I’ve had a lot of people come to me over the past year for new business portraits of themselves, and interestingly, as the year anniversary approached, repeat requests. And that is essential – over a year, your look changes subtly and as your business grows and changes, so do you. So your look may be different because your hair has grown, or been chopped off or changed colour. You might be wearing a completely different style of clothes to reflect your growing confidence or prosperity, or you may have changed your job and just need a new picture.
With each new business portrait I try and reflect the best of each person. I take as much care with posing and editing as I would with a lifestyle, wedding or make over portrait. Where possible, I will include something of the business within the photograph; that might be a product, another person, or even signage. When most of our waking time is spent with the businesses we are growing, or the company we are representing, some part of ourselves and some part of that business, will be reflected in each other. It is still shocking to me, how many websites don’t have pictures of significant people within the business. Whether you are selling a service or a product, wouldn’t it help someone considering parting with their money, to see a picture of the person or persons who will take that money? To see who you are dealing with, or just the awareness that those people are willing to be openly viewed, is the start of trust. And so I think it’s essential that our online profiles should be as visible as our actual selves.
A few weeks ago I had a very interesting day with MP Chloe Smith, someone who has to have online, actual and media profiles. She needed a whole set of new photographs to reflect the many different aspects of her role in her constituency. It was the first time I had to photograph someone who has already got a wide public persona and who has more photographs taken of her than my usual client. I’m also, maybe in common with most people in the UK, not too sure how an MP spends their time when they’re not sitting in the House of Commons, being interviewed on tv, or holding a surgery for their constituents, so I was looking forward to the day with excitement, because it was something new, and a certain amount of trepidation that I would achieve what I wanted to.
During the course of the day, any trepidation went out of the window. It was very quickly apparent that Chloe was the ultimate professional. She had a clearly defined list of people and places and situations that she needed to reflect the many different things her job requires of her within her constituency. She had asked for some advice beforehand, and I’d given the same advice I give all my business portrait clients – changes of clothes to give different looks and feels – and in the case of women, make up, particularly to define the eyes as the camera loves that. I’d also mentioned that a variety of accessories would also change an outfit, so suggested scarves and necklaces. So, with a car boot full of all my suggestions, I was collected by Chloe and off we went. We did a lot of outdoor portraits, and a lot of indoor ones. We did some with constituents and a lot by different signs. She exchanged coats for jackets and then for shirts. She changed her look with carefully chosen accessories. Chloe was an absolute delight to photograph – totally unselfconscious, completely natural, but always remembering that the photographs were to be used professionally; some immediately, some for the future.
It was an action packed day – but by the end, we had a portfolio of shots that she would be able to use to reflect her many different duties. And also, by the end, I had a huge amount of respect for the long and hard work it was apparent she carries out, and for the love she clearly has for her job and her constituency.
To discuss your business portrait or commercial photography requirements, do call Boo on +44 7742 944312
This is a Sisterhood Circle post, so please click on Isabelle to go to the next in the circle!