The Devil is in the Details: Tips for Putting Your Best Foot Forward in Your Business Photo

by Mar 10, 2021

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As a business owner, you are expected to present a certain image to the rest of the world, at least when it comes to presenting yourself as a business owner. Because of this, the way you look in professional photos matters and can significantly impact both the impression you make as an owner and the impression your business makes. So what should you be doing to make sure you put your best foot forward when it comes time to take your professional business photo?

Choosing Your Background

One of the first details you’ll need to make decisions about is your background. Your background should make sense for both the industry you work in and your business specifically. Often indoor settings provide a more traditionally professional image, but you can opt for an outdoor photoshoot. Think about the image you want to portray. The background you choose sets the tone for the business photo. The owner of a fitness gym will likely have a different background preference than a freelance writer. If you opt for an indoor setting, take care to make sure that the area you’re having your photo taken in is properly clean. You should be using high-resolution images, which can make it easier to notice dirty surfaces. Make sure to properly dust any wood furniture or other surfaces that could collect dust. Have any windows in the background thoroughly cleaned. Organize the room so everything is neat, orderly, and free of clutter.

Dress the Part

Once you’ve planned your background, it’s time to get yourself put together. You should be dressing the part of a business owner for the business you operate. Like the background, what is most appropriate will depend on the specific business and industry you’re in and the tone and image you want to present. How you dress will say a lot about you to your clients, so choose your clothes wisely. Understanding different levels of dress code can help guide you in your choices.

Personal Grooming

Proper personal grooming can add a finished look to your appearance that can boost your level of professionalism in your business photo. If you intend to get your hair cut, plan to have that done two to four weeks before your photo shoot. That gives you time to get used to your new haircut, for it to grow a little so it looks more natural, and for you to get anything fixed if you need to. A manicure can be a good way for both men and women to make sure their nails are well kept and neatly trimmed. Carefully consider wearing makeup too. This isn’t the best time to be trying a whole new makeup look. Ideally, it should be something you’re confident in doing and can do very well. 

Men, don’t think this doesn’t apply to you. Make sure any facial hair is well-groomed and under control. At a bare minimum, you should apply a clear lip balm and be using moisturizer to make sure your face doesn’t look dry and chapped. If you’re missing hair on the top of your head, opt for powder makeup to keep the light from reflecting off your head. A simple concealer and foundation can help even out your skin and hide blemishes. Be sure to practice beforehand unless you choose to opt to use a makeup professional.

Choose Your Position

Once you have yourself put together, you’ll need to plan how you want to position yourself. How you choose to position yourself can impact the way you come across in the photo. As a business owner and professional, it’s a good idea to carry yourself with confidence to portray that in your photo. Think about the angle of your body, your head, how you’ll hold your arms, whether you’ll be sitting or standing, even whether or not you want to look at the camera or go for a more candid shot. All of these things will affect the image of yourself that comes through in the photo.

Facial Expression

Do you want to come across as a more casual, lighthearted professional? Or do you want to portray a more down-to-earth, all-about-business persona? The facial expression you choose gives your photo character. Will you be smiling or serious? Take some time to practice a few different expressions in the mirror before making your decision. Once you’ve made your choice, practice it until you’re satisfied that you can do it without looking. This is just one of the ways you can improve your smile so you feel confident in it if you choose to go that route. If you have a hard time choosing just one, pick two or three that you can use during your photo shoot and have the photographer take pictures of all of them. Trying a variety of facial expressions, poses, and angles gives you a chance to capture a variety of images so you can choose the one that best suits the image you want to portray.

Choosing Your Headshot

Your business photo will likely end up being a type of headshot. It’s important to recognize that there are different kinds of headshots since that will impact the final image. Choose the type of headshot that best conveys the image you want to put out. How much personality do you want to portray? Do you prefer to be strictly professional? Knowing what you want your photo to communicate will help you make the best choice. Remember to practice your posing for headshots just as much as you would for full-body photos. Doing so can help you make your position look natural and attractive, even slimming if that’s something desirable for you.

Having your photo taken professionally as a business owner is a big deal. There’s a reason why people say a picture is worth a thousand words. Your business photo will have a real impact on how you and your business are perceived by others. Make sure you pay careful attention to every detail before, during, and after the process. Pick the photo that best represents everything you stand for and everything you want your business to represent.

To help yourself succeed even more, check out my top secrets to becoming a 6-figure freelancer!

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Hey, I’m Kate! I’m a designer, digital nomad and founder of Six Figure Freelancers – I love to help talented tech pros start businesses.

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