If you are in an industry that is active in social media the time will come that you will need a professional photo of yourself. That time came for me about 6 months ago. I’d been using a picture taken on a cruise back in 2007 and I realized that every other professional that I connected with on LinkedIn or Twitter had a great looking photo. My photo was, well, unprofessional to say the least.
The final push was when I heard about a promotion that a studio called Macbeth Photography does called “First Friday.” Jim Hobart, Photographer and Owner of Macbeth Photography, cuts a deal for a professional photo that to be edited and sent to you electronically. This was an experience unlike any other I have had. The photographers moved me around and put me in positions that would photograph best; I was told “if it feels weird, then you’re doing it right!” In the end, there were about ten pictures of about fifty that were really good, and they chose the perfect picture to clean up and make final edits to. A couple of days later, I was pleased to add my first real professional photo to my social media profiles. I feel much more legitimate already!
In the current era of information, everyone should have a photo that they’re proud of to represent them while online. It can be even more important if you’re on the hunt for a new job because it is more common today that your potential employer will do a search on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter to see if you’ll be a fit with their corporate culture and represent their organization well. I am not saying you have to dress up like a CEO for your photo; but a quality picture that wasn’t cropped from a group photo in college can set you apart from all of those other applicants in a positive way. If you can’t afford a private session, take advantage of student photographers that are willing to take your picture to use for school projects, or as practice using editing software. I was happy to find a studio that ran promotions to reach out to new partners in the community. In the end, just make sure the person you are presenting online sends the right message!
-Stephanie Bruha, Operations Manager at Kavaliro