I truly believe that a high-end, professional headshot could help improve a person's professional career. However, a basic, ordinary "selfie" that passes as a business headshot, could unfortunately deteriorate a career as well. I remember the time that I bought my first car. I went to the car dealership's website and checked out, not only the cars I was interested in, but also the photos of employees and sales reps. The very act of "not liking" any of the images posted on that website made me change my mind and decided to go to another car dealership to find the car I wanted. A basic, low quality headshot of you could play against you and that's one of the main reasons I think headshots are underestimated.
An image of you can either bring business your way, or kill it entirely. I'm not talking about looks here. I'm not talking about being good looking or not, I'm simply talking about capturing the best image of you, period. A good photographer needs to know how to artistically put together the correct lighting, a good, solid background color or background environment that complements the message you want to portray on your image. The service you provide has to be shown on your headshot. Your face needs to be the face of your company whether you are the owner or an employee. The art of taking a "professional headshot" lies in the photographer's skill to put the subject (the person) at ease, and make him/her feel empowered, trustworthy and professional.
Here's a recent photo shoot I did with a venture capital firm here in Chicago. Please make sure you pay close attention to each photo. Every element used here played a role to effectively communicate the company's message. The message this company wanted to tell all prospective clients when they go online and see these images. Again, the message revolved around: PROFESSIONALISM, EMPOWERMENT, TRUSTWORTHINESS.