In the age of camera phones and selfies, bad business headshots and portraits are spreading like noxious weeds.

Your Mum probably taught you not to judge a book by its cover or a person by the way they look. Unfortunately it’s in our DNA at a subconscious level to judge by appearance. A poorly lit selfie may not be so bad on Facebook. But on your company’s team page or Linked In profile it could be damaging your brand. Does your photo communicate professionalism, a quality product or service? Or does that poor image show that no one could be bothered to put the effort in to do things properly?

If you want to create the best impression possible, set yourself apart from your competition and show your customers you have a dependable and quality product or service, there are some simple things to avoid in your business portraits.

Here’s a list of 7 common business portrait mistakes to avoid.

1) The Partier

You might work for a fun and modern company but a profile photo like this will certainly send the wrong message to your potential customers and your company’s management.

 

2) The Animal Lover
It’s a lovely photo and it would be great if you’re a vet or if you’re going for a more unique team page full of personality. Otherwise stick to something in context with the type of work you do or something more traditional.

 

3) The Smooth Talker
Let’s face it, unless you’re in the modelling or male entertainment industry, you may want your staff photo to be a little more conservative.

 

4) Halloween
Yes this is me demonstrating some of the bad light I see.
Bad portrait lighting is more common than a cow in a dairy. I didn’t want to shame anyone so I took this one of me to show you what I often see.

It’s a little exaggerated of course but you get the idea.

If you insist on taking your own corporate portraits, please stop standing directly underneath harsh indoor lights and go stand facing a window instead. You’ll cut out harsh shadows like in this photo.

 

5) Eternal Youth

We all want to look 10 years younger in our business portraits. If you get a few surprised looks when people first meet you or you have a few more greys now, it’s time for a new photo.

 

6) The Grimace

95% of my clients hate having their photo taken. They generally feel uncomfortable and aren’t sure how to stand or look. An excellent photographer will help you to feel comfortable and guide you through the whole process.

The end result is a headshot you won’t scare off customers like the man in this photo above is doing.

This has been fun putting these together for you.

In seriousness, I do see bad quality team photos like this all the time. Maybe not quite this bad but you get the idea.

Go check out the headshots on your company’s staff page and if any remind you of these examples, ask yourself if your photos are making the impression you want to make with your customers, colleagues and suppliers.