A recent visitor to our ‘sofa of success’ gave us some great tips on the importance of sending a great photograph with your award application and we thought it would be good (and hopefully also useful) to share his thoughts with you.
Up to now we have focussed on some of the more ‘academic’ aspects of the entry and, just like many award applicants have done and will still do in the future, we have left the subject of the photograph right to the last minute. So, why should we give more thought to the image we use to send with our paperwork and do the judges really care about the style or mood we are adopting in our pose?
Well, according to Alex Banyon, guru of all things professionally perfectly poised, we should give at least as much though about our head-shot as the text we include in our entry form. The old saying about first impressions counting is a relevant one here, more so because you can’t be there in person to project your wonderful personality; your photograph is therefore working hard upon your behalf, in your absence. In the same way that words can conjure up an idea of what you may be like as a person, your image is saying lots to the judges before they even start to read what’s on the page. Whilst we all as individuals try not to be guided by physical attributes alone, our subconscious is making lots of assumptions from the pose, facial expression – even surroundings of the subject. Our brains may try to ensure we are not making quick judgements (which often do not match the actual truth about a person) but they are also pretty pleased (if a brain in itself can indeed be pleased) when further learnings confirm initial thoughts. In short, think about what you want your whole application to say about you and ask yourself if the photograph you submit is saying the same thing.
Another little nugget of gold we extracted from Alex was the fact that the entry photograph will, most likely, be used in a number of places when the awards are being promoted across both social and printed media. We have touched before on how important it is to make the most of the marketing opportunities presented throughout the process and having a great photograph accompanying everything that’s printed about you would be beneficial to say the least. We wouldn’t want you hiding the fabulous article showcasing you as an award finalist just because the picture they are using is that slightly out of focus one where you look a little bit the worse for wear at a relative’s wedding…
In terms of cost, it should also be remembered that a good headshot will last a few years at least and there are probably very many other avenues where you’d be able to make very good use of it – think about the various places on-line where your profile picture could do with a bit of a freshen up. Using a good, current image could arguably be as important as website development or branding; society is so focussed on the social platform and consumption of images so massive that a photo will only stand out if it is very good or very bad – at The Awards People we’d like to see you stay very firmly on the ‘good’ side of that equation.
In summary, when competition is high there is a possibility that a photograph which does not do you justice or show you in a professional light might just cause you to miss out by the narrowest of margins. We say make sure you take the time to think about your image and choose one which does you justice and represents you well and if this requires the arrangement of a new headshot then maximise your outlay by identifying all the other areas where its use could boost your presence. Should you need some more advice or need to organise a studio session pretty darn quick then get in touch and we’ll point you in the right direction.