Sunday, April 08, 2007

Improving your professional image

Does your professional image need a renovation?

Just about everyone has an online presence and if you are a professional, the need for a good website, blog or online profile is even more important.

Good images set you apart from the masses. If you are a facebook user, then you see more than your share of out-of-focus, far-away, out-of-date or self-portraits (i call them big-arm photos) photos that pass for profile pics.

So here are some recent headshots. Three very different people but they all end up looking polished and appropriate. First person is Maureen McGowan (, a Toronto based writer who is a finallist in the prestigious Golden Heart writing competition. Thank you to Danielle for referring Maureen to me. I think this shot works because it's warm, and sincere - just like her in real life! We tried out a couple of different tops before deciding that the black v-neck worked best. This was photographed in the writer's home, in front of her favourite bookcase.

Second example is actor Michael Holtz. The final shot was selected by his agent (even though we both preferred a shot with a more serious expression). Usually we think that only actors and models need headshots, but this is not the case!

Last and most recent example is Monika Dutt. I recently re-connected with my elementary school classmate through facebook and found out that not only is Monika now a family physician with an MBA and Masters in Public Health, she is also the St. Paul's (Toronto) Green Party candidate for the federal election! That last one was a very recent development, and she was suddenly faced with the fact that a vacation snapshot from last year does not a headshot make. I'm pretty pleased with the result - she looks confident and pulled together - exactly how you would expect someone with her impressive CV to look.



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