We are living in the age of social media, where the world sees us as how we present ourselves in our profile photo. More often than not, it is a haphazardly captured selfie image. Maybe even a carelessly cropped photo of you from a group photo of some sort. Or worse, you choose to leave the default Avatar to represent you… The anonymous silhouette of a faceless “person”.
Humans Are Visual Beings
Human beings have evolved to be on the top of the intelligence ladder. One of the characteristics that made human beings suitable to be the apex carnivore is the development to see in full colour. What this means is that human beings are one of the very few animals capable of viewing the world in the full spectrum of visible colours.
Okay, enough biology lesson for now. What I am trying to say is that we, human beings, have evolved to depend on our acute and highly developed visual sense. That being said, we are visually aware of our surroundings, and that we communicate visually, whether you realise it or not.
We also tend to match names to faces. That is how you learn about the guy you just met at the frat party last night, or the business associate that your boss introduced to you during the last company dinner, or even the political candidate that is canvassing for your vote in the next election.
A name is nothing if you can’t match it to a face. A name is just a meaningless string of words put together if it doesn’t represent a face. We are all known by our faces. Our names are just a convenient method to differentiate one person from the next.
Why else do you think that you need a photo for your passport, driving licence, work ID, or any other sort of ID’s? It is to identify that you are who your name says that you are, and not somebody else.
The Dawn Of The Age Of Social Media
In the age of Social Media, we choose to express ourselves via social media channels that are available to us. The opinions that you choose to express represent your views as an individual. And that individual is identified by what you look like, the photo of your face.
This is especially true if you are in a professional networking group, like LinkedIn
Profile Photo Versus ID Mugshot
Don’t get me wrong, a profile photo definitely isn’t the same as your ID mugshot. While the ID mugshot is good enough for ICAO, or the various government agencies that governs what is suitable for an identity photo, it certainly isn’t good enough to be used as your profile photo, whether for a business network like LinkedIn, or social network, like Facebook.
The above two images are of me. The one on the left is the typical mugshot, approved by government agencies to be used for identification purposes. It shows what I look like, nothing more, nothing less. Yes, this is the actual image used in my passport.
The one on the right shows much more than what I merely look like. It shows the characteristics that is associated with me, that I’m sociable, warm, and very people-friendly. That is what people actually experience when they interact with me in person. Not just the cold, lifeless, legally acceptable representation of who I am.
Using the left mugshot as a profile photo on my Facebook profile would probably scare you off. Nobody would want to add me to their friend list at all. That is the reason why I don’t use it for anything other than government identity documents. They actually don’t allow you to smile in your photos.
How To Get Your Profile Photo Professionally Taken
Okay, we have established that you need to have your profile photo professionally taken. So how do you go about getting it? The first choice would probably be to visit your neighbourhood colour lab. Then you have them take your profile photo in their mini studio, usually behind the retail front.
However, many of the local neighbourhood colour labs do not have a professional photographer on their payroll. They might try to convince you otherwise. More often than not, they would tell you that they are “professional” photographers themselves, which is technically correct. But don’t count on them giving you anything other than the typical mugshot as described above.
Your best option will be to hire a professional commercial photographer, one who is experienced in bringing out the best image of anybody. Just don’t expect that you will be able to get it done for a song and a dance. Professional photographic services often don’t come cheap. But their services are definitely worth every penny that you pay for.
It Is Time To Revamp Your Social Media Profile Photos
Now that you know what you need to do to enhance your social media standing, it is time to go out and get your profile photo professionally taken. If you are still in doubt, not knowing where you can turn to solicit for professional photographic services, you can always contact us. After all, we are professional photographers ourselves.