A picture paints a thousand words…..

Have you ever trawled through social media and made snap decisions about someone purely based on how their picture looks?  A simple search on Linkedin reveals a vast array of, dare I say it, scary, unprofessional profile pics that are totally unsuitable for anyone trying to promote a business or a career.
Are you uncomfortable with the thought of having your professional picture taken?  Have you ever felt that photographs do not do you justice?  Perhaps you have to have a professional portrait taken for business or for social media and dread the thought.
While being photogenic comes naturally to some people, for most, it can be a bit of an ordeal.  There are a few tricks that can help anyone look better in photos.  Here our top tips:

1. Smile! Don’t overdo it, but a smiling image is proven to help people connect easier.  Try and not look too serious or stern – people will find it difficult to bond with you.
2. Dress conservatively and wear clothes that are appropriate for business.  Avoid anything too tight, shiny or revealing.
3. For men, ensure that you shirt collar is pristine.  Ensure it is not too tight or too loose.  Ensure that the tie is tied properly ie the knot of the tie is sitting right up against the stand of the collar.
4. If you do wear glasses, ensure that the lenses are non-reflective.  It is essential that the viewer can see the eyes directly.
5. Do use a professional photographer with an established reputation and track record.
6. Dress in solid colours – avoid patterns as they can be distracting and can date quite quickly. Find out what colours suit you best as this will have a huge impact on either complementing your own natural colouring or draining you of all natural colour.
7. Bring some changes of jackets for variety.  For guys, bring some alternative ties as these can really change the look of any portrait.
8. Ladies should opt for a make-up that gives definition, but that is not overdone. I would suggest a professional make-up suitable for studio lights.  Avoid shine.
9. For the guys, some minimum studio make-up can even out skin tone and disguise shadows.  You should also consider having your photo session done in the morning, to avoid any ’5 o’clock’ shadow.  If needed, bring your shaving kit.
10. Good posture can dramatically improve your image.  Upright, straight posture looks a lot more energetic.  Remember to breathe if you are feeling uncomfortable and drop those shoulders.
11. It is amazing what the camera can pick up.  A neat hair style is essential.  Also for the guys, pay particular attention to nasal hair, ear hair, and neck hair.  (Sorry, but it has to be said!).
12. Keep re-touching of photographs to an absolutely minimum.  It can be spotted a mile away!  It is important to project a polished image so, remove any stray hairs, fluff, blemishes etc.
Finally, be relaxed and while it might sound corny, try and think happy thoughts – it will make a huge difference – you will have lots of shots taken and you will have the pick of the bunch at the end of the session.  It will be well worth the effort!

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