Podcast 78: How to Take a Great Profile Photo

branding ethical marketing finding clients marketing podcast Aug 12, 2021
How to take a great profile photo

Branding on a Budget - Part 2

Last week we looked at picking colours and fonts in the first part of branding on a budget.

Your next essential element of a professional brand is to have great photography.

As a practitioner, you are your business, so the photography you use play a key role in your branding.

It isn’t good enough to grab a photo from a party or holiday and stick that on your website or social media profiles.  Remember, your photograph is all about connecting you with people and clients, so you want them to reflect you and the service you provide.

Also, don’t limit yourself to just head and shoulders, you can use your photos to demonstrate how you work and give clients an insight into you and the experience of working with you.

This job is best done by a professional but if you don’t have the money to hire a photographer, you need to put in some effort to get good images that you can use in the meantime.  Take some time to consider the following:

What do you need photographs for?

By knowing where you are likely to place these photos, you can plan to take them in a way that will make life easy for yourself down the line so, for example, images for websites are often landscape and need a lot of background, especially if you’re putting them on a banner.  By leaving space around you in the photos, you can then add text next to you if you want.

For social media profiles, a close-up photo of your head and shoulders will work best.  These photos are small and you need to be recognisable.

For other social media images, you will need a mixture of shapes depending on your preferred platform.

What do you wear?

Does it look right for your discipline and business? Do you feel comfortable and happy?  Do the colours suit you and work with your brand colours?

People buy people so make sure the outfits represent what you would normally wear.  If you’re wearing something you’d never wear or style your hair in a way you wouldn’t normally, you chance not being recognisable and it won’t be a good fit for your personal brand.

Pick a few different outfits so you can have some different options to choose from.

Where to be photographed

If you don’t have access to a professional studio, it is best to take photos in natural daylight but not in full sunlight - where can you do this?

Gardens, parks, beaches or woods provide interesting options and backgrounds.  You can also have a selection taken in your work environment to help prospective clients understand the experience of working with you.

If you’re planning on taking photos inside, facing a large window will provide great light.  You can also use additional lights if required but be mindful of any shadows they create and the effect on the photos.

What’s in the background?

Remember this will show up in your photos so what looks right? If you are intending on putting wording over the top of it, will that work?

If you don’t have a suitable background, you can take a photo and use a tool like Canva to remove the background.  Simple or plain backgrounds will work best for this, but it means you can add in different backgrounds depending on how you use the photos.  This also works well if you only like one photo but need to use it in different ways and is exactly what I did with my main profile photo.

If you’re taking action or in-situ photos of you, check what’s showing up in the image.  You want it to be reflective of you and your work and don’t want an overflowing bin or pile of filing to spoil the look.

Ask a friend to help

You can use the timer on your camera to do your own photos, but it can be tricky to get the shots you want. Taking selfies is another option but again, this can result in some weird angles so not ideal for your main brand photos – although the occasional selfie works great for social media.

If you have a friend who takes a good photo, ask them to help you with your profile shots.  Make sure you take loads – you can delete any that you don’t like and it’s best to have more to pick from than not enough. 

By relaxing and having fun, you’ll find that you are able to capture photos that reflect you brilliantly.

If you need support with your brand or creating it, contact me to see how I can help you.

Stylish Branding Made Easy - Mini-Course

Learn how to create a professional-looking brand on a budget to attract your favourite clients. 

Work along with me in these practical sessions to create your branding in a way that represents you and your business brilliantly. 

This mini-course is running live at lunchtime each day for 4-days starting on Tuesday 31st August 2021 with workbooks, replays and a pop-up Facebook group for support.  After this date, it will be available as an online course that you can work through at your own pace.

Podcast 78 show notes:

  • (02:39) What do you need photographs for?
  • (03:30) What do you wear?
  • (04:52) Where to be photographed
  • (06:02) What's in the background?
  • (07:53) Ask a friend to help


Part 1 - How to Pick Your Brand Colours and Fonts

Part 3 - How to Find Your Brand Voice

Stylish Branding Made Easy Mini-Course

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