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What image to project in a professional photo?

By Andrew Pollack on 07/25/2008 at 07:36 PM EDT

I've been asked again for a suitable photo to use in publication. This happens from time to time if you speak and write and isn't that big a deal. The problem is that the last one I had done by a pro is now something close to seven years old. That's it on the left.

It was taken by friend who is a professional photographer. You can see that he did a hell of a job making me look better than I should. In fact, my favorite comment ever about this photo was from someone who said "He did a great job. It really looks like you care." Unfortunately, I'm aging much faster than this photo.

I am, of course, partial to one like the one on the right. Instead of business attire I'm wearing a SCOTT air pack and in the process of taking off hazmat protective gear. I'm just not sure it sends the right message if you come across it in flyer for a conference or something like that.

I thought about having one done in my uniform, but since I'm not representing the department it wouldn't really be appropriate. I just hate having to have these made, so any most suggestions are welcome.

P.S. To the person who suggested something quite a bit less traditional, all I can say is, nobody needs that.

There are  - loading -  comments....

re: What image to project in a professional photo?By Bob Balaban on 07/25/2008 at 09:46 PM EDT
Have you thought about trying a tuxedo?
re: What image to project in a professional photo?By Mary Beth Raven on 07/25/2008 at 10:17 PM EDT
Well, I still think you look enough like th eone on the left 9with the
computer) to keep that as lon gas you can.
Or, you can ask your wife/friend/guys at the station to play with their digial
camers and seewhat happens! but don't ask me cause I just tried to do this for
my colleague Andrew Davis and I am a terrible photographer!
re: What image to project in a professional photo?By Bruce Perry on 07/25/2008 at 10:34 PM EDT
The one on the right is nice, but a bit too dark.

Picasa's "Fill Light" control can often rescue photos like this. It's easy
enough that I can use it.
re: What image to project in a professional photo?By Jo Grant on 07/26/2008 at 02:39 PM EDT
In my "professional" picture I look a bit stodgy and uptight. But I take some
satisfaction that in the uncropped version I'm wearing a medieval tunic and
standing next to the dismembered head of a moose on a pike.
I guess it's the best of both worlds.
re: What image to project in a professional photo?By Lars Berntrop-Bos on 07/27/2008 at 04:53 PM EDT
What about asking the pro to do a new picture?
re: What image to project in a professional photo?By John Vaughan on 07/28/2008 at 10:42 AM EDT
i like the moose head on a pike idea. combine that with the professional
photographer and you've got a winner.
re: What image to project in a professional photo?By Devin Olson on 07/31/2008 at 08:41 AM EDT
Everybody has "traditional" professional photos done. They are looked at and
quickly forgotten.

Quirky, non-traditional photos (without getting too weird) are the way to go.
People REMEMBER them. The shot of you wearing the air pack is more along this

One of the best photos I've ever seen was one that John Rolling took of himself
a few years back:

It captures his personality, looks good, and is memorable (again, without
getting too weird).

I think you should try for something along those lines.


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