Put your best face forward | What does your on-line profile image say about you?

We've all heard the saying about 'putting your best face forward', but what does that really mean? I consulted the one place I know I could find the answer, the Urban Dictionary. Apparently to put your best face forward is the same as to 'get your swerve on', a term I have actually heard before, but it really doesn't express what I think it means so I did some more research.

If you are wondering why I am researching 'putting your best face forward', stick with me for a bit and you will see...

So, I 'Googled' 'putting your best face forward' and found that a lot of the links were for article's aimed at women who needed help with their makeup, which again, is not what I was thinking, so I kept looking. Finally, I found a couple of articles and blog posts that were close to what I was thinking. Although making sure your makeup, hair and clothes will look great on camera is very important, what I think of when I hear 'putting your best face forward', is more of the attitude and personality that the image conveys. More specifically, is how your attitude and personality are conveyed on-line. Let your personality shine through!

With so many ways for people to find you on-line, it doesn't make sense to have poor photographs on your profiles. People do business with people they like, but if the first impression is on-line, don't you want to be instantly likable by anyone who comes across your on-line persona. Allan and I have worked with many professionals who need to 'put their best face forward' on their website and marketing materials and we always strive to get to know the people before we photograph them so their true personality comes through in the images. Are you serious, fun-loving, silly, playful, smart, fashionable, athletic or charismatic? Does this personality, style and attitude show through in the images you present on-line or in printed materials?

Think about it like this. If you are a chef, it makes complete sense to have some photographs of you in the kitchen. Maybe wearing your chef clothes. Maybe preparing some exotic dish. The kitchen is your environment. Your chef clothing is your style and images of you at work convey your attitude. Most of the professionals we photograph like a mix of environmental and lifestyle images. Environmental are just that, you in your environment, and lifestyle is you more relaxed and possibly outside of your professional persona. Of course, there is always the standard headshot image taken in the studio with proper lighting and posing. Some professions insist on the latter, while entrepreneurs often prefer images that show potential clients who they really are. Give your potential clients a reason to relate to you.

I may be shooting myself in the foot here, but this example just popped into my head. You're looking for a photographer and find the website of one whose work you really like. You visit their 'About Us' page and see a photo of them posing with their camera. It's pretty obvious they are a photographer because you found them while looking for a photographer. A better choice of an image would be one that shows them in action, say shooting a wedding or family portrait. Even better would be an additional image or two that shows them doing the things they love to do when they aren't behind the lens. Maybe they love to ride bicycles or waterski. Give people some insight into the real you. Be likable. Be happy. Be you.

So, do your on-line profiles 'put your best face forward'? If your answer is no, we can help you. And if your answer is yes, we can help you too. Chances are if your on-line persona is more than a few years old, you don't really look the same. I am the perfect example of that since I recently had my long blonde hair cut short and colored brown. And I got new glasses. Totally new look means fresh photographs.
New hair, old glasses...my fresh photos are coming soon!

I have included some examples throughout this post of photographs Allan and I have shot for client's on-line profiles. There is a mix of environmental, lifestyle and traditional so you can see which one appeals to you and your 'brand'. Remember, if you are a small business or entrepreneur, you are your brand. I'm not going to get into any marketing in this post, but just be sure you are always 'putting your best face forward'.


Lisa Gifford Mueller is a member of EOK and the Director of Membership. If you are a member of EOK, ALM Photo would love to update your on-line image in studio or on location. In studio sessions are done on a background {your choice of light or dark} with appropriate studio lighting and include two fully edited digital image files for $40 {save 20% off the regular price of $50}. On location sessions include appropriate lighting and include two fully edited digital image files for $80 {save 20% off the regular price of $100}. Contact Lisa at lisa@almphoto.com or 865-406-3870 to schedule your session.

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Comment by Leonard Knight on February 27, 2013 at 7:18pm

Nice article and very true...we are our brand and only get one chance to make a first impression.  I hope everyone takes a few minutes to consider updating their EOK profile right now...lots of people see it every day!


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