CC eNews: How to Prepare For Your Professional Portrait Session
Welcome to Camera Creations’ latest CC eNews from our series of photography tips at home. Well...not really at home...as restrictions are easing (HOORAY!!) it’s finally safe to start getting out and about and some of us are beginning to get back to business. Now may be the ideal time to invest in your professional business portrait!
Trust me, with a brand new head-shot that you’re confident with, it will feel like a fresh start.
We’ve been capturing plenty of business portraits lately. Maybe you’ve changed careers, looking for a new role or just had some downtime to realise your LinkedIn head-shot is so outdated that it doesn’t quite resemble you anymore?
Recent stats show a professional LinkedIn profile picture is viewed by prospective employers x20 times more than those without, so that’s just one reason why it’s essential to get this right.
But before we go any further - PLEASE “do NOT try this at home”! Of course, selfies and social phone snaps are lots of fun and they definitely have their place - however, for business purposes, a portrait captured by an experienced professional photographer is the only way to go.
After all - you only get one shot to make a first impression so you will want to make it a good one!
Within this topic we’ve listed a few of the main tips we normally share with our clients before they have their portrait session with us.
How to Prepare for Your Professional Portrait Session
You may use this image for your CV, website, for LinkedIn or your personalised email signature. It’s how prospective clients, employers, and other business people will identify you and decide, sometimes without a meeting, that they want to work with you.
Having an authentic, quality headshot that’s clearly representative of your best “you” will speak volumes about you and what you stand for – so put your best face forward!
Here are some helpful tips to consider, before your session;
1. It's All About YOU
Think about what you plan to use your professional portrait for and how you want to present yourself.
Do you want your image to reflect a corporate style or a more casual approach?
In the below examples, my client’s career and therefore her brand image changed significantly from a corporate manager in hospitality to a gym owner - so we updated her portrait accordingly.
Make sure you discuss with your Photographer both the purpose of your portrait and the message you want to convey, well in advance of the session.
2. What Shall I Wear?
For the purpose of this blog, let’s use your LinkedIn profile shot as an example.
Dress in a way which you feel best represents both you and your job industry/prospects.
Generally a light/white background compliments most people’s skin-tone and makes you ‘pop’ on the screen.
So we recommend choosing neutral colours like brown, charcoal, blues, dark green (rather than bright red, orange or hot pink) and a lighter coloured shirt/top with a darker blazer or suit jacket.
Avoid wearing bold stripes, checks, dots and busy prints, they are confusing and do not photograph well - this includes scarves. Patterns are OK, as long as they’re not too distracting.
Long sleeve shirts (for both men and women) are always more flattering for your portrait if not wearing a jacket. And unless you’re Steve Jobs, skip the turtleneck for today!
You also want to be somewhat comfortable in what you’re wearing or your picture will look stiff and unnatural. But be aware of clothing that wrinkles easily as that will look sloppy and unprofessional.
3. Keep It Simple
Loud, colourful ties and flashy jewellery divert attention from your face. Stick with simple and elegant.
If you normally wear glasses, definitely take them with you - your photographer may ask you to slightly tilt them to avoid reflection. Try a few shots both with and without glasses to see what’s preferred.
Gents, likewise if you would normally wear a tie in your line of work, then do so for your portrait - if not, give it a miss but still, dress smart casual.
4. Hair & Makeup
Sometimes a professional portrait session will include a hairstylist and make-up artist.
If that’s not the case (and regardless, for best hygiene practices), BYO hairbrush/comb and foundation face powder - which is ideal for reducing shine during the shoot!
Wear make-up as you would for a job interview - so enough to make a difference but not too overpowering.
If you “never wear makeup” just wear some foundation as this will help even out your skin tone.
Oh, and another tip (also for the guys) - don’t cut your hair the day before your shoot! The camera picks up minor details and it will look like you just got a haircut.
5. Relax, Smile & Enjoy!
Remember to smile from within. During the shoot, think of your next dream holiday or how you would feel if you just ran into a good friend on a nice sunny day at the beach.
Have fun with the process and remember you’re having a photo session, not a board meeting.
An experienced photographer will do their best to help you to feel comfortable and relaxed on the day!
Post-ISO CC Special Portrait Offer:
Do you or your team need updated business portraits?
Want Some More Portraiture Inspo?
If you enjoy viewing portraiture, make sure you check out the amazing annual Head On Photo Awards and Festival, normally held in various venues throughout Sydney - this year for the first time held virtually.
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