Importance of a Great Personal Branding Photo – Guest Blog by Mark Alousis

Hello everyone, my name is Mark and I am the owner of Mark Alousis Portrait in Toronto. I take modern, magazine style portraits and headshots. Think Vanity Fair or GQ style for the everyday men and women.   In this post I will talk about the importance of a professional head shot as well as a few tips to get the best results from your shots. 

When someone gets a contact from a friend or business  associate, what is the first thing they do?  In most cases people either Google them or check out their social media profiles on Facebook or Instagram. If they have any sort of online presence you will most likely find their profile picture. Now, what impresses you more, a cropped, grainy photo of them at a recent wedding, a “selfie” in their bedroom, or a headshot taken by a professional?  

I don’t have enough fingers or toes to count the number of times I’ve come across profile pictures of business people that are clearly from a wedding (or funeral ;-)).  You know the one… the one where they have their arm around someone who is cropped out of the picture, or the one of them in a nice suit or dress with a cocktail of some sort in hand. Not the best impression for potential clients or employers.  


When I first started learning about the professional headshot about 5 years ago, one thing that stuck with me was “confident yet approachable”.  That could mean a bit of a smile, a bigger smile or a certain “look”. Whatever that is, your photographer should be able to get that out of you, because that is what you are paying a professional for. 


Some clients say to me “ugh, I hate getting my photo done, I’m not photogenic”! My response to everyone is the same. I tell them to let me take care of that! You don’t have to know how to move, or pose, or “look good” because I will pose and move you, right down to your last finger!   


I advise my clients to avoid patterns and crazy colours if possible as they can be a bit of a jerry_blog (2 of 2)-3.jpgdistraction. BUT – if that is your brand or the image you want to portray then go all in on that.   When I do my pre-shoot consultation I recommend that my clients bring 2-3 outfits that we can mix and match to get different looks so they have some variety to choose from.  


Hair and makeup? Absolutely! I recommend it to all of my clients, as it takes out a stressful step for some, but also gets you the right type of look for a photograph. I tell my clients if they are doing their own makeup to be sure to use a matte finish so there is not too much shine on the skin. 


My clients always get their top three shots from a session.  This allows us to get a few different looks to use across your social media or profiles. For example, you may need a  more formal image for LinkedIn, whereas Facebook and Instagram can be a bit more casual. It is also good to change up your profile picture from time to time to keep things fresh.  


I hope you would agree that a great headshot is key to  putting your best foot forward online. If you have any questions about Personal Branding  please feel free to email or call me at 416-278-4259 to chat.  


Thanks to Tammy for asking me to write this blog and I hope to see some of you in the studio in the future!  




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