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Image branding, What does your image say about you?

IMG_8527-EditImage branding is a highly important part of marketing strategy for your business whether you are self-employed or thinking of starting your own business. Certainly the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” rings true to any business; never more so then now when image and visibility are primary factors in people’s decisions in sourcing contacts, products, and services. In the continuously advancing world of technology, Social Media and Digital Communication have made first impressions more important than ever.

What does a professional photo entail?

1. EYE CONTACT

Look into the camera and have a solid thought, think of your strengths and be the person you want to be portrayed as at this very moment. Don’t try too hard. You want to appear as genuine as your can be with that subtle confidence.

Eye contact is highly important. Your eyes are the window to your soul, a photo of you looking right at the camera, hence, the viewer, calls for immediate attention and a resonating impression.

2. PROFESSIONAL LIGHTING
A well-lit, clear head-and-shoulders picture enables the viewer to easily recognize you when they see your photo and not struggle to identify you in the darkness.

New headshot by Daisy Hsieh at U Create Studio. Old headshot by X

New headshot by Daisy Hsieh at U Create Studio. Old headshot by X

3. RIGHT EXPRESSION

This goes back to importance of appearing genuine in your photographs. Also, this really depends on your profession, the kind of personality you choose to exude and how you want your potential client to view you. Smile naturally and breathe throughout the process. Though at times a smile is not necessary, you can smile through your eyes. This too will come across as approachable yet sophisticated without the need to display your sparkly whites.

4. SUITABLE WARDROBE
Dress properly and in accordance to your profession. A lawyer will be dressed differently than a graphic designer, for example. Take the time to pick your wardrobe, flip through magazines for ideas or book an image consultation with the photographer. Also, make sure they are properly steamed and ironed before the shoot. A wrinkle-free wardrobe is just more appealing. For corporate shoots, pick solid colors, black is a staple and stay away from loud prints as they can be distracting. Bring 2 to 3 wardrobe options if you can so you can decide what looks best on you in the photos.

5. PROPER BACKGROUND
A plain black or white background is the norm as you want the focus to be you, the subject. Whereas a patterned or colorful background such the traditional cloud background you spot in some photo studios indoors will not work and can scream tacky. Need I say more? Another option is outdoor natural background, as seen in lifestyle magazine shoots. This on-location option is increasingly becoming more popular as it adds more personality to the photo. In the end, always remember that YOU are the FOCUS, not the background!

6. RIGHT ANGLE
Some people who position their faces and bodies at a certain angle look better than a just straight head-on front shot. A highly experienced photographer will help you minimize the possibility of a double-chin for example, and most especially direct you in finding your best angle – the one that will sell you and your business the most.

7. MAKE-UP/ HAIR and PROFESSIONAL PHOTO-RETOUCHING
business-makeover_photograph-by-Daisy-HsiehProfessional makeup will enhance your features, minimize your flaws, and yet still “look natural”, which strongly applies to women. Imagine if there is a noticeable blemish right on your forehead that will certainly not be very appealing to the viewer’s eyes. The makeup makes it less noticeable and helps rid you of the insecurities and discomfort you may feel during the shoot. While the Photo-Retouching on the other hand ensures that this blemish won’t even be spotted in the final product.

For men, photo-retouching will come in handy, believe it or not. It is important to note that the aim of photo-retouching is to not make you end up looking like a porcelain doll, that you are barely recognizable. Rather, its purpose is to maintain that realistic element, minimize any flaws, and make you look your absolute best.

Hair is also very important part, as a bad hair style or hair cut can really affect your whole look.

8. PROPER POSTURE
Be confident and stand tall. At this moment, you are representing no one else but yourself and your business. A lot of times, you can see someone slouching back and losing their neck in the photos hence making them look shorter then they actually are. Poor posture exudes lack of energy and hinders a positive impression. Proper posture is definitely an important factor as to how sellable your image will be.

A powerful and marketable image for your business is a result of a successful collaboration between a photographer’s expertise and your cooperation.

In today’s fast-moving digital world, customers make their decisions based on what they see in the image presented right in front of them. The image always comes first so it is important that this image calls for a solid impression. Invest wisely in your professional image for in the end, it guarantees you and your business a greater return and reward exponentially.

Written by: Daisy Hsieh
Edited by: MJ Agra

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