Whether you are starting a new business, or moving your current one forward, there are so many things to spend your money on – a website, promotional material, IT equipment, brand development, and for some, premises. Good photography is normally way down the list, and very rarely budgeted for.
For most of us, our website is our shop window, and ‘First Impressions’ do count.
Your website serves you two-fold. Firstly it is a vehicle to promote your services or products, and secondly it is there to inform your customers. Good, professional images will help give your company the edge over your competitors, and increase the impact that it will have. Having a good head shot on your site makes you more approachable, especially if you are dealing with sensitive issues. Please don’t use a ‘nice photo’ of you taken at a wedding or on the beach for instance! It might be a great photo of you, but it’s not professional. Press releases, magazine features, blog posts are all places that you require good imagery to back up your articles.
Social media is another vehicle for your business. Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, blogging, You Tube are all examples of where your potential customers can glean a bit more information about you. In spite of this virtual world, people still like to deal with people, and not a faceless person at the end of a phone or website. One way of personalising your website is to include an image of yourself in your ‘About Us’ section. It also helps when you arrange to meet someone for a meeting in the middle of a crowded coffee shop that you know what they look like!
Here are my top tips for making sure you get the best head shot that you can:
#1 Plan what you are going to wear beforehand
Dress appropriately to how you want to be perceived e.g. a suit for accountants or gym kit for personal trainers. The emergency ‘work tie’ in the bottom of the desk drawer is a big no!
#2 Wear clothes that you are comfortable in
A suit that is too big is as bad as a straining button on a jacket.
#3 Make an effort with how you look
Get your hair cut and roots re-dyed if necessary and maybe wear some make up. Strike a good balance though, so you don’t look too made up.
#4 Look natural
Your photographer should make you feel at ease anyway, but if you aren’t familiar with having your photo taken, practice your pose in front of the mirror. No one will know and it could make the difference between a photo you like, and one that you love.
#5 Don’t just look for the cheapest photographer
First have a look at their style of photography. Talk to them so they can understand exactly what you are looking for.
#6 Don’t take anyone by surprise
If you work in a company with other people, please tell everyone the time their photograph will be taken, and send out a reminder email the week and day before. That way, people can’t make excuses. If you want everyone to be wearing the same clothes (eg a branded t-shirt or a uniform), then remind people of this.
With a little thought and some planning you too can have an image that speaks volumes to your clients.