Your website’s ready, your professional profile is set up on social media and you’re ready to launch your business to the wider world.
But there’s one key part of your online presence which you absolutely must get right (and so many people overlook). Your professional photograph.
This is the face you’re presenting to absolutely anyone who seeks you out on the internet. So that’s potential clients, competitors, current customers – and all your ex-partners and old pals. Which means you want to look amazing but in the right kind of way.
Get the right look
The main goal in your professional photograph is to look friendly and approachable. You want it to reflect not only your personality but also say something about your company, service or product and its ethos.
In that first couple of seconds when someone comes to your website (or looks at your printed material) they will have some preconceived ideas about who you are. So you need to make them feel confident that you are the girl for them, or have the product to fix whatever their need/problem/question is.
This means looking neat and professional but also attractive in a non-sexual way. Yes your old boyfriends might be Googling you and you want them to see you looking great, but this is more about creating the right professional presence.
It’s the subtle things that help create this image so here are my top tips:
Avoid black. It’s ageing and draining (unless you’re black haired and olive skinned). Yes it’s slimming, but we have photography skills for that. If you must wear black, take along a neutral/alternative on your shoot to compare.
Steer clear of trendy or loud pieces. Unless of course you’re actively trying to stand out as an eccentric!
Look like yourself. Or at least your interview/meeting self. If you always wear glasses, keep them on in your photo. If you never wear your hair up, don’t get a fancy French twist because you think it looks more glamorous.
Tell your photographer your expectations and intentions. You’ll need to let them know the kind of look you want and chat about colours and styling.
Drink lots of water. Along with plenty of rest, this will help avoid dark circles under your eyes.
Avoid alcohol. Your skin might not look its best after a night on the town, so stay off the booze the night before your session.
Choose your clothes wisely. Darker clothes attract less attention and put the focus on your face and eyes, solid colours are great and busy patterns or large stripes are a real no no (as is glitter).
Play to your strengths. If you want to emphasise blue, green or hazel eyes wear similar colour clothes (or try turquoise).
Experiment with necklines. These can dramatically change the apparent shape of your face. Bring a variety of tops to see what works best (but avoid turtlenecks as these crowd your face).
Forget your feet. Don’t worry too much about shoes unless you specifically want a full-length look.
Bin the bling. Keep jewellery extremely simple – small is better – and avoid anything that will distract attention from your face.
Keep make up minimal. You’re going for a clean, natural look. One tip though is to wear a heavy layer of translucent powder to help your face appear flawless and shine free. If you’re wearing lipstick, don’t overdo it. Line your lips first, then dip a cotton bud in powder and run along your lip line to stop the colour from bleeding.
Lose your sparkle. Anything that shimmers will show up on your face (and not in a good way). This includes moisturisers and foundations with an SPF, as these products have anti-reflecting properties that can cause nasty highlights.
Stick to what you know. Don’t get a new haircut just before the shoot, or try out new product on your hair, face or body. If something doesn’t suit you, the time to discover this is after your photoshoot!
Your professional photographer will be able to bring out the best in you using their skills, but following these tips will help make sure you’re looking perfectly professional and ready to launch yourself to the cyber community!