Profile Pictures

July 1st, 2014

Richard Gill

When you think of business portrait pictures  it conjures up an image of a stuffy corporate head and shoulder shot for the annual report or  a profile photograph that sits alongside a regular news story.  In this digital age social media has become such a major part of our lives, and as a consequence we all have online profiles that require portrait pictures. You may be an active contributor to your own blog or make regular contributions as an industry expert to relevant blogs, which also need your profile picture.

The days of solemn, unflattering corporate portraits are over. Today’s business leaders use portraits that are full of character – inspiring, exciting, persuasive and credible portraits that tell a story about the person and their business.  They use pictures that are in tune with the content of the story.  For example, if you are a structural engineer commenting on the impact of fracking on the stability of a building located above the drilling location you don’t want to use the picture of you with a big smile on your face that you had taken for your Facebook page, or the “selfie” that you took at a recent music festival!

Many of you will get a friend or colleague to take your picture so how do you ensure you get it right? Here are 5 tips that will help.

1. Make sure you are looking into the page.  Check where your image is going to be used.  Most social media pages tend to put your photo on the left of the page so you need to be looking from right to left, and have your shoulders turning the same way. Looking straight down the camera lens is usually best as you are then looking straight at the person viewing your photo.

3.  It is best to have the camera slightly higher than the subject.  No-one wants to see up your nose!

4. Lighting is perhaps the most tricky thing to deal with.  You are not posing for a hollywood style model shoot so the safest options are to have the light in front of you or behind you.   If you have the light in front of  you, then you may end up squinting so try to be in a position where it is not shining straight into your eyes.  Having the light at a 45º angle works well. Light from the side will create shadows on your face, which will sometimes look great but is very difficult to get it right so leave that to a professional.  Standing in a doorway can be an easy solution to get good lighting.  Soft diffused lighting like you get on a cloudy day is always more flattering than bright sunlight.

5. Using a telephoto lens will help to soften your features and produce more flattering results than a wide angle or closeup lens.  Professional portrait lenses are typically 100mm focal length or longer

You can download these tips from here

You could consider having a set of professional photos taken.  These can be very good value, for example we offer a service taking 6 photographs for just £95 see here.  This will allow you to get good quality photos taken for multiple uses, so you can get photos of you smiling, looking serious, just head and shoulders or full profile, colour and black and white. And these will be provided in low and high resolution formats suitable for use in the all type of digital or printed media. As a final practical point when you send out your  press releases or articles always include a low resolution version and a note to say a high resolution copy is available