Social Media and Web site Portraits ?

Why you need a great head-shot for your social media and website ?

In today's complex digital world ,it is strange that we need to have a ‘Good Portrait’ ?

Does our main picture on Facebook,Linkedin or website say what we want to say ?,

If you are an accountant,a chef,a doctor or software designer?Maybe an architect,landscape gardener ,project manager or many thousands of tradesman and professionals ,do you want to look the part ?

If you are in business or are using social media to advance your career, it is important that you have a portrait that is communicating a positive image and it says what you want it to say.

You maybe be a creative, so a casual look is right, a business man does not have to have a tie, but maybe a jacket ? Or if you are a consultant , maybe an image of you with a background that represents your client base ,an industrial complex ,suitably out of focus ,but communicating your area of specialization .

A selfie shot at the office party ,may bring back great memories (if you can remember ?) but what is it telling the world? Your potential clients or employers ? Party animal or Professional ?

We all have many roles in our lives from a son or daughter to been a parent,we are friends,business colleagues,we are people who enjoy sport or the arts ,we all love holidays and travel and we all have pictures doing some role or many activities ,but should we use the images of those roles and show to the public ?

If its on FaceBook and its your personal page, then it is probably OK ,but beware , the world sees what you have been doing ,

A portrait can tell a great deal about you, if you are wearing a business suit, a collar and tie, that shall indicate that you are a serious professional person.

However ,if that portrait is just taken against a white background and you are straight faced and have no expression , could it be just a record of what you look like ?

The subtle use of contemporary photographic style and controlled lighting with a hint of an office or work location along with an engaged look to the camera,can convey something to those seeing your profile on Linkedin .

Your business may have many employees, even if the only contact they have with the clients and customers, is an e-mail or phone call, would it be better if there was a face to connect too the communication?

So many companies ,have generic images of models who represent the company ,they can be cheap and look slick ,but do they represent your company,are they real people ?

The visually sophisticated public are aware that the ‘stock’ portraits of perfect faces ,smiling are not real , so why use them ?

Would your website benefit from good portraits of your staff ?

As everybody is now a photographer ,why not get the office enthusiast to shoot the pictures .

That could work ,but what if the images are just OK ,do you undermine the person who has probably done an OK job? Who is going to be upset ? What do the staff pictures tell the public? You are real people ,but you are not very professional as the portraits look ‘amateur’ ?

It maybe economics that prevent you employing a professional photographer , but just think ,you spent ££££££’s on your website, you spend a fortune on marketing be it google ads or SEO enhancement ,what happens when the potential customer first see’s your site and images ? Is it as professional as you want it, does it convey the right communication ?

Photographers who are specialist portrait photographers ,who have documented evidence of lots of portraits that look contemporary ,their portraits have great lighting and the personality of the real people that comes across in the photographs ,then,maybe that photographer should be considered to produce a portrait that you are proud of and represents you as you want for the audience you are wanting to connect with .

Make sure that your portrait represents you as you want to be . Or maybe you are OK with your selfie at the Office Party ?

Lorentz Gullachsen . MA (Visual Communication) Association of Photographers,D&AD.

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