If you’re in a professional or personal services business, whether copywriting, tax consulting, web design, personal coaching or fitness training, your business centres on you, your talents and your qualifications One of the best ways to win the confidence of someone browsing your brand is by displaying interesting website photos of yourself and your team.
Many of us live in fear of the camera lens, but showing people what you look like and what you do through headshots, action shots and other photos is one of the most powerful ways to create a connection. Even if you perform your services remotely and never meet face-to-face with your clients, they will want to know who you are and what you do, photos help to do this.
Being vulnerable enough to show people what you look like builds instant trust. Plus, incorporating inviting photos of yourself gives you more control over your brand story. The words and design elements lay the groundwork, but images of you in action complete the puzzle.
Just how do you get great photos, especially if your work isn’t something that’s exciting to watch? Here’s are some tips:
Nail down your colour scheme first
You’ve spent ages agonising over the colour scheme for your website. Don’t go and ruin it by taking website photos that include clashing tones. Think about how your shoot locations, clothing and prop selection will complement the look of your website.
Subtly weaving your website’s colours into your photos creates instant visual cohesion. For example, if you have used a white and burgundy motif for your website, you can shoot your photos in a restaurant with warm, earthy décor. Or you could offset the power of the burgundy with a shade of pale blue.
If you are not too sure about colour schemes, speak to a professional designer or photographer for advice.
Study stock website photos for angle and composition ideas
Head over to your favourite royalty-free photo site and search for your profession. Look out for the following:
- How have skilled photographers framed and composed images of other people doing similar work?
- Do they tend to shoot personal chefs from above, so colourful ingredients are in clear view?
- Are health professionals lit from behind, so they seem to glow a little?
Track down 10 to 20 images that resonate with you and share them with your photographer. Don’t attempt to recreate them down to the very last detail. Rather use them as inspiration for your own shots.
Dress in a way that reflects your personality
Many services professionals assume they must wear a collar and tie or high heels to strike the right tone for a professional photograph. If you seldom wear formal business clothes in your daily life, you may look uncomfortable and unapproachable in your power suit.
Instead, choose clothing and accessories that feel authentic for you and your brand. Sure, you probably should not wear your PJs for your shot, but the golf shirt and chinos you would wear for a client meeting will do just fine. If possible, add a wearable element that’s meaningful to you – something just a little quirky or edgy, if appropriate for your industry.
When you stage action shots, wear your actual working clothes, whether you’re a personal trainer who wears a tracksuit to work or a health professional who wears a white coat.
Embrace clichés, with a twist
Every hairstylist’s website will have images of hands holding scissors. Every architect’s website will have images of people leaning pensively over design drawings.
It’s fine to embrace these tropes if you add a little personal touch to your photos. For example, if you’re a writer, you can be photographed at work on your laptop with your cat peering over the screen or with a favourite piece of art in the background.
Shoot in a variety of settings
If you’re a yoga instructor, get some shots in your studio. Perhaps you’re a graphic designer? Including a few images of your swatches and messy desk will undoubtedly charm potential clients. But if all your website photos show you in a single, indoor location, it creates a claustrophobic vibe.
You don’t live, work, eat and sleep in a single room, so show people a little more of your world. Get outside. Head to the library or the golf course or a favourite local coffee shop. Make sure you keep your colour scheme in mind but shoot in multiple settings so your website photos feel expansive and diverse.
Are you still not convinced you need to include photos of yourself on your business website? Imagine you’re hoping to hire an interior designer. You visit two professional websites, both with equally stunning portfolio images.
One includes a handful of fun photos of the designer in his or her office, working on-site, straightening books on a coffee table. The other just has text and photos of home interiors. Which one are you more likely to contact? This person is going to partner with you, collaborate with you, work side-by-side with you. Don’t you want to know what he or she looks like?
Of course, you do. Your clients want the same from you. So, sink some cash into a professional photo session and show your potential customers who you really are.
This article has been adapted from an original piece by Sally McGraw.