Trust is a valuable business commodity. Hard won and all too easily lost, most companies employ PR professionals and marketing departments to protect their brand.
For individuals and organisations, personal presentation is an important element of their marketing mix. Clients, employers and potential customers will often check personal details: from your company 'about us' page to your LinkedIn and Social Media profiles.
Building trust requires your portrait to be an accurate, professional and honest representation of who you are.
With digital images open to easy manipulation, how much 'photoshop airbrushing' is consistent with authenticity?
The portraitist Lucian Freud remarked that, "the aura given out by a person or object is as much a part of them as their flesh".
Capturing aura (or character) is the foundation of authenticity. To communicate authenticity your first question should be: what is my or my company's professional 'character'. Branding: corporate and personal, has become vitally important in a world where assessments of character are made through virtual media rather than physical meetings.
Both photographer and subject need determine what to communicate to the audience and prepare accordingly. Decide on attire, location and style. Recognise that no single image can communicate everything. Your welcoming LinkedIn photo accompanying an article on online fraud, would be inappropriate. If you need multiple messages: you need a suite of portraits to communicate authentically.
The camera lies.
Or more accurately, the camera does not record pictures in the same way humans do. The unflinching, uncompromising monocular gaze of the lens may result in a technically accurate representation: warts and all. But we do not look at people like that. A mechanically captured digital image may not reflect the reality of human experience. To start with most people enjoy binocular vision. And our focal length is closer to 55mm than the standard portrait lens (85mm to 100mm). It means even the geometry of our vision is different to a camera. But perhaps the biggest difference is that we record images over time. We scan a face and build an impression of character based on a series of facial expressions, body language and conversational cues.
Capturing character with a mechanical instrument, like the digital camera, is the challenge you pay a professional for.
From carefully crafted high-end retouching by experienced photoshop professionals to automated packages, digital images are easily manipulated. We have all seen over-processed aliens with what looks like polished skin. In most cases these 'hyper-real' images are the result of over-enthusiastic use of photoshop, automated systems and inexperience.
Our portraits are all post-processed individually, by hand. Any enhancement is consistent with the message you wish to communicate. We will not change your appearance: but temporary spots and stray hairs are removed. We make you look as rested and confident, just as you are when you've returned from holiday.
Finally your portrait will be rendered on many different devices: a variety of desktops, tablets and mobile phones (it may also be printed). To make sure you look your best, we prepare several files optimised for each media.
Mark Grey LRPS is a qualified, award winning portrait photographer based in Covent Garden, London. For more information on our packages head over to our Prices page, call us on 07764 801420 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org