Ok, you got on all the social media platforms, put your profile in, checked it ten times, crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s. Than you listed your credentials, and became followers of everyone. Check that again, became followers of those you want to emulate, now you need a photo. You look on your smartphone and pick the photo of you that got 121 likes on Instagram. And that is what you put up, it’s cute, its poppin’… it’s so wrong.
How do I know this? Because that’s what I did when I first started b out. I didn’t really think I needed a professional photo because I’m not a model or an actor. My career stems between teaching, writing and speaking, but I found out very quickly, that people take into account how you look. Clients decide in a snap of a photo whether or not your look represents a brand they want to buy into. So my friend who is a photographer and heads her own studio in NYC, Tanzie Johnson Photography gave me some advice. “No one thinks about photography until the last minute, and entrepreneurs need a photo, it is as much as their brand, as their name.” “ It speaks volumes of the care you put into your brand, and the right photo will get you clients.” She asked me to do one simple tasks. “Look at photos of authors and tell me what you see?”
I did just that. I saw photos of all genres of occupations that weren’t related to their career, or their brand. I saw photos where the lighting was poor, or the photo was just out dated. I realized my selfie wasn’t the look I was going for. With some direction from the shoot, I walked away confident in fact that I was sculpting my brand. As you can see from this article I wrote, which photo above would you want speaking at your campus? Which photo of me do you find credible and professional? Now take a look at how your own picture represents you and your brand.
Here are some ways to know if you need to get a professional photographer:
- Is your brand your name?
- Was your hair short and now it’s long?
- Is your photo about ten years old?
- What are the colors you are wearing in your photo? Does your photo convey a sentiment of trust, professionalism and warmth?
I also would like you to know that I decided to have two headshots done. You might want to do the same, depending on the different careers you juggle. Take a look at your photos on all your media sites. Does it showcase you? Is it the face of your brand, or just a face? Ask around to a few of your closest friends, and see if you need to make an appointment with your friendly photographer!