I was watching a documentary about Alan Eustace’s free fall from the strastosphere to earth…and up pops a head shot of an Inventor, Biosphearian, Space Entrepreneur, CEO, all-around badass…then a cut to an interview with her. Here is a side-by-side comparison of her head shot (left) and her interview (right). The disconnect is shocking.
This problem shows up all the time on business cards, websites and brochures – people don’t look like their photo or the photo doesn’t relate to their work. Too much retouching, the wrong clothes, glamour makeup, uncomfortable weird poses all send the wrong message. When you don’t look like your photo, people won’t recognize you when they see you in person, and worse – they won’t trust you because you misrepresented yourself. When your photo doesn’t relate to your work, you give the impression that you are an amateur or don’t take your work seriously.
Here is another head shot I found online that would have been a better choice. Why is it better? Because she looks like herself, she is wearing business attire and the setting reflects her business and scientific expertise.
Many people rely on a photographer to advise them. Keep in mind that photographers specialize in different kinds of photography – adventure, artistic, bridal, catalogue, corporate, documentary, editorial, etc. The photographer can give you information about what typically works best for their style of photography. The bad news is, it’s not the photographer’s job to make sure your clothes, makeup, and set up reflect you, your expertise or your business. It’s your job to choose the right photographer, communicate the message you want delivered in the photograph, show up with the right clothes and grooming to deliver that message, and approve the degree and type of touch up that is applied to your photographs.