Isn’t it time that you refreshed your corporate portrait? Are you using the same old shapshot on your LinkedIn profile, your website’s “About” page, your Facebook profile and your company brochure? Well, I hate to be the one to tell you, but you have aged, your business has changed, your hairstyle is way hipper now and it’s time to redo that old portrait of yours so that you can properly sell your product, yourself and your business to all of those millions of prospective clients on the web.
If you are like most people, you probably don’t like to have your picture taken, let alone shared all over the internet. But instead of focusing on your discomfort, try thinking about your corporate portrait as one important tool in telling the story of your business. Effective portraits aren’t just depictions of what you look like, they share some insight into your personality, your business, your passion and your day to day work. This isn’t school picture day – your prospective customers don’t just want to remember what you looked like in 2011. They want to know you.
One important tool in your portrait toolbox is your background – it can say a surprising amount about you, your work and your life. I always brainstorm with clients to come up with a background that makes sense for them. Instead of relying on a white or gray studio backdrop, I shoot on location to incorporate a background that illustrates who my clients are and what they do. For example, if my client invests in urban real estate, I might choose to photograph her in downtown Boston with high-rises looming behind her. If she is a farmer, we would want to get as far away from high-rise buildings as possible! The woman pictured here owns a home staging company that rents furniture and decor to real estate agents. We photographed her in her warehouse, surrounded by her huge inventory. What kind of backdrop would help tell your story?
Another important tool to consider is what you are wearing. And I don’t just mean stripes versus solid colors. I mean how does your clothing tell a story about your work? If you are a legislator, you probably wear a suit to work everyday, so you should be photographed wearing a suit. If you’re a graphic designer you probably don’t wear a suit, so why would you dress up for your portrait? The clothing you wear is another aspect of your story, so dress for your corporate portrait the same way that you dress for an average workday. This man is a therapist. He’s wearing a corduroy jacket without a tie. How different would he look in a suit with a bow tie and suspenders?
Photos on the internet are seen by thousands, if not millions, of people, and your corporate portrait needs to be more than just this-is-what-I-look-like. It needs to say something about you and your business.
This spring, take the time to make a corporate portrait that stands out.