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Brisbane copywriter cameraSupermodels and generation-selfie aside, not many of us love getting our photo took.

But when you’re running a business, putting your face out there is generally a non-negotiable part of the deal.

You’re trying to connect with people after all, and what better way to do it than with the most visible part of yourself – i.e. your face?

Unfortunately, the process of putting your face out there can be painful. For the introverts among us, excruciatingly so.

But there are ways to make it, if not precisely enjoyable, at the very least bearable. Here’s how to get a pain-free professional photo.

Hire a photographer you can trust

Unfortunately, there are lots of dodgy so called ‘photographers’ out there who’ll charge you an arm and a leg for a shoot, then ask for a kidney or two for the actual pics. Getting your headshots done shouldn’t break your bank, so look for a photographer who charges a flat fee for the whole box and dice.

Packages generally include the shoot itself (with an unlimited number of images taken), post shoot editing and a set number of images delivered. If you know you need x number of photos, negotiate that from the get-go.

Know what you need before you get started

A good photographer will ask all kinds of questions about you and your business before they put a camera in your face. But it makes their job a lot easier if you have a clear idea of what you need and what you want before it all gets underway.

So show them what you do and don’t like – framing, colours, locations, filters – it all helps build an image of how you want to present yourself, and makes it more likely you’ll get exactly what you want.

Put on your best face

When we look good, we feel good. And nothing makes us feel better than good hair and perfectly done eye makeup. It also screams confidence.

So invest in a blow-dry and full face paint. Many hairdressers can do a blow-dry for $30 or less, while your make-up can be done at Myer, DJs, Napoleon or the Body Shop for a set fee that’s usually refundable against any products purchased. Hint – buy the lipstick, you’ll need it.  And bonus – because it’s for work, it’s all tax deductible. Winning.

Shoot in multiple locations

Unless you want a super bland corporate automaton headshot, a faux grey marble backdrop (circa school photos 1992) isn’t going to cut it.

Whether you’re having your photos done inside or outside, you need a variety of backdrops to work with. Look for interesting textures, colours that tie into your branding and lots of natural light. Your photographer should be able to help you out, but it helps them out if you have an idea of possible locations from the get-go.

Change it up – your outfit that is

There’s no point having photos taken with a variety of backdrops if you’re wearing the same clothes and assuming the same pose in each one. So mix it up.

Have 2 – 3 outfits ready to go and ensure your photographer poses you differently in each photo so you end up with a variety of shots to choose from. What’s appropriate depends on your business and industry, but a mix of more formal and professional with relaxed and approachable should do the trick.

Try and enjoy yourself

Yep, having your photo taken can be an intensely awkward and vulnerable experience, but the photos themselves don’t have to reflect that. And let’s not lie to ourselves – you’re going to be judged on these photos, so at least try and look like you were enjoying yourself.

A good photographer will help put you at ease, but the bulk of the work is up to you. So breathe deeply, think of something that makes you happy and loosen up – it’ll shine through and your photos will be so much better because of it.

Keep it current

Just like your website, if your photos are done well, they don’t need to be updated every year. However, time takes its toll on all of us, so consider a re-shoot every 3 years or so to ensure the face your customers see on your website is the same one that greets them at the door.

Pain-free photos are possible…

Get the right photographer, show up with good hair, great make-up and a fabulous attitude and the results will be there for the world to see.

Smile gorgeous, it’s time for your close up.