We all know that we shouldn’t make snap impressions, but the reality is that this is what most people do. All the research data shows that it takes only one tenth of one second to form our first impression of a stranger. This impression is largely based on what we see in a person’s face and significantly affects how we will treat that person and think about them going forward. Professional portraits are an essential part of any modern legitimate business. Corporate headshots and LinkedIn headshots are now a crucial part of professional photography because they are a crucial part a professional business practice. Here’s why you need professional portraits and some tips for getting the best.
You Need to Seem Trustworthy and Competent
There are two things we’re looking for when we make that snap judgment about a person we’re thinking of doing business with. First, we want to know whether they are competent. Second, we are very interested in whether we can trust them. In fact, studies have shown that 80% to 90% of our first impressions are based on our perception of these two qualities. You need professional portraits that cast you in this light.
You Need to Be Real
In the digital age we are all acutely aware of the fact that people may not be in reality what they seem to be online. We joke about how that gorgeous 19-year-old our friend is chatting back and forth with could actually be an overweight, 45-year-old man in someone’s basement. Much more seriously, it’s crucial that your business seem legitimate and that you have a real digital identity. Having professional portraits online is an important way of establishing that legitimate identity and protecting it.
Professional Portraits Make Your Website More Professional
Consistent images of everyone at your place of work conveys an invaluable aura of professionalism that adds legitimacy to everything you do. After all, if you care enough to get this thing right, potential customers will assume that you’ll care about getting their things right, too.
You Enhance Your Marketing
Branding is everything and consistent professional portraits can be linked to your brand and your face. This increases your collateral and allows you to be instantly recognizable across media platforms.
How Do I Get Professional Portraits Right?
Headshot photographers everywhere offer professional portraits, but you want to look for photographers established in this field with an excellent portfolio of professional photos that they can point you to. It is going to cost some money, but that’s to be expected, and if you go to cheap you’re not going to get good results. Here are some other things it’s good to know:
- You should get new headshots after you change your look If you’ve done something significant such as shaved off a beard or cut your hair, it’s a good idea to get a fresh set of headshots. Few things are more devastating than having people expect to see one thing and get something very different.
- KISS You know what that stands for: keep it simple, stupid. The best professional portraits are crisp, clean, and simple. Things on neutral backgrounds look best on mobile devices or small screens, and too much clutter distracts the viewer from the focus: you.
- Be confident Your professional photographer can tell you where to stand, can adjust your clothes, and can even help you with makeup if you want. But they cannot simply give you confidence. You have to bring that with you, and if you feel incompetent you will certainly come across as incompetent in your photographs. That being said, listen to the advice of your photographer about the best way of conveying that confidence in a shot.
A LinkedIn profile with photos gets 40% more responses and 11 times the views of profiles that have no photos. That alone should tell you something about how important professional portraits are to conveying who you are and what you stand for. One of the best business moves you can make is to go get professional portraits done and up online today.