A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Needing a recent headshot for a volunteer position, Susan asked me to take her photo. I quickly grabbed my Canon SLR, set up a few lights, and took about 50 shots over about 5 or 10 minutes.

This picture was our favorite:

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s one thing to see the words “Susan Kornegay” or read something she’s written.

But as someone who’s known her my entire life (literally), I believe this picture captures the essence of who she is: strong, wise, and caring.

For financial advisors, financial planners, and other professionals, your clients and prospective clients are always drawn to pictures of you and your team.

Do your photos capture the essence of who you are? If not, here are some tips for a great photo.

  • Dress as you do when meeting with clients. If you don’t wear a suit at client meetings, then don’t wear one for your photo.
  • Or you can take some formal photos as well as others that are more casual to show a different side of you.
  • Keep your photos current – no more than 5 years old. Even if you look exactly the same as you did five years ago (psst…you don’t!), the quality of your photo can appear dated from a style, color or sharpness perspective.
  • Keep the background neutral. I’m personally a fan of a simple white background but black or light grey also works well. You can also use a business background that is blurred.
  • Give yourself choices for the future. Alternate your look by adding or removing a coat or other item of clothing in different pictures. That way you can change your photo from time to time without another photo session.
  • Give yourself choices in the future, part 2. Vary your facial expressions and poses. You might take some photos with a closed-mouth smile then a wide-open smile. Additionally, take some facing slightly left and others facing right so you can appear to be “looking” at the text on a page.
  • Don’t take the photo yourself. Even with the best filters in the world, a photo taken with the lens at arm’s length just doesn’t look natural.
  • Ideally, hire a professional. A professional photographer will have the lights, camera and software to quickly obtain a great image. Just google your city and “headshot” to find a wide variety of choices. While higher-end photographers will charge up to $1,000, most will charge $250-500.

Ready to share who you are without saying a thing? A good picture is a worth a thousand words!

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