There are several maxims that I follow closely when it comes to professional business photography. The most important regarding portraits is that logos provide recognition and faces capture trust. Do you call upon your customers in lazy-Saturday comfy pants and a sports Jersey? Of course not. A professional appearance enhances your approach, and a professional image in print and digital advertisements is the first time a new client will ever see you. And thus is the mystery of modern business portrait photography.
In the cell-phone world, where everyone has a camera and that camera can do a lot of neat stuff, it still is not enough. Cell-phone cameras rely on computational imaging - it guesses what you want the image to look like. The processor decides what to do with the image, and the algorithms of those processors assume that you are probably taking a selfie. In front of something. Or in a bar. And they do that because that is how 90% of those images are taken. Yes, with time and practice, the images can look pretty good, but few take that time, and even fewer do the practice.
The difference is noticeable, and it is a rare time that someone prefers the cell-phone image to a professional portrait.
Why on earth is this still relevant? Take some time to browse LinkedIn profiles (if you are a member of that Business Professional Networking social media platform) - a few minutes will show you how relevant it is. Half of those profiles (perhaps more) have been taken with arm outstretched, just like this awful selfie of yours truly.
No matter what is written in those employment profiles, that chunky, vaguely blurred image is the first thing you saw. And, you made a judgement.
How many hiring managers have dismissed the perfect employee because they did not make that first split-second positive visual impression? How many well-qualified prospects have lost out on a great opportunity to an equally-qualified competitor for a position?
How many sales have slipped through your fingers because - as far as the outside world is concerned - your sales staff is merely a name on an otherwise blank card or brochure because there are no staff photos at all?
Professional business portrait photography makes a difference, and it's surprising how many people ignore this aspect of promoting themselves - especially since a good headshot costs considerably less than a suit jacket.
These questions may be uncomfortable, but we are in a competitive world, selling ourselves, our brand, and our products.
How you choose to handle that first impression - to seal the deal - is up to you.