Portrait by David Lawson
James McRoy

Member Article

The Importance of Great Business Portaiture

There are three things that fill me with dread;

  1. letters in brown envelopes
  2. waiting to have a tooth extracted and
  3. having my photograph taken.

I always try to be at the business-end of a camera, taking pictures rather than appearing in them, and to be frank, my profile photographs on my Social Media and Business websites are truly embarrassing, and with a brand relaunch imminent, I knew that I had to do something about them.

I spoke to my long-time friend and multi-award winning photographer David Lawson about having this done. Having a business portrait done by David is a bit like asking Gareth Bale to join in a kick-around in the car park; David is superb at his craft and produces stunning results that feature everywhere, but pulling the ‘friend’ card did the trick and a session was arranged.

Silk purse and Sow’s ear spring to mind, but I kid you not, chatting with David during the session made the whole affair absolutely painless; but when I saw the results I was bowled over. The lad’s a genius and I can see why his services are so sought after.

What David did reveal during our session was that Business Portraiture is one of his new range of services, something he is launching mid-October.

I would get in now and book a session – the results are truly amazing and great value.

But why should anyone think about having professional photography done?

There are many, many reasons to have a great business portrait.

A great business portrait is a very valuable tool in marketing your visual brand. Your business portrait will project the image of your company, your professional services and your unique personality, so it is vital that you use the services of someone who is expert at finding your unique spark and capturing it for posterity

In addition your business portrait should portray the image that you would like to project of yourself, your company & your brand.

Having the ‘right’ image is crucial in today’s online landscape, because most sites, especially the Social Media sites demand some kind of profile photograph, and if you compromise with this, it will reflect throughout your business – low quality image = low quality service?

A great business portrait will build this trust & enhance your professional image on your website, blog, Facebook fan page, Twitter, Linked in & other social media sites. If you use the Google authorship tool, you can link content that you publish on a specific domain (such as www.wired.com) to your Google+ profile.

All you need to do is

  • Make sure that you have a profile photo with a recognisable headshot.

  • Ensure that a byline containing your name appears on each page of your content (for example, “By Steven Levy”).

  • Make sure that your byline name matches the name on your Google+ profile, and finally

  • Verify that you have an email address (such as stevenlevy@wired.com) on the same domain as your content.

People like to be able to see who you are and feel like they can connect with you.

Having a great business portrait is an absolute must nowadays. You can use it in press releases (remember to have a couple of versions – happy and serious; no good announcing layoffs with a big cheesy grin is it?), publicity drives, your online presence and any marketing literature or mail-outs.

If you look approachable in your portrait, it will do wonders for your business and will undoubtedly increase your enquiry rate.

Social Media Marketing is just another form of relationship marketing, and the goal of relationship marketing is to establish a rapport or dialogue that leads to a long-term client relationship with the business.

You have to invest in your company brand and image, so why not start with yourself?

Having an image that you like, is professionally presented and connects with your target audience is absolutely vital so look for a photographer who has the eye and the skill to ensure you look your best. A good photographer will coach you through the session and use various techniques to bring out the real you.

Your choice of dress and grooming is also important; the camera can lie a little bit (good old Photoshop) but being presentable at the session is a great time saver!

And don’t think that having your portrait done is a once-only event; sessions every one or two years will ensure that you are ‘not out of date’. Fashions, hairstyles and portrait styles all date, so it is important to keep your imagery fairly current.

Environmental portraits, where the subject is photographed in their workplace or in places of natural beauty can be fine, but you can’t beat the control and quality a pro photographer in a studio delivers. And shooting in a studio is very, very fast.

So, bite the bullet, and get yourself shot (in the nicest possible way). It will do wonders for your business, and a little for your ego too!

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by James McRoy .

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