Have you ever taken a photo of yourself and thought, "Ugh, I look terrible" or "It’s so dark or blurry"? Sure you have. Everyone has. When we take a really bad photo of ourselves, we know it, and we tend to delete it before anyone can see how bad we look. Ever had a friend take a photo of you while you weren’t paying attention and share it on Facebook, only for you to see it and think you look awful, but you’re too embarrassed to tell your friend about your insecurities and ask them to delete it?
Wouldn't you rather
have your headshot
look like this?
If you are at all familiar with that feeling then you’ll understand the point of this article. We hate to look bad in public—especially online, where it will live forever in unashamed glory.
Unfortunately, we tend to treat our businesses like our amateur photographer friend treats us: posting photos and video that don’t represent the quality we stand for, or worse, just make our company look bad.
In my fifteen years as a professional photographer, I’ve seen countless companies use terrible images to represent their business, images that were poorly lit, blurry, amateur attempts at doing it themselves to save a buck. Except they didn’t save a buck. They lost a lot.
Instead of paying a professional to help them create, craft, and design an image specifically for them and their company's needs, they decided to save a little money and have someone with a smartphone or beginner camera take the photo. The result was an image that, well, to put it kindly, wasn’t good. But the company didn’t know it wasn’t good. They were the well intentioned but misguided friend posting the photo of you. They thought it was good because they gave it a a good effort, but it was in truth a horrendous photo that made the company look amateurish at best.
To make it worse, I’d watch in horror as these companies and professionals would then use these images to advertise, wasting any money they thought they were saving on the creative and spending a lot more on advertising that was dead before it ever launched.
Here’s a real world example: There was an attorney in town who needed a headshot, but instead of getting a professional one, he had someone just take a snapshot of him in front of a dark background. The resulting image went onto billboards around town. The problem was that the photo made him look constipated or simply angry ( I think he was going for that tough-guy lawyer look). It didn’t make him look at all competent, nor did it make him look like someone you'd want to do business with. You looked like you’d get robbed. Not only that, but he'd clearly done the photo shoot in a rush after a beach vacation, because his skin tone was a noticeably sunburned red, except around his eyes, where he had a nice sunglasses outline to his suntan that added a raccoonish look. That didn’t help his appearance, either.
Money not spent was ultimately money wasted.
I see countless other examples of products and professionals that failed—not because they were bad, but because in the early phases of their business they tried to skimp on what ultimately was their most valuable asset: Their image. Their first impression. Their reputation.
That’s what it all boils down to in the end: How to present your business to the world is the reputation people will associate with you. Whether you're an attorney, a real estate agent, or a multimillion dollar corporation, how you present your business is how people will see it, and generally it's your advertising that’s making the first impression.
Don’t let a few dollars saved on great images cost you in the long run.
Brodie Media has been helping clients and businesses create custom high-quality photography for more than fifteen years. Did you like this article? Click here to subscribe to our free monthly eNewsletter to get more information and tips like this delivered directly to your email inbox.