For every business owner there comes a time when they need to put themselves in front of a camera. Whether it’s for the About Page on your website, your LinkedIn account or your Facebook and Twitter profiles, it’s impossible to avoid that need for an image.
But do you really need a professional photographer?
After all when you post a “selfie” on Facebook you get such a lot of likes, and so many people comment to say what a great photo it is. So why not just crop out your friends and family from the picture and use it for your business profile?
The harsh reality is that those people who say “great photo” aren’t really commenting on your camera skills, they are just pleased to see you having a great time. Those people who click like, at best they like that you look happy, in reality you probably just popped in their feed and they clicked that button and moved on to the next post hardly even noticing your picture.
So those likes and comments aren’t really an endorsement of your skills as a photographer and yet it saddens me to see so many business owners using exactly this sort of picture to represent their business. It saddens me not because I’m potentially missing out on business but because these business owners are not giving themselves the best chance of success.
If you happen to be in need of an accountant or solicitor who are you most likely trust, the one with a Linkedin profile picture from a night out with friends or the one with a well-lit headshot where they look professional and approachable? Most people will instinctively trust the one with the professional photo.
The same applies to any sort of business, whilst a corporate looking headshot may not be right for your business, a professional commercial or environmental portrait shows prospective customers that you take your business seriously. Not only does it build trust but it also helps you stand apart from all the other similar businesses that have settled for a quick phone snap.
So how do you know what sort of portrait will be suitable for your business?
Below there’s a quick guide and some examples to help you decide what is most appropriate to attract your ideal customers to your brand. Better still why not give me a call, I’d be happy to have a chat about your business and give you some guidance on portrait styles.
These are usually just head and shoulders but the same style also works for a three-quarter body shot. They will generally use a plain background, often white, and some form of photographic lighting. These are well suited to professional businesses and businesses that require a number of staff to be photographed in a consistent style. They are great for corporate brochures and “meet the team” boards often found in reception areas.
Although these can also be head and shoulder shots they often include more of the body, they could be a three-quarter shot or maybe someone sitting at a desk or in a chair. Generally a photographic background won’t be used but a location will be chosen where the background isn’t a distraction, these portraits may use photographic lighting or natural light. These are a less formal than a headshot but can still portray a professional image, they are often used on an About Page of a website to give a friendly and approachable feel to a business.
These are the least formal portrait type but are every bit as worthwhile as the others. These portraits will include more of the surroundings, they are often unposed and can be documentary in style. They may well use available light although sometimes additional light will be needed. They are often taken in the working environment and are used to tell the story of a business. Environmental portraits are particularly suited to creative businesses but work equally well for any business that wants to tell an added story with their portraits.
If you feel your business photos aren't creating the best impression please get in touch via the Contact Page, I'd love to chat about creating images that will really help your business stand out.