Perception is often reality, as the old saying goes. It’s important to set an identity to get the desired brand image. Image is what people perceive of you and your brand, whereas identity is what you want to be portrayed as. Believe it or not, the power to influence and convince the world about your business lies in your hand. A smart way to go visual in your branding approach is to get a professional photoshoot done. How you look in a picture with your professional business profile and contact information is sometimes the first time a person will actually see you. And when they look at your picture, what will their perception be about you? If you don’t have a professional photo, people will often come to the conclusion that you don’t take your career seriously and you may not be very professional yourself.
Convinced, but unsure of how to go about it? Here’s a list of pointers to keep in mind when suiting up to get yourself clicked:
Plan – Your Requirements
Do a little research before you actually stand in front of the camera. Refer to some corporate shoots and decide what you want, and how you want it to be – will it be an indoor or outdoor shoot, are there going to be head shots or full body shots? Don’t wait until the shoot to decide on how you want it to go.
Send the photographer a few references, so he has clarity on what you’re expecting from the shoot. This way, you’re also being respectful towards the photographer; you’re allowing them as much time to prepare for the shoot. Planning ahead of time, will save time at the shoot, and you’ll end up with the best results.
Picture – Your Business
Your shoot will not only represent ‘you’, but also your ‘business’. Body language is hugely significant in business portraits. After all, when a prospect sees your business portrait online, they will make assumptions based on what’s in front of them. And that includes reading details into your body language. What’s that conveying?
Your portrait should be in sync with your business, or at least the industry you’re in. If it’s media, exhibit poise, if it’s manufacturing, showcase sincerity. To ensure your business portrait is adding to your brand, practice a few poses in front of the mirror and find out which smile suits you best.
Style – Yourself
Go with the “office look” for your corporate photo shoot. Tailored suits with a sharp dress shirt is what you should pick out. The fit is truly the most important thing about the outfits you pick – it can make or break the look.
When unsure, play safe. Go for something classic – suits in black, greys, browns, and blues. Try to stick with solid colours. Shirts can be white or coloured, as long as the crisp and clean look is maintained. For ties, carry at least three options, one that compliment the shirts in your shoot wardrobe. Red, blue, purple and black ties are good colours for such photoshoots. Don’t go for busy, multicoloured prints, or stripes, or loud, neon colours. After all, you want your face to be the centre of focus. It’s a corporate photoshoot, and it is confidence and professionalism that should be reflected more than anything.
Match your belt with the shoes, and carry a few options along, for the socks. Keep your accessories minimum as you don’t want to shift focus from your face. Make sure your hair is picture-ready. Visit the barber a couple days prior to the corporate photoshoot, to ensure that you look your best. Speaking of clipping, if you have a stache or beard, be sure to get a trim done as well.
Interact – To Ease Your Way
The best way to tackle nervousness and hold a confident expression is to keep conversing with the photographer. A good photographer will try to make you comfortable and ease out your anxiety. If that doesn’t happen, try to build chemistry between you two by taking the initiative. While interacting, keep the 3P’s in mind – posture, pose and position.
Smile – To Look Approachable
Smile always engages people. It shows that you are well disposed when it comes down to your business.
Although, you might want to discover which angle gets you the perfect smile that compliments your facial features. Avoid asymmetrical and polite smiles. Work with your front camera to bring out your genuine smile
If you’re concerned about your less-than-perfect teeth, it will be fixed by your photographer. So go ahead and smile for the camera!
Exchange Feedback – To Achieve the Best Results
You know your needs better than anyone else, even the photographer. See the pictures at intervals so you know what’s going wrong and how you can improvise. Keep a check on details like a protruding hair, a crease on your shirt or a displaced tie. If you want some changes, don’t talk technical in terms of lighting, background or angle. Give directions in simple words, like “I want to look taller”. Hence a photographer would know a lower angle would do exactly that.
Shortlist – The Best Shots
Have a look at the pictures as soon as you’re done with the photoshoot. Shortlist a fair number of pictures, so you have options later. This also saves the photographer time – he wouldn’t waste time touching up images you’re sure to not use. Select variations with respect to background, colours, expressions and postures. Do not select only the ‘definitely’s, but also the ‘maybe’s – you can always do a keep-or-delete later.
Rectify – The Not So Good
If you feel like something is missing or you want to redo a shot, ask the photographer to do a quick retake. Do not hesitate.
Pack up – Responsibly
Pack everything like you’re going for another shoot. Check if you have left anything behind. Don’t forget to discuss the details with the photographer before you leave. And be grateful, thank the photographer.