yourself to prospective clients.

Professional Portrait Photograph of Real Estate Agent Meg Baldi on Bellarine waterfront
Geelong Real Estate Agent: Meg Baldi

What do you wear for your headshot session?

Deciding what to wear for your session can be overwhelming for some agents. But for most agents, it’s professional attire. And depending on your session, you are welcome to bring a change of clothes or business outfits.

The clothes you wear should help you project confidence.

Many agents ask for the best colour to wear. You should avoid distracting colours, patterns or stripes as you want the focus to be on your headshot.

So, solid colours work the best.

And when choosing your outfit, don’t forget to put on your company’s badge (name tag) – you won’t believe how many times I’ve had to add it in Photoshop after the session.

You should avoid wearing too much jewellery. Or avoid it altogether. Again, this becomes a distraction in your image.

Whilst your shoes won’t feature (most likely), it’s worth considering wearing comfortable shoes if you walk around for the shoot.

Perhaps the most significant piece of advice would be to wear something you would meet your prospective clients wearing.

Should you have professional hair and make-up?

There is a similar truth to what to wear. Don’t present yourself as Australia’s next top model if that is not how you would greet your next client.

The guiding principle is you should look like you.

Keep your make-up simple.

Anything more will ruin any trust or credibility you hope to build with your prospective clients.

Of course, you can arrange to have a professional make-up artist and hair stylist for your session.

Most photographers will have someone they can refer you to if you don’t have your own. But be sure to let your make-up artist know you are having a headshot taken. Most will know what is appropriate for your session.

Professional Portrait Photograph of Real Estate Agent Owen Sharkey at Dog Rocks
Geelong Real Estate Agent: Owen Sharkey

Tips for preparing for your session

Here are some tips I’ve found to help you get ready for your session:

  • Get a good night’s sleep, so you’re well rested
  • Eat and drink before keeping your body happy.
  • Prepare and press your clothes so they are ready.
  • You may consider a test run if you have professional hair and make-up.
  • For men, having a haircut a week prior is recommended.
  • Confirm your session location and plan your trip, including car parking

Time to get shooting; what happens next?

Remember earlier I suggested you pin or create collections of real estate agent photos you liked?

So if you have done that, be sure to email them to your photographer prior so they can get an idea for your session.

Think about what you like and don’t like. And feel confident you can share that with your photographer.

Naturally, at the start of our time together, I’ll ask you some questions to get us started and put you at ease.

Now when we work together, I’m 100% focused on you.
Discovering the natural human expression that will connect with your ideal clients in an image.

Ultimately this is what you’re paying a professional photographer to do…not to click the shutter button.

Many real estate agents worry about smiling and coming across as friendly in their headshots.

I’ve found that the best way to unleash your genuine smile is to make your experience during your session something to smile about. My goal is to make you have a good time, so you forget I’m holding a camera.

Creating a fun experience makes you feel at ease and laugh. And if we need more serious headshots and photos, well, again, I’ll make you feel comfortable.

And when you are genuinely happy and having a good time, you smile.

That’s the feeling you what to shine through in your headshots.
We can talk about your work, the kids, the traffic on Geelong Road…the Cats, it’s up to you.

I’ve found the best way to create beautiful photographs is by coaching you and directing you on how to pose.

At first, this can seem strange, but trust me, it will make a difference to your headshots.

Subtle changes in how you stand; how your jaw is positioned; the way your hair falls around your face.

They do and will make a massive impact on your final images.
But trusting your photographer is the best way to have eye-catching headshots.

And if you’re thinking about more content for your website, Instagram or Tiktok, ask us to capture a short real estate agent profile video.

Professional Portrait Photograph of Real Estate Agent Sonya Kurul at Geelong waterfront
Geelong Real Estate Agent: Sonya Kurul

How long before I get my headshots?

Your headshots will be ready in 3 days on average.

But before we send you the final images, we will send you unedited low-res photos so you can choose the ones you like the best.

Sometimes agents find they would like some minor changes to make to their headshots, like removing a blemish or a stray hair.

If that’s the case for you, just let your photographer know.

Now, let’s use your new headshots.

Before sharing your new headshot, ask family and friends for an unbiased view.

What you are looking for is their honest option on which of the headshots or real estate agent photos closely match your personal brand.

Or the message you’re conveying in your image.

Next, your agency bio page will be one of the first places to use your new headshot.

And then change all your social media profile photos.

Don’t forget to update your business cards (if you use your photo), other printed marketing collateral and sales boards.

Check the web for old headshots and photos.

A great way to ensure your personal branding is consistent across the web is to search your name on Google.

Then, check any images in the search results for old headshots or photos that need to be updated.

Get started with a Geelong photographer for professional headshots and real estate photography.

For a limited time, all new agents receive a free real estate photography package on their first listing (10 photos and a floor plan) for choosing Adobe Production.

The offer ends on 28 February 2023.
Book now by calling Kara or sending us an email.

Go behind the scenes and stay social with us on Instagram and Facebook.