Above all, financial services is a relationship business, and photography is a critical tool for introducing and depicting your team to create an instant and lasting impression. These images will be what prospects store in their memories and associate with your name when they see your email in their inbox or your name on their caller ID. They create a feeling of familiarity through your marketing before even meeting for a first introduction. For all these reasons, having a current, high-quality headshot in today’s business world is essential.
In today’s era of selfies and Instagram filters, it may seem like capturing a professional headshot would be a quick and easy task; however, there are a number of considerations and faux pas to avoid to make the right impression.
Use these tips to capture the perfect, professional shots you need for your financial business
1. Dress for success
- Hair and make-up
While your photographer may offer retouching services, show up looking as camera-ready as possible with hair (and facial hair) well groomed. Using powder or oil absorbing sheets can also help reduce shine. If you usually wear make-up, remember to keep a natural day-office look, and consider hiring a make-up artist who is experienced working with camera lighting.
Dress as though you were meeting with an A+ prospect for the first time; for most advisors, this will mean a clean, pressed and well-tailored suit (and a tie for men.) Stick to dark, solid suits as lighter colors tend to stretch on camera. Avoid busy or distracting patterns that may date your photos. Wear an undershirt with a pop of color (mid-tone and jewel tone colors in blues, greens and purples tend to be universally flattering). If you are fair skinned, leave whites or colors that are too close to your skin tone at home as they will reflect and make you appear washed out on camera.For women, modest v-necks are universally flattering to lengthen the neck and aim to keep jewelry and accessories conservative and understated.
2. Hire a professional
Whether you go to a portrait studio or hire a local photographer to visit your office, invest in someone with a professional camera, lighting and demonstrable experience.
- Hiring a professional photographer
If you have a professional office and centralized support team, hiring a professional to come to your office will provide the most value for your investment as it can allow time to capture a wider variety of shots to use throughout your marketing materials. If you don’t know a photographer, try asking for recommendations from your social networks (a great way to remind others to recommend your services in the future) or use Google business reviews to find and qualify professionals in your area.Look for a photographer with a well-designed website that shows samples of their work. Are they well lit, in focus and professional? Does their shooting style reflect an image you’d want to project? Will they release all high-resolution images to you for your marketing use or do they charge per image? Ideally, look for a photographer with a flat hourly rate or half-day package that will deliver unrestricted, high-resolution images from traditional headshots and outdoor business casual shots to candid interactions around your office.
- Using a portrait studio
If you are a one-man-shop or have a team scattered across multiple regions that makes coordinating a centralized shoot difficult, you are likely better off going to a portrait studio that will release your digital images for commercial use. Stick to clean white backdrops for a timeless look that will be easy to recreate as you add or change team members in the future, and capture headshots and ¾ length shots facing either direction. Having this uniform background and professional studio lighting can allow a group photo to be edited together as your team evolves over time.
- Capture a variety of high-resolution images
Based on your location, pre-determine a shot list of potential images that may be helpful to capture during your shoot to make the most of your time. Using these professional photos in place of traditional stock photography on your website and other marketing efforts will truly set your brand apart in building an instant personal connection. Ideas include:
- Traditional headshots (shoulders facing each direction)
- ¾ length shots
- Outdoor business casual shots (may remove your jacket and/or tie or have a second change of clothes)
- Variations of group shots (by department, management, etc.)
- Candid office shots (staff meetings, client presentations, reception, signage or other branded elements of your location)
3. Keep it current!
Perhaps one of the most contested or ignored tips of professional photography: be sure to update your professional photo at least every five years. While aging, weight changes and other personal reasons may deter you from getting in front of the camera, having consistency between what-you-see and what-you-get from your website to your office visit creates an innate level of trust. Remember, the whole purpose of using your photos in marketing is to establish a feeling of familiarity. So don’t be so hard on yourself! People want to know, like and trust you, so let them see you for you are.
Ready for more tips to enhance your professional image, credibility and visibility? Be sure to subscribe to our monthly e-Newsletter for all our latest blogs from our team of experts at AdvisorPR, and contact us today to discuss how we can be of help building and promoting your financial brand!