In today's world, how we represent ourselves visually is important. Now more than ever.
For example, a LinkedIn profile without an image is assumed fraudulent and, on the flip side, a good image helps recruiters say 'YES' in the first 6 seconds.
So why is a cell-phone selfie not adequate in today's market?
Usually, it has to do with clarity, authenticity, and depth. Those elements can be elusive...even when working with a pro.
To better understand a great image, let's break down the elements mentioned above.
This not only refers to the quality of a sharp image, but also to the message it sends. In essence, is there continuity in what's being said?
Are you the focus or is it on a busy background?
Does the setting reflect the same message as your outfit and/or face?
Are colours complementary or conflicting?
This is the hardest to capture because authenticity can be elusive - especially if the subject isn't used to being photographed. The best portrait photographers aren't only masters of their tools, light and camera, but also of bringing their subject's personality to the surface.
Light and shadow are the royalties of depth. Masterfully utilized, these elements give subjects a sense of meaning beyond the image. They leave the viewer wanting to know more, see more.
The combination of these 3 elements is what makes you see one image as superior to another. And, as a result, that image may also get picked (over others) as a potential client/partner/employee, etc.
Finally, when selecting your favourite image to post or tag, think about these elements listed above to help you narrow down your favourite image.
Because, you want your portrait to uniquely tell the viewer who YOU are, while leaving them wanting more.