Photos in the executive world 101:
Did you know 90% of published photos in newspapers and magazines come directly from PR companies?
Why use photos? “A photo is worth a thousand words.”
A “hero shot” on the website means a “surfer” becomes a visitor.
Credibility of key execs & key personnel is enhanced by their photo, as long as it is good one.
By presenting senior execs and key staff in photos as confident, business-like and trustworthy new clients and shareholders will be more comfortable & trusting going into their first visit or first phone call.
Don’t believe Editors or sub-editors when they ask for “a quick photo” to be sent over.
Photos are about Branding and Image control. Try to find a bad photo of Kylie Minogue. Her management control the release of her images (and therefore her Brand)
We use photos in companies for news items, press releases, advertise new events based on last years events. Internal newsletters, external industry specific publications, introducing clients to new staff or a new service. Showing clients we are variously business-like, or more human or more community minded by changing the Look of the photo.
Third party photo libraries. Very commonly used, very handy. Good quality.
Cons: Not specific to your business and your corporate style/ branding. Does not show your substantial offices nor introduce your staff to new potential clients.
What makes a good exec port? See examples on our website. If you need to do it in-house see hints below.
Overall I recommend you start developing your own corporate photo library. Treat photos as assets and make sure the collection is centralized. Make sure the corporate look is consistent through all the images.
Low cost hints for better executive portraits.
No matter how good our resume there is always a human face that helps puts your case forward. Here is a low cost summary of "not to do hints" for better corporate photos.
Prisoner look = Facing body directly at camera.
Having your body directly facing the camera is a bit imposing for the viewer and a negative.
The solution is to turn sideways at 45’ and relax onto your back foot.
Suspicious look = Looking sideways at camera.
Solution: Although your body is at 45’ your face and eyes are directly facing the camera. Shy people need to take a deep breath and look at the camera. Corporate photos are a way of life and need to be accepted for business-to-business and internal inter-office use.
Superior look = You are looking down on the camera (and the viewer!)
When you are being photographed make sure the camera is at your height or a little higher.
Too happy look = Life is too much fun (to be working).
A simple confident smile is mostly the best look to have. But take note not all people are natural smilers so best to go for a relaxed expression.
Glamour look = Especially for girl/women straight from Cosmo.
A common problem with female execs is the tendency to use glamour photos for business uses. A lot of professional photographers do not understand this difference.
Brown/old suit look = Too poor to get dressed up.
Applies to male & female. Your suit is old or you’re going back into the workforce. Then think about borrowing a suit or if you have the budget using a Look Stylist to do a makeover.
No suit look = I don’t normally see clients in my back office role, so why dress up in a suit?
Being in a large or small company, it’s about teamwork and being able to dress up indicates you can be a team player. Woman in suit coats are always taken more seriously that those just in business shirts.
Guys & girls makeup! With modern camera & studio lighting you don’t need a lot. For the girls a little just gives a few highlights and defines the face better. The guys should be freshly shaved. Both should have had a good nights sleep and look fresh.
With professional shots we do a mini makeover with Photoshop but do not over- glamorise (see above comment).
Background = Don’t use the kitchen!
You may not have a studio backdrop but it’s always best to avoid distracting and unbusinesslike backgrounds. Avoid old office panelling as this can get back to point one and give that prisoner look.
Natural light vs flash on camera: Most flashes on camera give harsh lighting and dark flash shadows on the wall behind. Find some natural bright shade. On a sunny day outside an office on the shady side of the street works well.
Hope all this helps. Good luck with the hints and get a great photograph!