Can We Talk About Your Photo?

This question is only slightly less intrusive than asking about your sex life.

But I’m gonna ask it anyway. Can we talk about your photo?

No matter how brilliant you are, how riveting your work, your photo matters and it deserves more than a passing glance.

Last week I coordinated a photo shoot for a client who had to pretty much be dragged—kicking and screaming—to the session. The result? Mr. hate-to-get-his-photo taken has not one fabulous shot, but a half-dozen to populate his new book jacket, social media profiles and websites (for tips see “Are You Ready For Your Close-Up”)

But sometimes, it isn’t the photo shoot that’s most intimidating. It’s the idea of putting yourself front and center, most especially on your website. You’re thinking “doesn’t my work speak for itself?”

Uh, no.

Take the PR consultant whose passion is getting visibility for her clients. Yet her own website had a tiny photo (beautifully shot, but hidden on the least-trafficked page) and a very forgettable description of her considerable talents and client results. Once she embraced the fact that her best clients adore her personality (and it was OK to share it), she became the whirling dervish her clients admire—this time on her own behalf.

She re-shot her photos—which energized her to change up her copy and revamp her website to reflect her newly focused niche. Ironically (?), as she gave final approval to her webmaster, she got four—count ‘em four—new business requests the same day.

I’m not saying it’s a slam-dunk to make your photos reflect the real you and what you deliver best. Just that it’s necessary.

How are yours looking?

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  • Jim

    Wow. Wow. Wow. I love the new look/feel/flow and, oh yea, content. Congratulations!


  • Well said, Rochelle. The photo thing really gets to the heart of the psychology of the issue, doesn’t it. As usual, it’s the things we’re afraid of sharing that actually end up being the most powerful. The courage to be vulnerable.

    • Rochelle

      Welcome Charlie–being vulnerable is (gulp, gulp) a scary thing sometimes. It never ceases to amaze me how fast it can build trust and cement relationships…

  • I have a new photo to post when I (become) ready (a few strands less hair). I have a lot of photos that I can and should post (some require a scan) but it will also be fun to relive the past (for example a bill-signing pic to go with the reference to a law I worked on). Not everyday per se, but I retain a capability to change my website, especially content, on a whim; I already integrated much friendly advice from friends, including one “unforgettable blogger,” and I suspect more as I find things I like elsewhere and seek to adapt same, or as things come to me. One recent example, a networking contact, after we connected some time later on LinkedIn, as a question a bit unexpected, but much appreciated: He emailed, “How can I help you?” That simple query induced me to develop some language that I just may make it onto the website (after some further adaptation): “My sweet spot so to speak involves groups, unions, firms, business, elected officials, candidates and others who deal with and/ or are affected by government and public policy and issues. I can effect or ameliorate change, or make sure key players pay attention to you before they make decisions that affect/ matter to you.”
    I also know I want to revamp my descriptions of projects and move certain work product for clients that I have posted in links to my government & public affairs consulting projects

    • Rochelle

      It’s nice to know worrying about our photos is a gender-neutral thing 🙂 Can’t wait to see your new ones Corey!

  • I did a photo session a few years back. It was not as intimidating as I thought. And I enjoyed the results. I had to select three for various uses. I believe as you said the photo has to suit the purpose.

  • Thank Rochelle. That is my favorite. Glad you like it.

  • How very true, Rochelle. So many butt-ugly photos on websites. Most are insipid and inexcusable –a forced smile, uncomfortable posture, out of focus, poorly lit. Nothing to inspire confidence. Sometimes nothing is better than a bad thing.

  • People put more thought into their on-line dating photos than they do their website photos.
    I suppose that’s a different form of business they are trying to get. LOL.

    As a brand-driven, designer of perception (websites being one of the things I design) I am adamant about having a high quality photo that represents the spirit of the person, and the product or service they provide.

    Here is a photo I took for the website I designed for my client, Ryan Davis, M.D. A Beverly Hills psychiatrist.

    Nice post, Rochelle.

  • I have struggled always with public display of my photo. There was no avoiding it when I decided to launch my Project. It does help lend credibility to your brand and product, as well as personality. Your readers and followers develop a greater connection with you. “Make appointment with photographer” is now on my to-do list. Thanks, Rochelle.

  • Excellent! I can’t tell you how many clients struggle with this very issue, and I can’t say that I blame them since I often do myself. It’s not always easy to accept the fact that people may, or may not decide to work with you simply because of who they perceive you to be based on a photograph. That being said though, I can tell you that since we put photos of ourselves on our website (as casual as they are) we have had more of our target market reach out to us than ever before. So, although at times it may make us uncomfortable, it really does put potential clients/customers at ease. 🙂

    • Rochelle

      Welcome Sherri. Your last comment really hit me–it’s worth being a tad uncomfortable (in this case, it’s fleeting, not a life sentence) if it puts our clients at ease.

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