One thing that is often overlooked by businesses is the art of a good portrait photograph (or headshot). It can be an awkward and daunting ordeal to go through the motions of putting an image of yourself on your company’s website. You might feel self-conscious and embarrassed at the prospect of visitors being immediately confronted by your mugshot when they click onto your homepage. But if you can look past the (mostly unreasonable) discomfort of showing your face to the digital world, you might find it to be a very beneficial move in the long-term.

In this post we’re going to talk all about the benefits of using portrait photography in your business.

Creates trust

People work with people. You’ve probably heard that adage a hundred times before, but it’s as true now as it’s ever been. People like to know who they’re doing business with. We all feel more comfortable when we can put a face to a name, and portrait photography can help with this.

By featuring an image of yourself and/or your staff on your company’s website, you’re giving people a face to associate with your brand. This gives visitors the feeling that they know you on a more personal level.

And, if people work with people, they also buy from people. So by showing that you are, in fact, a person, and not just a group of words and abstract images on a screen, you’re encouraging customers to buy with confidence.

Shows commitment 

By putting your face at the forefront of your brand (i.e the homepage of your website), you’re making a statement. And that statement is: I believe in my business enough to attach my identity to it. This is no small thing. By putting your face on your website, you’re assuming full responsibility for your brand. Because if things go bad, people have a face to direct their blame at. It’s like a consumer insurance policy.

A headshot on your homepage, then, is in many ways a seal of approval. It shows people that you’re proud of your business — proud enough that you don’t need to hide away in anonymity.

It’s personal

There are plenty of stock photographs of happy employees sitting around tables strewn with documents, laptops, and coffee cups. There are also plenty of formal stock headshots featuring businessmen and women, staring amiably into the camera. The problem is that they’re almost always identifiable as stock photographs. Who knows why, but stock photographs just seem to have something about them. That’s not to say they’re bad, just that they’re easy to spot.

The thing with portraits and images of staff members is that they need to be authentic. It’s not just a tick-the-box scenario where any old picture of any old person will do. One of the major problems with stock headshots and group photos is that they don’t convey personality. Whatever your brand’s values, whatever your personal quirks, they’ll be lost in the sterile background of a stock image.

It’s human

There’s a lot of integrity in businesses admitting their humanness to customers. Often it can seem as though big corporations are actively trying to appear faceless, without any apparent human input. This is not only frustrating for customers but it’s bad for PR. And it results in hollow customer interactions that lack authenticity.

By acknowledging that your business is run by humans, you’re accept that it’s vulnerable. You’re owning up to not being a machine, and to being fallible. Some people may think this is a bad thing, but on the contrary it’s often very positive. It takes courage to put yourself out in the open, where you can be easily ridiculed and criticised. It also takes courage to be responsible for a business you’ve created, rather than saying it’s out of your hands.

More often that not, people respond to honesty with trust. There’s nothing more endearing, after all, than being human.

Keep snapping

For more on photography in business, see our posts on When To Use Photography In Design, and Using Photography In Web Design: A Quick Guide.