Time for Professional Portraits

Local photographer shares why professional portraits are important, especially on LinkedIn, and what to keep in mind when taking them.

During the pandemic, we’ve had to communicate remotely, which has given us the opportunity to present ourselves to thousands—if not millions—of potential clients, customers and employers. Thus, metro Detroit photographer Joe Lease (joelease.com) said creating a professional digital identity is now more important than ever. “When someone clicks on your profile, the first impression they get is how you present yourself,” he said. “As the old saying goes, ‘you don’t get a second chance at making a first impression,’ so selfies, vacation pictures and shots showing you out with your friends are fine for casual posting but not if you want to show you are professional and want to be taken seriously.” To create a professional digital persona, Lease said there are three things we should all keep in mind: our body language, dress and environment.

Joe’s Advice:


"Body language is one of the most important aspects of non-verbal communication, and photography is all about non-verbal communication. People instinctively take cues from how we stand, if we touch our face and if we are smiling or not." 


"How we dress says a lot about how and what we see ourselves and how we establish our individual identity. A suit and tie works for a businessman or salesman but is inappropriate for a plumber, factory worker or dentist. How you dress is an effective way to tell the viewer how you want to be seen."


A canvas or paper background works well if you want a traditional portrait but doesn’t say anything about what you do and who you are. To accomplish that, shooting on-location works best. It shows the subject in their environment and adds to their character.

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