Q&A: How to look trustworthy in your professional photo

Convincing clients and prospects to trust you is essential to building relationships with them. A great photo alone

Lori Johnson

won’t win them over, but a bad photo can undermine how they see you. This is why I conducted an email interview with Lori Johnson of Your Best Image. By the way, Lori specializes in photographic image and she did the makeup for my head shot photo.

Q. What about a photo makes you appear less trustworthy?

A. Dark shadows in the face or background.  Anything that hides the face i.e. sunglasses, hat, facial hair, hairstyle that covers the face, etc.  Poor quality photos.  Inappropriate wardrobe, makeup, hairstyle.  Too much photo shop alteration of the photo so you do not look like you do in real life.

Q. What conveys “trustworthy” in a photo?

A. A sincere smile and sparkle in the eye. Clothing appropriate for the industry and your personal style.  Colors that flatter your skin tone, hair color, and eye color.  Use an open stance; no tightly crossed arms or hands in front of your body, open and relax shoulders, and stand or sit tall.

Q. I’ve heard that blue is the color of trust. Do you agree?

A. Yes. Darker, deeper blues such as deep navy blue are serious and powerful. Deep blue sends a message of authority and credibility, which is why it’s commonly used in formal business attire and as a uniform color. In fact, navy blue gets its name because it’s been the color (along with bright white) of the British Royal Navy’s uniforms since 1748.

Q. Do casual photos make a financial advisor seem more approachable?

A. A few casual photos can help tell your story and make you appear more “real,” open, and friendly. Use these photos to help personalize your print, web, social media, or other marketing materials. They should not be the main images in your materials.

Be careful about the quality and quantity of your casual and personal photos. Poor quality photos may make you appear less professional. That’s why I recommend you rely on a professional.

Q. Can you recommend how to prepare for a professional photo shoot?

A. You’ll find detailed recommendations in my article, “Pre-shoot Suggestions.”