I have been assisting people with their professional pictures for quite a while now and I am still constantly amazed at what a difference quality, professional photography makes. I want to share with you five signs that are a huge indication that you need to update your profile picture as soon as possible.
And when I say profile pictures, this could mean any of the following: LinkedIn profile picture, headshot on a corporate website, social media profile or other pictures used for your business, and lifestyle-type brand photos for websites, social media, or others.
Sure, sure, smartphones these days have such amazing photo capabilities, and yes, I would tend to agree, but I beg to differ when it is compared with the work of a professional and a heavy-duty commercial camera.
Here are FIVE signs that you need to update your profile pictures:
One: Crop Job
If your professional headshot is taken by cropping you out of a larger group shot, it is time to get a new work pic.
To me, this says that you haven’t taken the time to invest in yourself or you don’t really have anything going on work-wise so this was the best you could do.
Two: Too Much Skin
If you can see more skin than clothes in your current pictures, it’s time for an update.
I am baffled when I look at some pictures on Linkedin, especially those of women, who take pictures of themselves in strapless dresses or during the summer and then repurpose them as work pictures. You might look beautiful, but it does not communicate anything about work and doesn’t depict you as a professional. Unless you are a swimsuit model or are employed by a beach company, you need to upgrade your attire from a bathing suit or strapless ensemble to something you would wear to work.
Three: Is That You?
If someone would be hard-pressed to recognize you on the street, moments after seeing your picture (i.e. it was taken decades ago or your appearance has changed drastically), it’s time to switch up your pictures.
Professional pictures represent you, your brand, and your professional identity so if they look nothing like you, they’re not doing their job. Is your hair a different colour? Have you experienced a major weight fluctuation? Has your grey hair decided to arrive or you went from corporate to self-employed? All of these situations would indicate it’s time to update your pictures.
If you took your work pic yourself, it’s time to invest in a professional one.
First of all, any picture where you can clearly see your arm in the corner of the shot reaching back towards your phone does not ooze professionalism. Selfies are usually really obvious, really bad, and really close up! You deserve better.
Five: Zoom Out
Although some professional pictures are in fact called ‘head’ shots, we should be able to see something more than just your face and head in them.
Typically, your upper torso and shoulders are visible as well as some space around and above your head. It seems trivial, but it makes a huge difference in the quality of the pic and the impression it gives. Some of you may be saying “that’s what the website does to my photo once I upload it.” If that’s the case, then the dimensions of your photo are wrong. Ask someone you know that is a bit techier or tell your professional photographer what platforms you will be using your photo on and they will be able to crop and adjust the image size to fit perfectly and avoid any distortions.
- No Sunglasses (on your face or the top of your head) Really?
- Look at the camera.
- Powder your face (avoid shine!)
- Dress how you dress for work.
- If you wear glasses most of the time, wear them in your photo.
- Get your hands away from your face. (i.e. no head resting on your hand) – CHEESY!!
Professional pictures don’t have to be uber expensive. Ask around for suggestions.
Are you currently employed? Ask your employer if they will pick up the tab. Self-employed? Get a group of friends together and share the cost.
If you are in the Greater Toronto Area, contact Jim Craigmyle Photography and give him the code: CEOs. I have worked with Jim for more than 6 years on 50+ photoshoots; you are in good hands.
Would love to see your new photos! Before and afters are even better! Tag @kitchentableceos on social.
Are you looking for other great resources, check out the Professional Update and find out how it can land you new jobs and leads just by pressing ‘send’.
From my kitchen table to yours,