7 Signs It’s Time for a New Headshot

Everyone needs to update their headshot eventually, but when is the best time to do so? Small factors could play into this, but John has found that there are seven common signs it’s time for an updated headshot. 

There are two main types of headshots: actor and corporate. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional chess player, clown, chef, lawyer, or actor—outdated images aren’t going to serve you well. Here are John Glaser Photography’s top seven signs it’s time to book a new headshot session:

1. You've Made Changes to Your Look

Everyone changes their look every now and again. We recommend getting a new headshot whenever you change your look significantly; this could include changing your hairstyle, starting to wear glasses, or changing your style in another noticeable way. 

You should be recognizable in your headshot. If someone looked at your headshot photo a few hours ago and ran into you at an event, would they recognize you? Headshots are meant to give potential colleagues, employers, clients, and casting directors an image that’s representative of what you look like right now.

2. You're Auditioning for a New Role (Actors)

Actors need new headshots more frequently than someone in the corporate world. Why? Actors are constantly auditioning for new roles! According to Backstage, actors should update their headshots every one to two years.  

While that’s a good general rule of thumb, you may need new headshots more frequently if you’re auditioning for a new role. You should have a few relevant looks that work for the parts you typically book, but there may come a time when you don’t have the right headshot to use in your submission. 

Agents typically prefer that actors have five to seven headshots—each look needs to be distinctive and target a particular type of role. 

What happens if you don’t have a suitable headshot for a new role you’d like to audition for? You need to get a new headshot! 

It’s even better if you can prepare for these scenarios by getting headshots that work for the roles you typically book and the ones you’d like to book. 

3. You Took Your Headshot

People take their own headshots all of the time. It may seem more cost-effective to put on professional clothes, take out your iPhone, and snap a few photos with a plain backdrop. But here’s the thing: professional headshots are better than any headshot you take yourself.  

While you’ll spend more money upfront, you’ll get better feedback by choosing to work with a professional photographer. You never want someone to look at your professional headshot and notice it was taken in your home! You won’t come off as professional (and the extra money you saved won’t be worth it because you might fall behind other candidates with high-quality headshots). 

On the right, you can see that the professional headshot is better in multiple ways: 

  • The framing is more flattering. 
  • The color contrast is more appealing.
  • The professional headshot is clearer.
  • The professional headshot gives off a better first impression. 


This photo is a comparison between an at home headshot and a professional headshot. The professional headshot has better lighting, framing, and looks more captivating.

4. Your Picture is Over 2 Years Old

We mentioned that actors are advised to take new headshots every one to two years, but what about everyone else in the corporate world? You can get away with not stepping into the studio every year, but we recommend updating your headshot every two years. It’s the best way to show the most accurate reflection of yourself at all times!

5. You've Changed Jobs

Are you looking to switch jobs or recently made the jump? You should update your headshot! Not only does it signify that you’ve made a career change to your previous coworkers, but it also establishes credibility in your new role. What better time to refresh your headshots than when you’re revitalizing your career? The optics will look good to everyone in your network: your clients, old colleagues, new colleagues, and new employer.

6. You Didn't Get Facial Expression Coaching

Most photographers don’t give facial expression coaching, making John Glaser Photography the go-to headshot studio in Houston and New York City! 

If you’ve had a headshot session with another photographer, think back to how you felt during it. Did you simply stand there and say “cheese” to the camera? That kind of basic photo won’t make your headshot stand out from the crowd. 

John says, “Many people can create good headshots and have good lighting for a headshot, but you see it often when looking at people’s headshots when there is no facial coaching. It is basically like a fancy ID photo. Stand in front of the camera and say cheese. That makes for a CHEESY photo. When doing facial expression coaching, I can help a client get the best out of their look(s). Confidence comes from the eyes, and likeability comes from the mouth. I work to create that combination with my clients to create the best shot that shows confidence and likeability all in one shot.” 

Not only will you like your headshot better with some facial expression coaching, but you’ll enjoy your session more. It’s a great way to ensure your headshot stands out when people are going through resumes, LinkedIn posts, business cards, and other marketing material.

7. You Don't Like Your Headshot

It’s pretty simple: you should get a new headshot if you aren’t proud of your current one! Maybe you didn’t have a good idea of what to wear for professional headshots. Or maybe you didn’t like the photographer’s style. Either way, you should feel confident about the headshot you use because it’s one of the best ways to accurately represent yourself in your career. 

For actors, a good headshot can get casting directors to notice you and land you more auditions. Corporate professionals will also make great first impressions with a quality headshot.

If you’re already beginning to think it may be time for a refreshed headshot (no matter the reason), please reach out to us if you live in Houston or New York City and let’s make some magic happen. 

Client testimonial describing their experience during their headshot session