Business Portrait Series: Selfie vs Professional Portrait for your Profile Picture

Welcome to the Business Portrait Series - Episode 2

Do You Need A Professional Business Portrait?

Absolutely! In today’s world, people research businesses online before they become a client and can unfairly judge your abilities based on your portrait. An outdated or unprofessional business portrait can disqualify you from getting business you deserve. Even for product-based businesses, you are still selling yourself to your audience and potential clients and people love knowing who they are buying from. Behind the scenes photos help tell your story too!

Profile Photo: Selfie or Professional Portrait?

The short answer is that a professional portrait is always better for your business. Especially with social media filters and editing apps like Lightroom readily available, it’s easy to find flattering light, strike a trendy pose, and post that image as your profile picture. On your personal profile? Totally fine. You do you! On your business page, not so much. Here’s why…

One of the biggest reasons is that it often prompts potential clients to ask themselves “If you can’t be bothered to put in the effort and investment to get professional portraits done for your professional business offering professional services or products, then who’s to say you’re going to put effort into the actual service or products that you are offering“. Sure, it might be an unfair representation because you might completely put that effort into your work, but the lack of effort that you put into your portrait does affect what people think when deciding whether they want to or you want to or not. The same concept applies to your email address (use your domain name so it matches your website, a topic of conversation for another day).

So before you skip that opportunity for a new business portrait because you think your selfie is awesome, consider the hidden costs of not updating it. How often is up to you (another topic for another day), but definitely update it to a professional portrait that resembles how you currently look. Bonus that it usually comes with a ton of engagement from your followers and contacts (who doesn’t love a compliment!?).

What Are Your Options?

Professional business portraits (formerly known as headshots) may be the best way to go, and they do come with an investment. I know they can seem expensive, especially if you’re just starting in the world of business and networking. Even if you can’t afford an accredited photographer, you always have alternate options. You can attempt them yourself or with a friend and a nice camera, or search for a photography college student or recent graduate looking to build their portfolio for your first business portrait. You’re going to be upgrading your portrait next year anyway (rule of thumb is to change your portrait if you change your appearance or every 1-2 years) and this way you can save up for your preferred choice of a professional with years of experience with flattering lighting, posing, composition and angles, and the skill to efficiently direct their subject. 


THAT is the biggest benefit of hiring a professional: the ability to use all of the tools in their wheelhouse to make you look and feel your best, making sure it is cohesive to your industry. Below are a handful of self-portraits that I have captured of myself using a tripod and a remote or timer, to demonstrate the difference between a selfie and a self-portrait, and the difference the advanced knowledge a photographer can bring. 

Hi, my name is Stephanie and I work with small service-based businesses to create a marketing strategy for their services and/or products and then create a personalized image-list to create during our branding sessions together so that every photograph has at least one purpose, can be reused in many formats and platforms, and will fit cohesively into the brand visuals. I also work directly with your social media manager, website developer, etc. so that you don’t have to be the middle-man (or woman!) when it comes to sharing strategies and images. 

Next up, we’re going over all things lighting! -->

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