Professional Portraits are always a great investment for CEOs and senior executives, even more so if one is active on the speaker circuit. Conference organizers and event planners around the world expect professional speakers to have their photos and bios handy. It’s almost hygiene requirement.
Last year, I had my professional portraits shot by the talented Amar Ramesh , founder of StudioA and I could immediately see the kind of positive impact it had in my speaking career. Perception is key and great photos do a wonderful job for you.
I have made a commitment to myself that I will invest in fresh set of portraits every year. This year, I started to grow a mustache (part of my ongoing coiffure experimentation) and I needed to have photos that reflected my new look. I have known Navanee Vishwa, founder of Studio Navans ever since he did the photo and video coverage for the Professional Speakers Summit this year. Navanee has started to focus on professional portraits and has his own signature style of minimalism. He is an active member of the Professional Speakers Association of India and his passion for speaking made me choose him to shoot my second set of portraits.
Based on my experience shooting portraits both with Amar Ramesh and Navanee Vishwa, here is my set of advice for any person who wants to get their own portraits done.
1) Make sure to get your portraits done in the morning. It’s important for you to look fresh and its best when you have had a good nights sleep. Never keep the photo shoot in the evening for you are bound to be tired after a day’s work. That tiredness will eventually show on the photos no matter how much you smile.
2) Do you homework well in advance. I would urge you to spend at least 2 hours researching on other portraits that you like. Make a selection of good portraits that you like. It is much easier for you to show the style to the photographer to explain what you need. This way you make the communication lot more clearer and this will help the photographer to do a better job. They also appreciate the kind of effort you have taken to prepare for this photo shoot.
3) Practice different poses. During the photo shoot, this comes in super handy. Professional photographers love subjects that give different poses. It helps them in getting better angles. Most people put the onus on the photographer. Don’t. You are not here to get your passport photos done. You are here because you want some creative, good looking photos. The more you help the photographer, the better will be the photos you will get.
4) I would urge you to hire a makeup artist to brush you up. Sure, it is an additional expense but its worth it. For both the photo shoots, I skimped on this and started to immediately regret. I realized that my skin was very oily and it clearly showed on the photos. I had to dab some talcum powder to reduce the oily look. A professional artist knows to to make you look really good on camera. If you don’t want to pay for one, get along your spouse or someone who can help you.
5) Get to know the photographer and the assistants. Get pally with them. Engage with them with conversations. Expect the photo shoot to last upwards of an hour or even two and you need to keep the spirit up. A happy photographer will mean that you will get great photos. Photographers love communicative subjects.
Hope these tips have been helpful. Every professional needs good portraits. My daughter, Krithya, got her portraits done immediately after she joined AIESEC. Consider it as an investment for your professional success. Good luck with your portraits.