You know first impressions matter – but research at the University of Princeton shows that people’s judgements form in the first tenth of a second, and longer viewing doesn’t usually change their minds. Which is worth remembering these days, when we’re all taking a moment to get some perspective on work, career and self.
So when you need a new headshot or business portrait, the first question a good photographer will ask you is: what do you want your portrait to say, about who you are and where you’re headed? What’s the narrative you want your images to project?
And that’s not only about what employers, clients and customers read when they see your headshot or profile picture. Everyone knows the transformative power of collaboration, peer support and mentoring relationships; your individuality and your story are also important in making those crucial connections.
But, whether we like it or not, research also shows that women’s looks and style tend to be scrutinised and judged far more than a man’s would be in the same role. After centuries when it was almost entirely men who controlled what images were made of women, women’s portraits and headshots are still ‘read’ much more intensely by both genders.
Of course a good business portrait will show you as capable and confident, and in a style appropriate for your business and your ambitions. But in many industries – especially the more traditional ones – ‘appropriate’ for businesswomen also means conforming to expectations of femaleness, yet without appearing too ‘distractingly’ female. Plus, what’s appropriate varies round the world, and in the different contexts where images of you will be seen: your company website headshot has a very different purpose from an industry publication’s news story.
A professionally qualified photographer will know where the pitfalls are, but we also know that exploring the possibilities can be exciting, and even fun – and we do our best to make it both of those things. First, we’ll listen, ask a few questions, and discuss what you want your images to say and where they’ll be seen. Whether you enjoy being in front of a camera, or find it really daunting, we’ll help you feel relaxed and confident, even if you’ve come straight off a plane.
Stylists can work with you to create the ideal look for your personality and ambitions, including sourcing designer labels for your shoot. Our make-up artists will stay on set to keep you looking stylish, on brand, and perfectly groomed. And afterwards, our photo processing and retouching teams know how to deliver the highest-quality images quickly, while our back-office keeps everything securely archived and accessible for the future.
Whether you’re looking for a place on the board, that critical second job, your dream mentor or funding for your start-up, you can create the images that will help you get where you want to go.