Having your business portrait taken can be a daunting prospect but in the digital age in which we live it is increasingly important for business owners and entrepreneurs to have a fantastic photograph of themselves to use across all platforms.
An iPhone photo just isn’t good enough when you think of what you want your image to portray about you and your business.
The best visual version of you, well photographed in beautiful light and which simultaneously allows your personality to shine though is hard to achieve with an iPhone! In essence, it’s about achieving a natural, engaging portrait.
I have a documentary approach to photographing business portraits but before we get to the actual shoot I spend a little time engaging with my subjects; the most successful portraits are the ones where there is a connection between subject and photographer.
So, a few pointers which should help you get the best from your shoot:-
1) Leave plenty of time. Arrange the shoot for a time when you know you won’t be under a time pressure. Beforehand explain to your photographer what you will be using the images for and what you would like them to convey about you and your business
2) This brings me on to brand awareness. It’s a good idea to see the shoot as an opportunity to enhance your personal branding. This one needs some thought; a lawyer, for example, may approach this very differently to say an antique salvage business owner. Each will end up with a very different set of images, this is as it should be, one size doesn’t fit all in the world of personal branding.
Give a little thought to the way in which you dress and where the photos will be taken if this is to be a location shoot (sometimes the environment in which you set your portrait can help you tell the story of your business in a way that a simple shot against a white background will never be able to). All the elements in the portrait should gel, hence the lawyer will look right photographed in the library, in front of the court, with more sombre, muted colours in terms of clothing and buildings whereas the salvage yard owner could convey essential information about his business by being photographed in its midst. In this example he dressed to enhance his brand.
3 This is a big one! Ladies, especially professionals, book a hair appointment! Don’t do anything drastic as you need to look like you, but a finished polished look is what you are aiming for. Wear some make up too…this will help your photographs enormously. Remember your photographer can only do so much….they can put you in the right light, help with positioning of the body etc but they can’t overcome a badly fitting suit, poorly applied make up or a bad hair day.
This goes for the guys too….think about your suit, is it clean and well cut, and have a shave (if you are normally clean shaven) Again weigh up what you propose to wear, does it portray the real you and at the same time enhance your personal brand?
4 Find a photographer with whom you “gel.” Try to meet up beforehand or at the very least have a chat on the phone. Do they listen and are they receptive to your ideas? Are they willing to collaborate with you because at the end of the day you should see the process as just that, a collaboration.