Whilst having an online profile can never recreate meeting someone in person, a good picture enables people to put a face to your name, builds trust and can help form a favourable first impression.
Doren Gabriel, founder of headshot specialists DG-Corporate, has taken more than 10,000 headshots during his career and has worked with the likes of Gallup and The Cherie Blair Foundation.
Here he gives his top tips on how to make the most of your business profile picture:
Reflect your personality
Successful business people become so because they have a specific trait which makes them stand out from the crowd so think about what yours is and try and communicate it in the picture. Maybe you’re a great communicator, maybe you understand how to motivate people, whatever your single biggest strength is find a way to express it. People do business with people, so be yourself.
Lots of people think getting the perfect business shot is a case of sitting down and smiling for a few minutes but if you really want to look your best then try and be as natural as possible, literally.
Even if you’re a slave to the caffeine give it a miss on the morning of the shoot. Hot drinks can make you look sweaty, even flustered, so instead drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated.
Keep your food intake light and healthy as if you’re feeling bloated or tired it will come across in the picture.
Practice makes perfect
It might sound counter-intuitive to practice a natural pose but most photographers are working against the clock so you need to be ready for them as soon as you sit down. Look in the mirror and find a pose which looks natural yet professional and if you can’t find one keep trying until you do.
Make the effort
It’s important to make sure you look as professional during the shoot so be sure to remove all oil and grease from your skin and hair. Also whilst you think it might make you look healthier you need to avoid spray tans at all costs!
Some studios provide hair and make-up stylists and no matter how good you think you are at doing it yourself I’d say go in natural and let the professionals do their work.
Choose colours carefully
When it comes to clothes simplicity is key. Mid-tone colours (red, orange, yellow, green, blue) work best and try to avoid any busy patterns which will distract people from looking at your face.
Lots of people turn up wearing white but the colour tends to wash out against the background so make sure you have some other colours on hand to compliment this.
Get your head down
Getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done for many busy business people but try and get as much rest as possible the night before your shoot. Nobody wants to do business with somebody who looks exhausted and turning up feeling refreshed and awake will really come across in the picture.