Does Your Photo Reflect the Real You?

A photo is a powerful way to introduce yourself to current or potential connections, especially when you may never meet them – even if you do business together.

Before getting in front of the camera, however, think about what you want to say in your picture.

“I always start a photography session with a conversation about the person’s expectations,” says Karen Kring, professional photographer and co-founder with Joel Lerner of the Kring Lerner Group. “What do you want to convey about yourself?”

“Once we clarify your photographic purpose, we start taking photos that reflect you and engage others,” Karen says. “The context can express your personality, lifestyle, professionalism, interests, and accomplishments.”

You may need a business headshot or business image that could be used in many venues. Or, if appropriate, you could present a broader perspective that might include playing a musical instrument, serving a customer, speaking before a group, or running in a marathon. Where will this photo be used –online or in print? What messages do you want to send via the photo and content? You might want different photos for different purposes.

“Some people, however, may not want a photo but are required to submit one for work-related or professional reasons,” Karen notes. “They may be comfortable meeting others personally, face to face. But they are not comfortable with the way they think they look in a photo…even if everyone else thinks it is great.”

Others may agree to photography but do not want their faces to be the primary focus of the image. “In one situation,” Karen explained, “a journalist wanted the photo to reflect her work, so we used a creative approach to typify what she does.”

As you look at photos of people you know, do they ring true, accurately reflecting the person? When it is someone you do not know, is it the image or the content or both that encourage you to follow up?

By collaborating with your photographer, you can represent the real you. Remember the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

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