Take a good look at yourself: Corporate Portraits and Social Media

In 2013 almost every professional person is connected via social media. LinkedIn, Facebook, Google +, Twitter and blogs are just a few examples.

Some quick stats:
LinkedIn reached 101million members in 2011 with 1.9 million members in Australia alone. (source)
Facebook has 11 million users in Australia (source)
There are 3.5million bloggers and 1.8million twitters in Australia (source)

If first impressions count then ask yourself, what does your current photo say about you?

A quick search of one of my LinkedIn groups revealed that almost half of the users don't have a profile image. Of those only about 10% had a profile image that is of acceptable quality. Is this you?

I found many CEO's, business development managers, project managers, consultants, directors etc. with profile images that are not only unprofessional but just appalling!
You don't have to be a corporate professional to have a head shot, whether you're a personal trainer, model, actor, dancer, presenter, life coach or real estate agent, a professional head shot is the best way to make a great first impression.

How do you know if your head shot is of acceptable quality? Here are some common mistakes:

  • Head cropped from a group photo with other people at the edges,
  • When your face is too distant in the photo and difficult to see
  • If your photo is too close; the face should not fill the entire frame so include some shoulders - that's why it's called a head and shoulder portrait!
  • Cluttered background; keep it simple and clean to avoid detracting from the face,
  • Blurry images and out of focus images,
  • Poorly exposed images; either too dark or too bright,
  • Heavy shadows caused by flash,
  • Unflattering angles making you look larger, smaller, older than you really are,
  • Pixelated images; you need to get the resolution right for web images,
  • Incorrect skin tones, images taken under different light condition can give the skin orange, yellow or green tones that need to be corrected,
  • Hats and sunglasses really don't have a place in a corporate portrait unless you are a bona fide rock star,
  • Facial expressions, it's not like a visit to the dentist, smile and make a friendly impression,
  • Artsy fartsy images? Forget it, keep it nice and simple.

In contrast a professional corporate photo will:

  • be properly exposed and in focus to make your face easy to see,
  • be properly posed to be the most flattering for your body type,
  • be retouched to make sure any skin blemishes or lines are reduced,
  • be the correct size, resolution and format for the web,

Head over to corporate portraits by über photography to see some samples of great executive portraits.

Why do you need a professional corporate head shot? Here are just some of the benefits of a professional corporate photo:

  • It grabs a viewer's attention quickly
  • It creates a favourable impression
  • It can be used on all websites and social media forums that require a profile photo
  • It creates the desired impression you want to portray, be it professional, relaxed, formal or informal. 
  • It will make you stand out from the rest who still get the kids to take their photo in the backyard

By contrast a poor head shot will lead clients to make a negative snap decision about you.

You have about 1 second to grab someone's attention when they browse the list of profiles, so make it count. A professional head and shoulder photo will get them clicking at your profile and read that amazing resume you have been building up.

So make a great impression first time, every time and get a professional corporate portrait or head and shoulder photo done. For the relatively small cost you'll get a great image that you can use again and again.

at über photography we charge $150 for a photographic sitting including a digital file. The improvement to your image is priceless :-)

For the record here is my LinkedIn profile.

Chris is a commercial photographer with a studio in Killara on Sydney's North Shore. He specializes in corporate portraits, head shots and profile photos for actors.