The last time I had to send in a photo of myself, I automatically asked a coworker to grab the standard formal portrait. You know the kind, the head-and-shoulders photo also known as a mug shot.
When we scrolled through them later, I groaned. It seems like they are, by their nature, too often bland and static. Fine for a passport, but not how I want the outside world to see me and Business Communications Group. Today, with more two-way conversation going on between our company and clients, it's important to show the real person who means business - who has a real personality.
So we tried getting some "environmental" shots - in the office, in the field, talking to staff and checking on projects.
But in the end I settled on a shot taken at the very end of the day at a coffee shop, when I was too tired to get frozen and awkward.
Lesson learned: Even when the occasion demands a plain head-and-shoulders photo, I don't have to look like I'm about to be booked and fingerprinted. Here is what I can suggest:
* Staying loose is the hardest part. To avoid freezing up, try walking in or turning around to face the camera just before the photo is taken.
* To get your mojo working, recite your company's boilerplate 3x with conviction (this helps when you're recording audio or video too)
* Avoid colorful backdrops, props and clutter - less is more. I had a rose colored wall behind on this one, and wish I didn't. A plain white background is great for most online contexts where photos are posted.