If you've ever met me in person you know that I talk a lot about building trust with your clients and how your image will either encourage someone to call you or to move on quickly to someone else.
What I don't mention is how I go about helping my clients build that trust.
It's actually incredibly simple, make sure your image looks like you do now! Unlike glamour photography where you are creating a fantasy and can get completely glammed up, personal branding photography is about connecting the person that shows up to the meeting with the person they've seen online. To do this I recommend that my clients work with a makeup artist to help them achieve their daily style. Makeup artists are trained to work with how the camera and lighting will reflect and help a client feel like themselves when they're captured on screen, although when they look at themselves in the mirror it feels like they're wearing more makeup then usual it comes across properly. Some of my clients still choose to do their own makeup and that's okay too!
For me the key element to building trust in your image is that I have a minimal image retouching process.
In my opinion, and my studio, image retouching is the process of finishing an image. It's removing stray hair or a blemish that isn't usually there, possibly softening some shadows and lines or removing shine, the small things that the camera accentuates that our eyes naturally don't focus on when we see someone in person. It's not about changing the way someone looks.
Image manipulation or magazine retouching on the other hand is about changing the person. Now this is often done in large advertisements with models but the idea behind it is to create a fantasy, the person is meant to be anonymous because the goal is to promote a lifestyle or ideal, not an actual person.
When small business owners confuse this and want it done for themselves they are inadvertently telling their customer they have something to hide. Think about anytime professionally or personally you met someone online and then went to meet them in person and they are either using a picture from 20 years ago, have manipulated the image so much it doesn't look like them (this can be done with filters too) or are blatantly using someone else's picture, how did it make you feel? How long was it until you were able to trust them or did you just run from them as fast as you could?
Many people don't see anything wrong with what they are doing but again I ask you, do you trust this person now?
In business you take the time to build your credibility why risk destroying it over an image that does not look like you do! I guarantee you will attract more people to your awesome confident personality when you look like yourself and you will close that sale faster because they will trust you!