I don’t like my photo…

 Self portrait. Self chosen. It's OK...

Self portrait. Self chosen. It's OK...

Business headshots are a necessity for many companies. And while planning and setting up shoots can differ depending on the needs of the client, there are two issues that come up in many corporate shoots.

The first is common, and understandable. “I hate having my photo taken.” So do I. But a key part of my role is to make you relaxed so it’s a less painful experience than you feared (and I like to think I’m pretty successful at it).

The second is more difficult, because I can’t necessarily coach someone to make it more bearable. And that’s selecting a final image that the subject is happy with. Even with viewing live on the shoot, sometimes people don’t like any pictures of themselves.

Well, this may be why. It seems that you are almost certainly awful at selecting the best photograph of yourself. (Unfortunately the main study is behind a paywall, so I can’t give you the details on precisely how bad [statistically] you are likely to be. But let’s assume that the summary is true for now!)

Which certainly chimes with my anecdotal experience. And also backs up something I tell all my clients and subjects: let someone else review and select your profile image. Seriously.

It will be a better likeness and more honest appraisal of what looks good. And now science (well, psychology) has backed me up. Your colleagues really do know what you look like and when you look good better than you.

Pick someone you trust and hand over the decision. It’ll be liberating, and you’ll be presenting a profile picture that other people think looks good. Which is, after all, what we’re trying to achieve with business shots.

Sadly, of course, very few people are brave enough to relinquish control - and somehow I don’t think this study will convince them otherwise. (I live in hope…)

Whereupon travelling around Twickenham becomes even more awkward

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