When I was thinking through this post I initially thought, "headshots," but when I think of headshots I think of super stuffy photos... people standing next to brick walls with their arms folded. But, portraits for your business or blog are so much more then that. These photos are the the first impression you leave with your audience. It's the first time your audience gets to know you and the photos you choose say a lot about you, your business, and how you want your audience to feel when they engage with you and your business.
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR PORTRAITS TO SAY?
When I thought through this photo session I thought about what I wanted to share with my audience. I thought about how I wanted them to feel. Yes, I wanted my photos to establish professionalism, but more then that I wanted my photos to establish a relationship. When you arrive here, I want you to feel at home. I want it to be like you've arrived at my home studio, where I would offer you tea and cookies. I wanted my portraits to say, "I'm so glad you're here, l'm so excited to hang out with you, and I can't wait to help you in your business."
LOOK AT THE CAMERA
I'm actually a fan of photos where I get to look away, but for these photos I knew it would be important for me to look at the camera. I knew it would be important to engage my audience. When we meet someone in person it would be kind of awkward if they never looked us in the eye or vise-versa. The same goes for our business portraits. When we look at the camera we're looking at our audience. We're engaging with them.
Smile at your audience. Smiling is friendly and when people arrive at your site and see you smile, they will hopefully want to get to know you more. This is similar to when we meet new people in person. When we meet someone new and they don't smile we wonder why. Smiling engages your audience and lets them know you're happy that they are here.
Body language says a lot in our photos. When I used to do portraits I would ask my subjects to lean in to engage the camera. Sometimes we want to turn our head away, or lift our chines, or turn our shoulders away, but I recommend leaning in. You don't have to lean in with your whole body, but you do want to lean in with your shoulders or your torso.
MIX UP YOUR ATTIRE
What we choose to wear communicates a lot about us and our business as well. I wanted to look professional, but I also wanted to look personal and causal. This outfit is one of my favorites. I love warm weather and I love shorts... if I could I would wear shorts all year long, I would. If I was to have you over to my home, this is something I would wear. It's important to me that I communicate a very "cozy home" feel on my site, because it's important to me that that is how you feel when you are here.
CREATE AN INSPIRATION BOARD
Inspiration boards are my jam. They help me get inspired and they also help me communicate something that I can't always articulate in words. Whenever I have to step in front of the camera, this means that Tyler is usually stepping behind it. I can't always articulate what type of photos I am hoping for, but if I create an inspiration board I can show him exactly what I'm hoping for and he can create it. Inspiration boards are perfect whether you have hired a photographer or asked a friend.
Don't stress out about your business portraits. Think about you, your business, and what makes you unique. Remember that as you grow your business grows as well. What is important for you to communicate through your business portriats? xoxo. Samantha