Do I Need a Professional Portrait?

Do I Need a Professional Portrait?

Tom’s selfie on the left, and a quick 5-minute profession portrait with a 50mm lens in diffused natural light on the right.


I don’t need to tell you phones cameras are great, convenient and make images easy to share. I use mine all the time! But when it comes to a professional social media or print presence, it makes a HUGE difference when you work with a skilled portrait photographer who understands light, angles, and lenses. Here’s my quick list of reasons:

10 Reasons Selfies Don’t Cut it as Professional Portraits

  • Arms not long enough to shoot my head: Unless you’re an octopus you don’t have enough arms, or ones long enough, to hold the phone far away enough from your face to avoid weird distortion
  • Wide angle, wide face: If your face is super narrow, you can skip this one. But for those of use with with standard facial proportions the wide angle lens on most phones is going to result in larger features and an illusion of a wide mid-face, narrow chin, a narrow top of the head. Not flattering unless you’re a 12-year-old ghoulie.
  • Good light, bad light: Not all light is equal, and while some light appears to be bright and white to the naked eye, it can actually be yellow or blue to a smart phone. A photographer knows the the difference between different light colors and light sources, and can adjust the setting accordingly to make your face bright and luminous.
  • Tell tale selfie signs: There are a millions tells in a selfie that cues the viewer in to your DIY photography: shoulder angle, outstretched arm, silly head tilts, frozen expressions, and what I call over smile. This is fine for friends and family, but your clients should see you relaxed, professional and polished.
  • Too much head: Yup, that’s a bad one. When your entire, distorted head fills the frame you can look scary and deranged. Perhaps you have a client base that seeks derangement in its business dealings, if not call me to take your picture.
  • Beauty angles: You might think you know your most flattering angle, but often we need someone familiar with portraiture and facial geometry to make better decisions for us.
  • Details, schmetails: Devils can be lurking in those pesky details like uneven backgrounds, shiny skin, or bad cropping. Photographers really do look at the whole picture, I’m not just saying that.
  • That plaid shirt isn’t working for you: “What do I wear?” is probably the frequent question I get. I’m happy to help! As a photographer I know what will reproduce well and what will work with your skin tone and personality.
  • Camera shy: In spite of what we see demonstrated in our current social media culture, many people are camera shy, I’m one of them. I can help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera so we can see the real you.
  • A professional camera will make you look more professional: Do you really want your headshot to look like you took it yourself? If you do, more power to you, maybe you’re in the influence business and people will look at you know matter what.  But, if you’re like the rest of us, and want a image that’s carefully crafted, clean and approachable, I can help.

Call me when you’re ready to put that camera phone down: 508 790 0517.