|Top four photos chosen in Facebook poll. Photography Credit: Bethany Neal.|
Over 400 people interacted with the photos, including 270 that picked a favorite pose. Photo C came in with the most "votes" at 65, followed by Photo A (my personal favorite) with 60 votes. My only successful pose without a full smile, Photo D, came in with 49 votes and Photo E, an outdoor shot, received 43 votes. The other two photos (not shown in the infographic above) received 28 and 25 votes each. What was equally as helpful as the numbers, were the detailed explanations of why people made their choice. During this process I learned a few things that might be helpful for your next photo shoot.
I was focused on finding the perfect one photo. A few commenters mentioned how I could use more than one photo, depending on the intended usage. Immediately I felt relieved. I have decided to use the top four choices in different ways. For instance, the top photo choice fits the description of what LinkedIn researchers say make the best LinkedIn profile photo. I have already changed my LinkedIn photo. Meanwhile, I plan to use the pose with the beautiful fall leaves in the background to go along with my poetry and writing bio.
1. You can have more than one professional photo
2. Know your audience and platformThe poll received responses from a wide variety of people who all know me from different facets of my life. I have been researching the best practices for professional photos for the past month and there doesn't seem to be one standard anymore. Many photographers prefer a closed-mouth smile to convey seriousness and approachability at the same time. This is different from the plain background with an open smile and slightly squinted eyes, which are popular on LinkedIn.
3. The same smile can convey different messagesWith very subtle changes, the entire dialogue changed. Authenticity, approachability, confidence and professionalism can all be skewed with background, a slight tilt of the head, or hand placement.
This whole process has been eye-opening, fun, and educational. I'm grateful to those who participated in this poll and hope you all find this experiment helpful.
Please comment or Tweet Me at @lesgo4it