The value of professional profile photos

Good presentation across your website and social media networks is essential. One of the most important aspects of any profile is the immediate visual: your photograph.

On social media some companies use a logo. A logo can be acceptable for recognised brands (McDonalds, Nike), but a photograph is much more approachable.

Photographs generate so much more engagement.

The photograph should be a good photograph. One to cause a positive effect. Visitors judge you and your company in less than half a second.

You are your business and your photo should reflect that.

Your business is your personality, your knowledge and your passion.

Use the same or similar photos across your website and all social channels to give continuity. People then recognise you; this is branding.

Use a professional photographer

I highly value professional profile photos, with a professional photographer.

A good photographer will easily relax you during the shoot and can suggest poses and backgrounds that work.

They will get the right focus on your face, in the right lighting and will edit the photos before they send them to you.

Many photographers take portrait photos specifically for social media. Seek a good one who has some experience with social media photography.

Setting the scene for your profile photo

The setting makes all the difference and adds to that instant impression.

You could try taking shots inside your shop, restaurant, public house, workshop or office; setting the scene of your business.

You could try physically doing your job to get the right shot, but make sure you look at the camera.

You can be yourself, be your business.

I am outdoorsy and I love to travel. There was no question for me that my social media photos should be taken outside.

Approachable Website Designer

What to wear in your social media shoot

What should I wear? What should I do with my hair? What will give the right impression to my followers?

Avoid wearing anything that obstructs your face, like sunglasses. Get your hair out of your face. Avoid wearing anything ‘sexy’.

Hats can obstruct the eyes, so don’t wear one unless this gives value to the impression, like a chefs hat.

Wearing a uniform can instantly represent what you do for a living, like a nurse or a fire fighter. You may wear a suit to work.

However if you never wear one I do not advise putting a power suit on just for the camera. You give the wrong impression. Try to be yourself.

Obviously it depends how you would like to portray your business but I went for my everyday look. I felt comfortable. I want people to feel they can relate to me.

The social media photo shoot

Avoid being in hysterics, but ‘teeth smiles’ really work. Think how you want to encourage people to work with you, how you want to help them.

Try to be approachable. Dominant or aggressive looking photos can be off putting.

You are really looking for a head and shoulder shot, close enough to see your face even when it is a very small avatar.

I took advantage of the time and my photographer took full shots as well. I suggest some props so that you have somewhere to put your hands, or as mentioned earlier, simply do your job.

These will be great for your website!

Social media shoot; the outcome

My photographer, Steve Hicks, was quick to upload the edited photos to his website, where I could log in and see my shots. From there I can download or print them.

I think my shots give a feeling of who I am and I appear approachable.

For the Oxfordshire UK area contact Steve Hicks of Squib Photography, Witney, Oxfordshire.

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