I’m a big believer in personalizing business. We live in a world filled with faceless mammoth corporations that you really can’t compete with on price. What’s a small business owner to do??
Well, we need to focus on our strengths. And our strength is ourselves.
So show yourself. Make sure you have a photo of yourself on your website. Let your clients see the person they will be dealing with!
This is our most often used profile photo. I love it because we’re both really smiling, and we’re interacting with each other, which I think shows what we’re really like together in person.
Taken by our wonderful friend, James Day
Why You Should Have A Photo Of Yourself
When you meet a new client, or a colleague, and they recognize you as soon as they see you, that’s a win. There’s a sense of familiarity instantly, and you’ve already jumped one hurdle in getting them comfortable with you. Comfort and trust are huge when it comes to portrait photography (and many, many other businesses!), so it’s wise to find all the ways you can to build that before you even meet! If they aren’t even sure you’re the photographer because they’ve never seen your face, well, that’s not an ideal situation.
If you really try to put some of your personality into the image, they will get a sense that they “know” you. They don’t just know what you look like, but what you will be like in person. We get a lot emails from people who tell us that they believe our personalities will mesh with theirs, because they feel like they know a bit about who we are. We’ve never met these people, or talked with them, but they already like us. As a photographer that is immeasurably valuable. I want clients who I will connect with, because the experience and final product will be better. Simple.
Decreased likelihood of anger:
It’s far easier to get angry with a faceless entity than a human being. That’s one reason emails are very dangerous in dealing with emotional issues. But that’s a post for another day! If people know who you are, and what you look like, they’re far more likely to treat you like another human being with feelings than just a company. We all know companies don’t have feelings, but people do. So show them you are a person!
How to Choose Your Photo
Keep these things in mind to choose a photo that will make potential clients look forward to working with you.
Show your face:
Yeah, that sounds a bit obvious, but I’ve seen many photos where it’s actually difficult to make out the face of the photographer in question. Human beings automatically respond to a human face in a photo, and they’ll connect with it. They won’t connect quite so much with the back of your head, as much as you might love that dramatic “walking into the sunset” shot of yourself.
Along the same lines, people respond the images of smiling faces on a subconscious level. They are more likely to elicit a positive attitude towards the person in question, the company in question, and are more likely to intend to patronize and recommend the company. (Source)
A nice, solid portrait is always great, but if you have the chance, think of ways to infuse the image with your personality. Like I said, our strength is ourselves, and the more ways you can show what makes you unique, the more chance you have to stand out in a very saturated market.
Make sure it’s pro:
The difference between a professional photo and a point-and-shoot image of you at your cousin’s lake is huge. If you have a business then take it seriously, and make sure that photo of yourself is top notch quality. Take it yourself with a tripod and a remote, get a photographer friend to take one for you, or hire another photographer. Whatever you do, make sure it’s a great image of yourself. It is, in the end, your first impression on a potential client.
So, if you don’t have a photo of yourself on your website, go get one! And if you do have a photo of yourself, make sure to take a peek again, and reconsider what it might be saying to your clients. Make sure the message is what you want!