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Professional Business Profiles | Do They Really Make a Difference?

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As a business owner, photographer, and website designer, I have been asked many times about people’s business profiles, so I feel it is high time I write a blog post about it!

Most of us were taught in high school about the importance of looking nice for an interview as this is the first time the employer is going to meet us and how important it is to make a good first impression. As much as we may wish that people didn’t judge us on the spot, that is how we are wired. We are naturally drawn to beauty and repelled by sloppiness or non-professionalism.

In today’s online business world, your business profiles, on your website or social media, are your clients first impression of you and your business. If they are not professional looking, your potential client will assume that you are not very professional. You may be extremely talented in what you do, but if you don’t look it, they won’t buy it!

You want your photos to be professional, beautiful, engaging, and happy. You want to draw your potential clients in so that they want learn more about you, your passion, and your business. You want them to feel confident in choosing to do business with you.

Here are my top 7 tips for choosing a professional grade photographer & preparing for your business shoot

1. Studio vs. Natural

I’m just gonna tell it to you straight… Most studio portraits are outdated and you don’t want to appear outdated to your client. Studio is usually only good if you have a white or grey background and are using the photos for your dance competition or musical theater job. Sometimes they will still work for business portraits if they’re done well, but most of the time, they tend to look stiff, boring, and posed.

Natural Light Photographers are who you want to be looking into these days. Natural light photographers do their sessions usually outdoors or indoors using window light. They also tend to go with a lifestyle approach to posing, which means they pose you in a natural way and then work with you to get a more sincere smile or laugh.

2. Professional Grade vs. Non-Professional

I’m not hating on amateurs here people, but there is a difference and if you are trying to look professional, than you want to hire a professional. This is a hard one to explain, but I will do my best. A professional profile image is one will have a blurred background caused by the higher end lens that the photographer uses. This is not an editing affect. This will make the subject pop out of the picture more. Images will also have good clarity and sharpness and color.

The photographer will also know how to pose, how to help you feel comfortable in front of the camera, and will edit images consistently so that all photos have the same look in each location. You should walk away from a photo session feeling excited and confident!

3. Pricing

Pricing can be anywhere from $200 to $1,000 for business portraits. It really depends on your location, the experience of the photographer, and what the package entails. A few times I have found photographers as low as $100, but it is pretty rare. I have also found photographers who have charged clients $200 or more and delivered awful photographs, so don’t let pricing be the thing that convinces you they are professional.

**Remember, a professional photographer charges what they do because they have spent literally hundreds of dollars on equipment and hundreds of hours learning how to pose, shoot, edit, and serve their clients. It’s NOT the camera or the fancy lens that makes the photos look professional. It is the photographer.

4. Attire

For clothing, choose colors that go well with your skin and hair color. If you don’t know how to tell what your colors are, then check out this link! It will seriously help in deciding what colors look best on you!

When it comes to the type of clothing, I always say it’s best to go business casual.

For guys: a long sleeve button up with khakis or colored pants and dress shoes. A sports jacket can also look good for this look.

For ladies: a nice blouse with dress pants or colored pants and either a casual flat or heel. Jewelry is great for dressing up a look and giving a more feminine flair. You can also wear a nice skirt, rather than pants if you want a more feminine feel as well.

5. Location

Personally, I love giving my clients what is called a Lifestyle Business Shoot. This can be done at their house, in a local coffee shop, a hotel lobby, or in their office location whether it’s a studio or room in the home.

These shoots consist of images of the business owner doing things they regularly do in business or doing things that consist of who they are. It’s a “behind the scenes” look. Images like them typing at their computer, doing their craft, sipping coffee, reading, talking on the phone, hanging out with their spouse or family, etc… They are pictures that tell the story of who they are as a person and business owner. On top of all those images, I get portraits and landscape shots of them smiling at the camera.

Having images like this will allow you, as a business owner, to share pictures of you doing what you love. Everybody loves a story, so create your story with your pictures! Having images like this on your website or posted to social media will make a HUGE difference in how people feel about you and will help them relate to you.

6. Photography Style

There are countless photography styles out there. You can find anything from dark and moody to bright and airy. Depending on the colors you choose to wear and the feel and colors of your website, you will want to choose a photographer whose style will work with you.

A photographer’s style is their art form. Think of their style like painting styles. You cannot expect a painter who paints Impressionism to change their style to Pop Art for you. This is the same with photographers.

I call my style natural and timeless. I work to capture the image as close to what it looked like in person as I can. With my style, you can tell that with the changing of the seasons, my tones change slightly because I am adjusting for the different feel of the seasons.

7. Your Package

Some photographers will only do business head shots and deliver 5 or so images to a client. Others will gladly do more of the Lifestyle Business Shoot I mentioned above. This is something you will want to clarify and understand before you hire them! Figure out how many images they typically give back. Be clear in what you are looking for when contacting the photographer.

**Below are examples of my work from different clients I’ve worked with, including photos of myself from different shoots my husband has done for me. These should help give you an idea of professionalism, natural lighting, and my style.

Cheers!

Alyssa Jean

Business Lifestyle | Warm, fall tones

Professional Headshots

Business Lifestyle | Spring tones

Business Lifestyle | Neutral/Spring Tones

Business Lifestyle | Neutral/Spring Tones

Business Lifestyle | Neutral Tones

Business Lifestyle | Neutral Tones