Business Portraits 101

Do you need a business portrait? Everyone says you do, but why?

“How you look in a picture with your professional business profile and contact information is sometimes the first time a person will actually see you.  And when they look at your picture, what will their perception be about you?” says Forbes’ Lisa Quast.

That sounds like friendly advice, but is there any real evidence? The folks at in partnership with Princeton University (!) devised a system to measure competence, influence and likability based on your profile photo. That’s right, changing or re-photographing your LinkedIn photo can increase your peers’ professional opinion of you. This is something photographers and advertising art directors have known forever, but now there are metrics to describe it, and that’s a relief to us. Numbers don’t lie, right? Check out the results here. Note the section on the “squinch.” headshots_3_RGB “…All headshots are not created equal. Make sure yours is on-brand and of high quality.” says William Arruda, of “Invest in a headshot taken by a professional. Don’t use a photo your mother took of you at last year’s family beach outing. Don’t use a selfie.”

Now, there a couple styles to consider: First, Do you need to match existing pictures? (Send your photographer a sample.) Next, do you want a simple executive background, or do we want to see a little bit of context back there [A]? Finally, do you want something totally unique with cool cropping [B], or something that’ll blend in best with the others [C]?

Finally, have the photographer come to you. You have a bunch of executives who have better things to do, right? They’ll be satisfied (and you’ll be relieved) if your CEO is in and out of the portrait suite in a couple minutes. Including makeup! Read more about your office as studio here.

If this is something you’re considering, please don’t hesitate to call. It’s my job to make you look good!

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