A picture tells a thousand words, a phrase used since the early 1900’s still resonates today especially in this age of social media photos and memes images. Are you sending the message you want through your photograph?
After all an initial first impression is often made online these days and as you are representing “you”, you need to ensure your visual appearance supports you in communicating your brand essence.
Apart from styles and the clothes you choose to wear, your profile photograph is very important. You should definitely have one and ensure that it is a professionally photographed image.
Many people don’t feel comfortable having their photo taken – incredible I know in this age of selfies. However a selfie doesn’t usually cut it when you need to portray a professional image for your business or career. A good photo can last a few years so make sure it looks good and is the right look for you.
If you are choosing to have professional photos done with a photographer – which I highly recommend – work out what you want to portray and don’t just rely on the photographer telling you what to do. Personally I don’t like hands on chins and photographers always seem to ask for that.
The first step in preparing for your personal branding photo shoot is to consider what image you want to portray through all of your marketing materials, including you photo. If you are in business no doubt you have considered you logo, fonts, colours, wording and other elements of your brand collateral. But whether it’s for a business or personal outcome you should carefully consider the “look” you want to portray to others.
Think of yourself as the product you are designing a package for. Look at images in business magazines of executive portraits or business owner photos to see if there are looks that you like. Observe the poses, backgrounds, colours, props and other elements that make up the photo. Cut out some of these images – your tear sheets and take to the photo shoot so both you and the photographer has an impression of what style you are seeking.
A couple of tips on posing for your photo: Don’t stand straight on to the camera, a 45-degree angle is best. Shift your weight a little more to the back foot so your body shows a little shape and hips are away from the camera. Hold your arm slightly bent at the elbow and away from the body. This all might seem a bit daunting but a professional photographer will help you get the right pose.
Your expression and smile is the most important point. Look through the lens of the camera and think of a really happy moment in your life. Your warm expression and natural smile will shine through. With a little thought and planning you can portray the image that suits you best and send the message you want.
Generally speaking, if your photo is more than two years old – it is out of date: Please a personal request from me – ladies – do not display your shirt collar over your jacket lapel. This is so yesterday!
We work with a range of professional photographers when styling your personal brand photo shoot. Need further information? Contact us or call 1300 723 713.
Learn more about how your look has an impact on your personal brand in my free video series, NOOK, LOOK, HOOK, 3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is recognised as a leading authority on personal branding to boost image, profile, brand and business. Through her professional development and profile building programs, workshops, consulting and keynote presentations, Sue helps businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an influential professional brand.