How selfies on your website destroy your brand

why you need personal branding photography - headshot of woman with yellow bandana

The camera doesn't lie ... Or does it?

You've heard the old saying that the camera doesn't lie. (Well THAT's a lie.)

You've been told that rough, candid, unposed shots show "the real you". (Another lie. Which version of the real you?)

That if you look ugly in pictures, you must be ugly in real life. (Er, no. Lie.)

You know, there aren't that many people who are truly ugly, just as there aren't really THAT many who are truly stunning. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle, but unfortunately it's incredibly easy for average or even stunning looking people to look ghastly in photographs.

Professional images on your website

On your website, the difference between a bad and good picture of yourself can genuinely be consequential to your professional life.

Brand photographer Edinburgh - Donna Green Photography

Selfies are great for kids, celebs, fun-loving adults, and for once-in-a-lifetime moments. They're spontaneous, in the moment, entertaining, and they capture the zeitgeist. Or your new hair-doo. Great for Insta, Facebook, Twitter …

But NOT for your website.

If you're not willing to ensure you have a good quality photograph of yourself on your website, what else do you cut corners on? Are you cheap and/or casual in the professional parts of your life too? 

Why you need professional photos of yourself

Here are some reasons to get professional rather than phone photographs of yourself taken:

Brand Photographer Edinburgh Donna Green Photography 5

1) Distortion

Human brains are wired to see things – like photos! - in 2D differently to the way we see things in 3D. When you're looking at someone in person, you get a 3D perception of their dimensions but put that in a photograph and things can look larger or smaller than they really are.

Your brain sees distortion in a photograph and judges it negatively, but in real life, your brain compensates for the distortion because you have that spatial awareness. Wide-angle lenses are the worst offenders, and guess what, most mobile phone cameras are wide-angle.

2) Crappy lighting

In real life, our eyes automatically adjust to darkness and brightness. But cameras don’t generally manage to reproduce highlights AND shadows accurately, so the resulting pictures which come out of our phones are often unflattering unless the lighting is spot on.

And how often does that happen at a party, or on the beach, or wherever you shot that selfie?

3) Crappy, grainy photos

Lots of phone cameras just don't have high enough resolution to get all the detail in and to capture tonal ranges properly.

All too often there are highlights, there are shadows, and there's really not enough in between, plus, in comparison to shots taken with a professional-grade camera, they often look all rough and grainy.

5) Chin, chin!

One thing I've noticed in my time photographing people is that it's very common for folk to draw their heads back when faced with a camera.

This is possibly even more true for when people take selfies with their phone cameras. And what happens when you draw your head back? You suddenly look like you've got 20 chins and no neck. Not A Good Look.

But having someone photograph you who's used to chatting to people and getting them relaxed makes a world of difference.

You'll be guided on how to sit or stand then because you're having a blether with the photographer you're not thinking "OMG OMG, is this my best side, do I look okay, I’d rather be at the dentist, I hate my nose, do I look fat in this?", etc.

You relax, and that instantly makes for a better picture.

4) Crappy cluttered background

YOU should be the focus of the photograph. Not the tree growing out of your head or the messy room behind you.

Phone camera selfies don't usually blur out the background to make your face the main focus, and many people taking selfies don't even consider their background at all.

Yes, some phones have a blur feature, but they usually look incredibly fake.

How do you want to be perceived?

A single picture can't tell the whole story of who you are, or even what you look like, and that's why it's vital that the one you put out there gets across how you want to be perceived.

That picture of you on your home page is often all people have to go on before they decide whether to read on, investigate more, then ultimately meet you, so do yourself a favour, make sure it's as good as it possibly can be.

Edinburgh branding photographer


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