“Its one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.” — Paul Caponigro
This weekend was World Photo Day when photographers across the globe were encouraged to “share their world with the world”.
Photos can say a lot – maybe a thousand words – so this USP Your Monday we’re asking: what does your professional profile picture say about you?
People Are Judging Your Book By the Cover
“A good portrait ought to tell something of the subject’s past and suggest something of his future.” – Bill Brandt
A survey conducted among attendees at a UK Business Expo found that two out of three people take a profile photo into account when deciding whether to connect on LinkedIn.
Indeed former White House photographer Tracey Atlee says:
“There is a lot of psychology behind a good business portrait. … You should look pleasant, trustworthy, natural, confident, and impressive.”
Are You Making a Bad First Photo Impression?
If you’re the guy who thinks using that death-defying snowboard pic taken by the plane that dropped you off the precipice makes you look confident think again.
It turns out getting the perfect professional portrait is kind of Zen: you need to fake natural and squint for friendly. Who knew!?
Quick Hacks to Elevate Your Profile
Check out these photographer top tips on getting the ideal professional profile pic:
- First, dress to impress – that means smart but sector, or role, appropriate style (ie, you don’t have to don a suit if you’re a chef) and non-fussy hair and accessories
- Second, find a suitable backdrop – definitely clean, ideally monotone (we want to see you not that wallpaper)
- And, make sure the light is flattering – you don’t want to look like Hannibal Lecter. Light can do that you know…
- Remember: your face should ideally take up about 60% of the image
- Use a suitable expression – think friendly and smile with your eyes. Peter Hurley, a photographer interviewed by the NY Times Gadgetwise blog advises doing a Clint Eastwood squint for a confident expression. He says: “The real trick is to squint the lower lids only.” He goes on to say: “In my opinion, fear and uncertainty comes from the eyes.”
- Don’t use all those Kardashian Insta filters – it’ll look fake and you may wind up being unrecognisable (bad move if you score an interview…)
- Think of yourself as a brand – aim to use the same profile image on all social media channels for coherence (and so we know it’s definitely you)
For more on personal branding check out OUR GUIDE HERE. So, are you ready for your close up?!
Get in touch:
Want extra support to move toward where you want to go in your career? Need guidance on how to best position yourself for that job? Any particular issues or insights? Let us know!