When you’re networking or online dating, it can be difficult to know how to choose your profile photo. That picture is the first impression you’ll give your potential contacts, so making the right choice is really important. Here’s how to be sure you’re using a great photo…
1- Hire a professional photographer: Whether for business networking or online dating, you want to present yourself in the best possible way. Using an arm’s length self portrait taken with your automatic camera, or a slightly blurry, halfway decent shot someone took of you at a party, is NOT a good representation of you.
When you use obviously amateur photos for your profile, it gives the idea that you don’t value yourself enough to bother with a proper, quality picture. However, when you use a professional, good quality photo, it shows that you do understand the importance of investing in yourself.
2- Be yourself: Remember, the whole reason for networking or online dating sites, is to make a connection. You want to choose a professional photo that’s a real reflection of your personality and who you are.
During your professional photography session, don’t fake a big cheesy smile, don’t try to look sultry or mysterious and don’t overdo it with styling products, accessories or make up. Instead, relax for your photoshoot, style yourself as you normally do and be sure to wear clothing that you feel comfortable in and that you wear often.
3- Choose a current photo: It’s dishonest and it also gives the impression of insecurity if you’re using a profile picture that was clearly taken several years ago. (Even if you do have professional photos from more than a few years back, don’t use them, get new ones instead.)
Even if it’s not obvious on the internet that your photo is over two or three years old, when you meet an online connection in person, they’ll immediately realize that you represented yourself dishonestly. It’s much better to use a current photo that shows the best qualities of who you are right now.
4- Know that you’re worth it and it will pay off: When you create a profile to make either romantic or business contacts online, you’re already taking a step toward improving your life. Make the choice to represent yourself with a professional, natural and current photo.
It’s absolutely worth the time, effort and expense, because when you make even one networking or dating connection, it’s an immediate return on your investment.
Tamea Burd is an eco-friendly, professional photographer from Vancouver, BC. She specializes in portrait photography, headshots, corporate and wedding photography. Her website: Tamea Burd Photography