05 The Red Setter Guide to Media Photography

By Charlie Royce, Digital Marketing Executive & EA

Whether we like it or not, having a good business headshot in your back pocket makes sense. The truth is, this one photograph personifies you as much as the article you have written, the professional biography that lives on your website, or the event you are guest speaker at. But getting it right isn’t always as easy as we think.

Some people are at home in front of the camera. Their inner Madonna is released the moment the camera flashes and they’re serving up executive realness like they’re filming the music video to the soundtrack of their lives.

For others it’s like living out a bad dream, but in public. Jaw tension hits, eyes start twitching uncontrollably and their inner monologue is screaming “what do you mean ‘smile in the eyes?’ Please, please make this stop”.

However, if you can nail a media photograph your audience already has a sense of who you are before it’s seen, heard or read about you. Get it wrong, and your first impression could be looking like last week’s bad Tinder date rather than your years of experience and knowledge.

So, surely there are some tricks of the trade that can help us achieve that all important picture? There are. And although we can’t take that snap for you, we’ve put together some tips that should help the next time you meet a photographer and get that sinking feeling…

The night before…

Get a good night’s sleep and don’t turn up with a hangover. It’s no secret, we are all a fan of a light airbrush, but even the world’s best photographer is going to struggle to cover up the dark circles and blurry eyes left from last night’s 6th gin and tonic. Your skin will be clearer, your eyes will be brighter, and you will take a better photo if you are well rested.

Plan your outfit and take a few options. Don’t leave it to chance and hope that your best jeans are clean. By taking options, you can see what works best in the light you are working with. Either way, make sure that your outfit makes you feel confident and comfortable.

Avoid logos and obviously branded garments. We want to be drawn to your warmth and personality. Not the latest Puma x Fenty collaboration by Rihanna.

The day of…

Look at the camera. We all love a candid shot, but we aren’t on holiday, this isn’t Ibiza and nobody is gazing into the sunset.

Keep your hair out of your eyes and your hands out of your face. Your eyes are the most important part of a photo. They’re the window to who you are. Cover them up and we immediately switch off.

When choosing your photo…

Get both black and white, and a colour high-res digital copy. Publications will have their own preferences and house styles, although recently there has been a real shift towards colour. It packs more punch.

Above all else…

LOOK LIKE YOUR PHOTO! Of course, we all want to look our best in professional pictures, but it’s obvious when the person portrayed in the photo is clearly not who they are in reality. Embrace your imperfections, your style and your body. It works for you. And you look brilliant.

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