Profile Pictures – Does The Professional Touch Matter?

The most common thing I hear is “I hate my picture being taken”!Guest blog by Rebecca Fennell, Owner at Rebecca Fennell Photography

That’s because we are not used to looking at ourselves and so when we do see a picture, we become ultra critical of every little thing we hate about ourselves.  As a professional photographer, I am no different, so I understand what my clients are feeling.

What does your profile picture say about you?

When it comes to online profile pictures, I cannot help but notice people’s pictures and what it says about that person.   On Facebook, it’s interesting how some people hide behind cartoons or other images, some people genuinely don’t care how they look to the outside world, the madder the better; and others who clearly want to give a great impression.  If your account is for personal use, then it’s entirely up to the individual but if your account is for business purposes and you are also using LinkedIn, Twitter or other social networks to promote your business, then I do think it’s extremely important to think about how you look and what that says to the outside world.

So your mate has a camera?!

I’ve been told and overheard many times that someone has got their friend/sister/father/son with a ‘decent’ DSLR camera to take some snaps for use on their website and profile pictures.  I’ve also been told that whilst they’re ‘ok pictures’, they didn’t feel very relaxed and think they look awkward.   So in my experience, people often come to me saying they hate their picture being taken because they are not photogenic and always take a bad picture.  And also, in my experience, I can usually prove them wrong!

It’s all about quality

The difference between your mate doing your picture and getting a professional to do it is this – you are paying for quality.  By that I mean a clean background, flattering lighting and an image that portrays that person in the best light in order to promote their business.  Before they even come to me, I advise my clients to wear clothes appropriate to their work, that they feel comfortable in, and that they look great in – because that confidence will clearly show in the pictures.  Then, in the studio, we chat about what we want this picture to say about them; for example, they may want to appear professional yet compassionate, kind and trustworthy.  So I would talk them through the session – how best to sit, which way to face etc and always making sure to put them at ease with a bit of banter.  After all, it has to be enjoyable and I need to see that personality and life in their eyes!

I also keep showing the client their images, uploading them to the computer as we go and then we can work out what is the best look – big smiles, little smiles, tilt of the head etc, little things they wouldn’t have necessarily thought about.  Working together is the secret to getting a really great profile picture you are happy with and not being shy to say what you like and don’t like because, after all, you are paying for the service!