Most of you know that I was a journalist before I became a blogger and a business person.
I was used to having my photo taken. My headshot appeared every week in the magazine I was editing – and it was updated pretty regularly … as I, umm, *updated*.
As an editor I was also regularly asking people featured in stories in the magazine if they could supply images of themselves. Professional, high-res images that were of magazine standard for publishing.
Not a “selfy” on a camera phone. (Actually, people weren’t doing selfies back then because 1) phones didn’t have cameras and 2) gen Y were too young for Facebook 😉 )
What I’d often get sent was a happy snap that was out of focus, pixelised and unsuitable for publication.
Those images were also showing off that person’s brand (personal and business) in the worst possible light.
So, when I started my business – and this blog – in 2008, getting professional photos was high up on my list of priorities. And I’ve updated them every year since.
Why you need a professional photo:
1. Your blog is your brand. Show that brand in the best possible light. And be consistent with how you show that brand. You don’t have to have all your photos matching across your social media channels but they should be consistent with the blogging brand you’re putting out to the world.
2. Media and online websites may ask for your photo if they are profiling your blog or your blog’s niche and want to include you in that. If you have a professional image available that sums up your brand and you can email it immediately, you have more chance of being included in that story or post if your image is publication ready. Yes, media will sometimes want to take their own photos for a story but more often than not (and this especially applies to smaller publications) they don’t have a budget for it.
This year, I’ve been inundated with requests. If you check out my media coverage page, you’ll see just how many times I’ve been asked for photos. Luckily the photo shoot I had this year featured two different outfits and quite a number of different lifestyle shots as well as my head shot, so I’ve been able to vary what I’ve submitted. Looking at this page also demonstrates that I need to have new photos done soon as these ones are already over-exposed. Keeping it fresh, keeps your brand fresh and dynamic.
What makes a good photo of a blogger:
1. A good photo should show the real you but a little bit more polished. Don’t worry, we’re not talking soft-focus, glamour photo here. We’re talking a little bit of prep work on the hair and makeup plus some thought as to what you want to wear. Because I’m a style blogger, I also pay to have my hair and makeup done before my shoot.
2. A professional photo will also be shot in the most forgiving lighting conditions – whether it’s an outdoor, indoor or studio shot. Trust me, this is worth every cent.
3. Make sure that apart from the standard headshot, that you get a photo that links you to your blogging niche or your work as a blogger. For example, I had some taken with my iPad as well as in a friend’s walk-in wardrobe (a wardrobe that was a way better back drop than my own … she only owns black, red and white clothes so it was nicely colour coded for me!).
4. We want to see your personality – because that’s what readers want to connect with. Choose a photographer that respects that and knows how to best bring out that personality.
Things you need to keep in mind:
1. When you’re searching for a photographer, ask around for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask for examples of their work to see if their photography style is a good match for your blog and your personality.
2. Ask about copyright. Ideally, the photos you purchase are copyright and watermark free. You want to be able to supply them to media so they can be freely used. Photographers will either include the copyright license with their fee or as an add on.
3. The cost will depend on the photographer’s level of experience, what they will offer you, how many images and time for the shoot. Expect to pay between $300-$650 for a professional shoot that includes multiple images supplied to you copyright free.
Do you have professional photos of yourself for your blog and/or your business? What tips do you have for others looking to get some done?