Sunday, July 1, 2012

Picture this

Maybe it’s me. When I think of “social” media, I expect to interact with someone on more of a personal level than, say, a business communication. The difference can be as minor as seeing a picture – of having a face to connect to a name.

True, the headshots can be so small as to barely indicate human versus plant existence – especially on a smartphone – but they’re a start.

What amazes me is how so many people make such bad choices when it comes to their photos. “Bad” as in:

  • Cutting what is obviously a couples photo in half. (We can still see your partner’s arm around your shoulder.)
  • Holding your smartphone at arm’s length and clicking away. (Now we can see your arm, and it looks freakishly out of proportion to your head, thanks to the wide-angle lens.).
  • Repurposing a candid from a wedding or other formal event. (Woo-hoo! You look like you’re having a great time, but your glassy stare says you're having too much fun to drive. You might want to use a different picture for LinkedIn, especially if you’re job-hunting or looking for clients.)
Good pictures are hard to capture, even with the abundance of cameras available on phones and tablets, not to mention digital cameras of all sizes and price ranges. And sitting for a picture can be a painful process. (Is that really what I look like?)

I share your pain. I just went through an agonizing photo session to update my social media photo. At least clients will recognize me when I walk in their door.

It can be tempting to opt out of posting a picture, to prefer the mystery of staying hidden. But it’s hard to take someone seriously on social media when staring at their default no-photo stand-in or Twitter egghead.

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