When it was time to refresh her headshots, we went through several outfits, and had a lot of fun. We ended up with over a couple dozen great images. But then we really analyzed which images would be best for a book jacket, LinkedIn, other social media, brochures, etc. and kept narrowing down to the best of the best.
Both of these images are beautiful. She looks great in both. The outfits are lovely. Accessories are complimentary. But that’s where we need to go deeper.
Deborah’s business colors are pops of blue, lime green, and yellow, with a beige base. Both of these photos work. And the neutral on the left will pretty much work with any website. So now it comes down to the “message” – and there are two parts of your message. 1. How do YOU feel about yourself (authenticity), and 2. How do you want people to feel ABOUT you? What is it about you that will make someone resonate with you over someone else who does the same thing?
The image on the left, compared to the one on the right, is a little – dare I say, “sedate”. Other words that come to mind are “soft”, “mellow”, “quiet”. In fact, I joked that the one on the left would eat vanilla ice cream. And there’s nothing wrong with any of that if that’s who you are. There are plenty of people who LIKE that type of quiet, reassuring personality, especially in Deborah’s field.
But Deborah is not a vanilla ice-cream kind of person. She likes sprinkles. She has joy, and pizazz, and she likes her pops of color, and that extra energy radiates out of the image on the right. This one feels authentic to her own nature. It resonates with Deborah. And consequently, she will attract clients that want to work with someone who’s a little more fun, and zippy, and has that “game-on” energy.
Personal and business branding goes far beyond just a “nice picture”. There’s definitely an element of psychology. A knowledge of image branding, and a trained eye will help you sail through the process. It’s one of my favorite parts of the selection process!