The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

May 1, 2013

Susan Miller: Are you the picture of success?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does your portrait say about you? Can the right business headshot help you land a job interview, attract a client or raise awareness of your business?

Regular photos are a great way to capture milestones and chronicle a person’s growth from infancy through high school. But after graduation, all bets are off. As adults, how many of us get a professional portrait taken?

In a world where LinkedIn is often the first place a prospective employer goes to learn more about an applicant, a business portrait can help you project a professional image even before the interview.

In most instances, a business portrait will reflect better on you and your business than a Facebook image snapped on a smart phone at last year’s holiday party.

I spoke with Chuck Rossen at Star Photo about why it’s important to invest in a professional business portrait instead of simply using an image taken from a smartphone. He noted that an individual’s image is often the first experience people have with his or her business.

The nature of the business should be taken into consideration when a portrait is taken. A real estate agent should look successful, friendly and approachable. An attorney or investment adviser will want to appear knowledgeable and focused.

A good business portrait requires more than donning a power suit or sitting in front of a bookshelf. Professional photographers also pay attention to the subject’s posture, lighting and posing — elements that an amateur is apt to overlook.

What’s an example of an improperly posed subject? Chuck cited the yearbook portrait of Steve Carell in the 2005 film, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” The humorous photo is an example of a male being placed in a traditionally feminine pose, yet the casual observer is unlikely to recognize what is “off” about the image.

Stereotypes aside, Chuck said that sometimes a photographer may place a female in a less feminine pose to convey a voice of authority. That’s why a female judge candidate isn’t likely to appear gazing upward with her chin cradled in her palms.

How often should a business photo be taken? The answer is more apt to be influenced by fashion than facial features. Women’s fashions tend to change more frequently than men’s, but even suit lapels and tie widths can create a dated look.

Remember the ’80s skinny ties and parachute pants? I’m not just picking on men as I have a mid-’90s “glamour photo” that wordlessly conveys why the female mullet was not a good idea.

Chuck noted that using a dated photograph for marketing purposes can also project a sense of deception. It’s the rare individual who looks the same age at 55 as at 40, and an individual who promotes a much younger image of him/herself may appear disingenuous.

Want to project the “picture of success”? A good business portrait can reflect well on your business and help you put your best face forward.

Susan Miller is owner of Ewing Miller Communications, an Anderson-based marketing and public relations consulting firm. Her column appears in the Herald Bulletin on the first Thursday of each month. Write to her at susan@ewingmiller.com.

1
Text Only
Local Business
  • sheryl myers Daleville gets first look at reservoir project The Imagine Mounds Lake project made a stop in Daleville on Thursday as residents came out to ask questions and see how the proposed reservoir might affect their lives.

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS - HB0821 - Warner Bodies - JC 1 Elwood welcomes manufacturing company Warner Bodies

    The relocation of a manufacturing plant to Madison County brings both revitalization and new jobs to the area.

    August 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Historic barn tour and workshop Sept. 19 Across Indiana, barns of all ages and types have been successfully rehabilitated for modern farming and other uses. On Sept. 19, Indiana Landmarks offers BARN AGAIN!, a workshop to help owners maximize use of vintage barns.

    August 20, 2014

  • NWS - HB0820 - Kennedy Google- JC 2 Google X captures heart, imagination of AU professor After spending the summer working at Google's secret research laboratory in Mountain View, California, Scott Kennedy has decided to stay.

    August 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Residential electric rates increasing by 9 percent The electric rates for residential customers of Anderson Municipal Light & Power will increase by 8.96 percent for the final three months of the year.

    August 19, 2014

  • Indiana experiences growth in manufacturing sector Known for its strength in traditional and progressive manufacturing, Indiana gained more than 5,500 jobs in the manufacturing sector last month and has maintaining a 5.9 percent unemployment rate from June.

    August 19, 2014

  • NWS - HB0819 - Mounds Reservoir - JC 1 People get a view of proposed reservoir

    Local residents are being given the opportunity to discuss the benefits and challenges that face the development of the proposed Mounds Lake reservoir.

    August 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • FEA - HB0819 - Mommy Monday - JC 3 Mommy and me time

    Babette Bargo of Anderson said she brought her daughter to Community Hospital’s first Mommy Monday to meet other mothers and children after her sister-in-law told her about the event.

    August 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Reservoir would reduce tax revenues If the proposed Mounds Lake reservoir becomes a reality by 2021, local taxing units could lose an estimated $1.9 million in revenues.

    August 18, 2014

  • Ambulance provider to leave communities

    Area hospitals say they are not sure what to make of Rural/Metro Corp.’s announcement to end ambulance services in some Indiana communities.

    August 18, 2014

Stocks
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide