How to Take a Great Profile Photo

As a complementary practitioner, therapist or coach, you are your brand!  People will make a split-second judgement on you and your services based on your photo, so it’s important it represents you and your brand accurately.

With online marketing, you are increasingly visible to potential clients looking for help.  Ensure everywhere you’re featured, you use the same photo and to be completely consistent, use the same one in your offline marketing too.

how to take a good profile photo

Is your profile photo…

… current? Your photo should be recent and definitely no more than a couple of years old.  This is especially important if you’ve changed hairstyle or glasses as you risk not being recognised.

… taken as a profile photo? Avoid using a picture of you that was taken in a social situation or on holiday.  This will give the impression that you’re not serious about how you’re perceived.

… just of you? Don’t use photos that include other people or animals – this is your profile!   Even if you’ve cut them out, make sure there’s no part of them visible in your photo.

… just head and shoulders? Showing more than just your head and shoulders will make your face very small.  People want to see your face so make it the main feature of your photo.

… good quality? Don’t make people work too hard to see you.  If the image is out of focus, too dark or bleached out, it won’t show you off at your best.

…making eye contact? If you aren’t looking at the camera, you’re not going to engage with the person looking at your photo.  Looking away will encourage the viewer to look at where you are looking which is useful if you want them to look at an offer.  This shouldn’t be your main photo for building trust.

… portray you in a professional, approachable, trustworthy way? If you are looking too serious, grumpy or just plain bored in your photo, you’ll put people off contacting you.

… of you dressed appropriately? Make sure the outfit you choose for your photo represents you professionally.  Keep patterns to a minimum and choose something that’s comfortable and in a colour that suits you.  If you feel good in what you’re wearing, it’ll shine through in the photo.

… a cartoon, logo or illustration? If it is, change it!  Clients want to see you in the flesh, they want to see who they are intending on working with.

Professional photos

If you have the budget, have your photo taken professionally, it’s an investment for your business.  Having a photographer who understands how to compose a photo properly will make a huge difference to the quality.  They will use the right lighting and backgrounds to create the right look and feel for your brand.

Profile photos on a budget

If you don’t have the money to hire a photographer, put effort into getting a good image you can use.  Consider the following:

Where you want to use the photo

By knowing where you are likely to use your photos, you can plan them in advance.  This will make life easy later on.  For example, images for websites are often landscape and need a lot of background.  By leaving space around you in the photo, you can easily add text next to you.

What you wear

Does it look right for your discipline and business? Do you feel comfortable and happy?  Do the colours match your brand colours? Pick a few different outfits so you can have some different options to choose from.

Where you can be photographed

If you don’t have access to a professional studio, it is best to take photos in natural daylight but not full sunlight.

What’s in the background?

This will show up in your photos so what looks right for you and your brand.  If you’re intending to put text over the top of it, make sure it will work.

Now team up with a friend who takes a good photo to create your profile shots.  Make sure you take lots as you can delete any that you don’t like.  It’s best to have more to pick from, than not enough.  Relax, have fun and you’ll find you’re able to capture photos that reflect you brilliantly.

People buy people, so if you aren’t taking advantage of having a brilliant profile photograph you can use across all your marketing, you’re missing a trick.

If you struggle with your brand and marketing, contact me to arrange a chat to find out how I can help you.