Well hellooooo there! Today’s post is a public service announcement about photographic first impressions and what never ceases to amaze me. Multitudes of us “meet” one another online before we get the chance (if ever) to interact. You would think that when it comes to my fellow entrepreneurs and business professionals in particular, we would all present our best selves online. However, that’s often not the case. In my experience surfing the internet, people by and large focus heavily on the written word in the form of online resumes or web site “About” page bios, and then fail miserably at presenting a flattering, well produced photo of themselves. I just don’t get it. I will never get it. It’s like showing up to a long standing conservative corporate law office for a job interview wearing worn sneakers and a baseball hat. If you don’t believe that every single person in that office meeting that job candidate doesn’t within 2 seconds formulate some sort of negative opinion/first impression about that person then this PSA is not for you. Yet people post photos of themselves online that don’t match the work that they’re seeking or the brand that they’re presenting by way of words.
Now, this doesn’t mean professional photographers are exclusively capable of produce flattering, acceptable photos to be used for business purposes. I’m referring to the umpteen unflattering, inappropriate photos of both job seekers and gainfully employed people alike, that need to find their way off the internet and make room for awesome and more importantly, appropriate photos. Goodbye selfies taken on a boat at high noon on a blindingly sunny day with light so harsh half the person’s face is covered by a hat and sunglasses. Sayonara to professional photos taken 15 years and 20 pounds ago. Toodleloo sexy photo that may be flattering but also irrefutably inappropriate for a corporate job seeker. So many bad photos, so little time people!
Case in point: This before and after exactly illustrates what I’ve been writing about. Here is a budding entrepreneur, who actually values professional photography, not to mention flattering photos. However, in her haste to post a photo of herself online to put a face to the accompanying well-prepared written content that needed to be published right away, she took a selfie. Not just any selfie, but an unflattering one at that, and she’s the first one to admit it. Full disclosure here – this woman is a dear friend of mine. When I saw the photo I contacted her immediately and told her we’d take a new photo of her – yesterday. Technical issues aside, the photo simply doesn’t represent the vibrant, smart, passionate, beautiful person that she is and it truly made me a bit crazy! Not to mention, she works in the beauty and health industry and the selfie didn’t show off how healthy and beautiful she is. This is what I’m talking about when it comes to a disconnect between the written word and photographic portraits. My opinion is one thing however here’s what my lovely friend had to say about the experience, “Having a headshot done with Nataworry was simple, relaxed and fun! Renata made it easy to get a fantastic shot, and it’s made such a difference creating a professional looking website. I highly recommend her and the difference a headshot can make.”
Hopefully this message will resonate with people to clean up their photo act online. To be excited at the prospect of putting a beautiful, accurate, appropriate photo of themselves out there for the world to see and get to know.