by Taylor Rossi
You’ve heard it a thousand times before - the classical music industry is extremely competitive. Whether you’re trying to land a job as a performer, teacher, or work in the industry, you have to find a way to stand out. What if I told you there’s a way to not only stand out among the crowd, but create new opportunities, and make yourself memorable?
It might come as a shock to you, but one way to do this is by having professional headshots!
We spend years and years learning how to create a beautiful sound on our instrument and for some, that instrument essentially becomes our voice. But in all of our years of practicing, no one ever tells you the importance of having professional headshots taken, how to properly pose with your instrument, or answer the age old question: what do I do with my hands?!
It can be so easy to skip over this, and you may be thinking, I'm a musician, shouldn't my sound be the most important thing? Listen, you absolutely should sound your best, but we are also performers whose job is to convey music through every fiber of our being. Every detail from the way we walk on stage to the way we connect with our audience (in person and online) contributes to how our audience perceives us.
This isn’t just for performers, but for teachers and those on the industry side, too! Having professional headshots for concerts, LinkedIn, and even for marketing ourselves on Instagram can create new opportunities in our career! There is so much unsaid for the importance of professionalism and the impressions we put into the world. For example, when you attend the NFA Convention and you have established a professional and inviting presence online, the chances of your presentation or booth being attended are so much higher than those who haven’t established that same presence. Why not do everything we can to get our name out there and create possibilities for new opportunities?
Alright, now that we have established the importance of having professional headshots, let’s talk about the other elephant in the room: feeling insecure about having the photos taken.
The process may seem nerve wracking, but to ease your nerves I’m sharing my 5 top tips to help take your photoshoot session from camera shy to Lizzo status (okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but one could hope!).
YOU ARE WORTHY
First, I want you to remember that you don't need to be a soloist or in the prime of your career to have headshots taken; you are worthy of sharing what you have to offer to the world right now. A high quality headshot could be just the thing to help you kick start your career!
For example, if you’re a collegiate professor or private teacher, you can use your professional headshot to market yourself and grow your studio! Showing that you’re inviting yet professional will likely attract more students versus teachers who initially remaining anonymous or use an outdated/stern headshot.
LOOK GOOD FEEL GOOD
Bring a couple outfits to your photoshoot that make you feel fierce and like the best version of yourself! If you're ballin’ on a budget but still want a new outfit for the pictures, return it the next day! No shame in your return game.
Rather than feeling unsure and uncomfortable figuring out how to pose at the session, look up poses ahead of time! Google images of your favorite flutist and see how they pose, then practice them in the mirror; you'll quickly figure out what works for you and what doesn't!
I’ve started doing this with my clients and not only does it initially give everyone a good laugh, but by channeling the confidence of that famous flutist, it will come through in your photos!
Speaking of feeling comfortable, I highly recommend practicing yoga the morning of your session - you will feel so much more relaxed and less stiff. To ease your nerves even more, treat yourself to a glass of mimosa before your session if you’re 21+! ;)
GET TO KNOW YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Let's just face it, it can be super awkward posing for photos, especially when you're doing them in public. To maximize your session and feel the most comfortable, get to know your photographer beforehand! This is beneficial for both parties since the best way for them to capture your true essence is by getting a sense of your personality!
And if you're in the Greater Boston area, I'm your girl! I've done my time feeling awkward, learned how to feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera, and you can trust me to tell you what the heck to do with your arms.
You are now ready for your close up and to take your career to a whole new level! See you on the other side of the lense!