The Top 5 reasons a professional portrait photo is important


We are all photography professionals today it seems, snapping away with our smartphones, working with lighting, shadows, and angles. Yet, most don’t really know what they are doing and trying to come up with portrait photos for professional use, can be a dangerous pastime.

There are many reasons to have a professional take your portrait photos. Marike Herselman of Marike Herselman Photography gives us 5 reasons you need a professional portrait photo.

1. You have 4 seconds to impress

When someone pops onto your professional profile, they first look at your photo. If they see a very “FaceBook” style photo, they are going to hesitate about checking you out further. Photos that are cut off from a group pic or have an odd background, just don’t look good. A simple head and shoulders with a plain background are what works best, and a “normal” face on.

2. Matching your headshot with your brand is key

Whether you are representing your own business, that of your employers or you are seeking employment, ensure your portrait headshot matches the brand. For the latter, your personal brand. Should you be outdoors? Should you be wearing a suit? Should you smile? All these factors come up when I schedule a portrait shoot.

3. Outdated just doesn’t cut it

Many times, when meeting someone for the first time, all we have to go on is their portrait picture, either from LinkedIn, their WhatsApp profile, or their website. If that picture was taken 20 years ago, there is a good chance they won’t look like that anymore. Sure, you were slimmer. Sure, you had fewer wrinkles? No matter. We want to see you as you are now. And, that is a good reason to have your portrait photos regularly updated.

4. Body Language speaks volumes

When I first engage with a client for their portrait shoot, I have a look at how they sit and what their posture is like. Most of us slouch, especially tall folk, and I try to get them to straighten up, without looking overly formal. The way you hold your head, the angle of your face, and many other factors, are all spoken about and directed, during a shoot. It is possible to find that quiet confidence within every person.

5. Its all in the eyes

Have you ever been caught off guard when a photo was taken of you? Compare it to when you had to do the “cheese” thing and actually pose. Look a little closer at your eyes. You will see that the “off guard” shot will render a more natural look in your eyes. That is what I try and achieve with all my portrait shots. I want to see a calm and natural connection in the eyes. It can take a while, but there is that moment when my subject lets down their guard and I am able to capture that perfect look. People relate better to a genuineness that resonates from the eyes. This can be obtained when working with a professional photography agency.

At the end of the day, you want to look your best and most receptive. The chances of a good connection with someone else all starts with that first impression moment – the profile picture.

For all your portrait photography needs get hold of Marike

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