Successful businesses are driven by personal connections. Yet, in this digital age, initial contact with prospective clients is rarely face-to-face. Through websites, social media, and other marketing materials, ensuring positive first impressions before meeting clients often comes down to the portrait we choose.
Friends can help with many things, but unless one of them is a professional photographer, you may want to shop around. Your business face should always be captured by a professional. They will have the experience and knowledge to make that photograph the best it can be. You wouldn’t leave your sales and marketing plans to chance, why should you gamble on the quality of your first impression?
Key points to remember when having a business portrait done:
1. When choosing a photographer, review their portfolio – Analyzing their style is important to understanding what a specific photographer has to offer you.
2. Interview several photographers before selecting one – Ask questions, gather information about fees and processes; find someone you’re comfortable with.
3. Establish a rapport with the photographer ahead of time – They can tell you more about what to expect of the shoot. Do they provide a makeup artist? Discuss your goals: How would you like to present yourself? Where would you like to use the images? How large might they be printed?
4. Discuss copyrights with the photographer – Under copyright laws you do not automatically own rights to a photograph that you appear in. It is standard practice for a photographer to retain some rights to their work. It is important to ask what rights you will hold and which rights they will retain. If you’d prefer to have all rights to the images, you may need to discuss a premium to offset the photographer’s loss in not being able to use the images (for example) in their promotional material or portfolio.
5. Work with the photographer to develop a shot-list – This establishes metrics to determine how closely have your goals have been met. Your photographer will appreciate having a list of looks or poses to capture. It can be easy to miss a specific look or pose during the chaos of a photo-shoot.
6. Consult image professionals – For example, a makeup artist, hair dresser, or wardrobe stylist. it is usually best to retain their services on-site for the shoot. You could choose to go without them, but an unfortunate stray hair might ruin an otherwise perfect shot.
7. Bring options – Shoes, clothing, even glasses if you wear them. Some combinations look great in person, but just do not work on camera. It’s important to be able to present a variety of looks to make the most of the time you have.
8. If you’re not feeling up to it, it is best to consider rescheduling – unless you’re an excellent actress, whatever may be weighing on you will show in your eyes and expressions. Your unease will be amplified by the camera and your clients will pick up on it. If you’re having an off day, its best to rebook the shoot rather than risk disappointing results.
9. Ask questions while on-site – You both need to be on the same page. Are you giving clear, natural expressions and poses? Do you understand what the photographer is asking you to do? Communication is key.
10. Be prepared for a little discomfort – Lighting equipment is very bright and can be hot. Do your best. If it’s too much, let the photographer know. They may be able to adjust the setup to try to reduce your discomfort or offer suggestions to improve the experience.
11. Once the shoot is done, it isn’t done – Be sure to include enough time in your plan for the photographer to deliver their best work. In the past, photographers had to get their film processed but, in the digital age, results are seemingly instant. Great results are not. Every image, regardless of how well executed, will require some retouching, and that takes time.
This article has been republished with permission from Entrepreneurial Woman.