Put your Best Face Forward

Put your Best Face Forward

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Here is a must-have in today’s vibrant new marketplace of Internet platforms and social media – a great profile headshot photograph for your promotional material, bio and social networking sites.  And I don’t just mean a clean picture of you – I mean a dynamic picture of you that expresses your brand identity in your unique way.

Some people contend that attention to the niceties of your photograph is vanity and only for those of us who are conceited egomaniacs. Perhaps.But, consider this; in this fast-paced world of professionals that grows with new entrants each day, isn’t it important to have tools that help people to connect with you and remember you.

Facial perception is wired deeply inside every human mind.  The face is an important site for the recognition and identification of others and conveys significant social information. If I can’t really see you, how can I connect with you?

Taking the best image

A great headshot should showcase you looking your sincere best.  To create the shot needn’t cost a bundle. I took my first set of profile pictures at home with a simple Panasonic digital camera.  Here’s how I did it;

  • I collected dozens of pictures from professional magazines and the internet – finding profile pictures that really appealed to me.
  • I carefully identified what I liked about each picture; the angle of the person’s face, the colours , the amount of open space in the picture, the show of hands, a smile or movement, the angle of the picture.
  • I carefully noted how individuals were dressed in the pictures. What message does a business suite, a patterned top or jewellery convey?
  • I selected the best time of the day to take photographs – early dawn – when the natural light is most flattering.   I used a simple backdrop so that that background did not detract from the portrait.
  • I asked a friend to help – someone to make me laugh and feel less self-conscious.
  • I positioned the camera on a tripod and started shooting, experimenting with each shot, fine-tuning my angle and the camera angle to match to the elements that I had chosen.
  • When I had a reasonably large amount of pictures, I down-loaded to PC for final selection.

There are easier ways! There are a host of fine professional photographers who can work with you to create a headshot that is an honest and flattering expression of you and your brand.  So, if you need to, pay a professional to get it done.  Let’s face it – putting your best face forward is a precious investment in your business and personal brand.

Michelle Clarke
Michelle Clarke is a Leadership, Expat and Executive Coach with a speciality in Personal Branding. A South African by birth, she is currently based in Santiago de Chile while she coaches clients across the globe using Skype and other web based platforms. She is a lover of photography, animals and all things tech. Visit www.motivcoach.com or www.portablepro.me for more details.