DO I ACTUALLY HAVE TO SHARE PHOTOS OF MYSELF IN MY BUSINESS?
The short answer is yes. At least that’s what I think.
And you’ll be doing your audience a huge favour and remove a lot of hesitation and guesswork for them if you do.
It’s like taking your favourite person on a shortcut from just scrolling, to becoming a loyal follower, to booking and investing in you. (And it’s a really nice way of doing business that means more bookings with the kind of people you love working with, and more ease and impact.
Let me tell you WHY you need to share photos of yourself – but first let’s talk about why you might be avoiding it and some tips on how to do it in a way that feels more comfortable.
Why you might be avoiding sharing photos of yourself
I’ve heard a long list of excuses – and most of them I’ve used myself.
I’m not photogenic.
I want to lose some weight first.
I don’t have time.
I don’t know what photos I need.
Why would people want to see me?
My life isn’t interesting enough to share.
Photo shoots are so painful and I just feel awkward.
My focus is on my clients, not on showing myself off.
But actually, I don’t think these are the REASONS reasons you’re avoiding showing your face in your business.
What I REALLY think is stopping you from sharing photos of yourself
So many of us have spent our lives playing small (especially those of us who lean towards being deep-feeling, sensitive introverts). Our aim has been to fit in and not draw attention to ourselves. Voicing our opinions means opening ourselves up to criticism, and that hasn’t always felt safe.
There’s a fear of being judged and hearing comments like ‘who does she think she is?’ and ‘what makes her an expert?’. A fear of public failure (or perhaps even a fear of success, which can be just as scary if it means a huge shift in your identity and relationships).
Sharing photos of yourself, and in particular, photos where you’re looking into the camera, can make it feel like you’re yelling ‘Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!’.
But let me tell you what photos of you ACTUALLY feel like to your audience
The people who are already following you are there because they feel a connection with you. They like you. They resonate with your message and values. You are helping to solve their problems. You are literally making life better for them.
Photos of you make them feel seen.
Read that again.
Photos of YOU. Make THEM feel seen.
Instead of feeling like ‘Look at me!’, your photos actually feel like ‘Look how I can help you’.
Showing your face consistently and giving your audience a chance to get to know you builds trust so that the investment (of time and money) to work with you is less risky. The benefits are obvious. They feel like they know you. And they know that you get them.
The good news
The truth is that no one is watching you as closely or judging you as harshly as you think. That grey hair? No one cares. That button that isn’t sitting right in that photo? No one cares. The photo where your face is all scrunched up because you were laughing so hard? It’s putting a smile on someone’s face and reassuring them that you are their kind of person.
Your people are waiting and hoping to hear from you.
Even some of my most camera-shy clients have gone dreading the first photo shoot to longing for the next one. They walk away feeling confident, proud and excited to create content.
There’s no magic to it.
It just comes down to letting go of expectations, coming up with a plan so that the photos make sense for your business, your personality and what real stories are going to resonate with your dream clients.
3 tips for taking photos that might feel easier to share:
1. CAPTURE REAL MOMENTS
I mean, do something real. These photos help your clients connect and relate. They can picture themselves in a similar situation and get a feeling for what working with you actually feels like.
AND these photos feel much more relaxed.
Let go of all of your expectations and the feeling that you need to create a fake professional persona. You just need to be you.
Think of situations that feel completely natural for you – in business and in life. For example. behind the scenes of how and where you work, having a conversation with a client, working from a cafe, curling up with your laptop and a cuppa on the couch. Making breakfast, doing yoga or running, journaling, mediation if it’s natural for you and if it helps your clients to feel that they can relate.
When you’re actually doing something real, it’s easier to feel and look relaxed in the photos.
2. FOCUS ON THE DETAILS
Your face doesn’t need to be in every photo (and actually it’s easier to post consistently if it isn’t because the variety adds harmony to your feed and sometimes photos of details make more sense in some contexts).
Think about the things you use in your business and life that make you and your brand recognisable and that tell a story about who you are. It can be as simple as a closeup of your hand holding a book that’s important to you, your hair blowing in the breeze, your favourite notebook and pen, your hands typing on a keyboard or scrolling on your phone. You can be completely out of focus in the background, just showing your hands or not even in the photo at all.
3. PRETEND THE CAMERA’S A PERSON
This one can take practice, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.
I find that when you’re looking into the camera (and let’s be honest, if you’re only focusing on how you look and trying not to look too stiff) it can be easy to get a blank expression in your eyes. The photo feels awkward and the expression looks fake.
But when you can pretend that you are looking at a specific person – someone you feel comfortable and confident with, it completely changes the photo. Your eyes become warm and friendly. Your expression feels confident and relaxed.
Think about how you want the photo to feel, take a deep breath and just embrace that feeling. (This is so much easier when you have a photographer that you trust and who you can relax with. The conversations and energy between you brings out these expressions and body language without it needing to be forced.)
Some other blog posts you might be interested in
You might be interested in some other related posts I’ve shared, like ‘What if you’re not programmed to share everything publicly?’ and ‘Daring to put yourself out there – Tall Poppy Syndrome & Jantelagen’.