SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Overlooking the streets of downtown Sioux Falls, Tricia Schwartz-Smith and her husband Tracy Smith smile for some very important pictures. The chiropractors will use these executive photos for brochures, cards and online for Natural Arts Chiropractic and Acupuncture. And they're not the only professionals looking to personalize their business to customers.
"For them to be able to associate who we are with a picture is a great benefit," Financial Advisor Andrew DeMore said.
DeMore and Thad Barnes represent Morgan Stanley. Their portraits will also be used in print and online.
"Specifically in our line of work, people need to put a face with the name and it is something we feel is going to be essential here and in the future," Barnes said.
Rod Evans, a leading head-shot photographer for executives, says he's seeing professionals from real estate to doctors come in looking to enhance their personal brand with a portrait.
"They only get one chance to do this," Evans said. "This is your first introduction to your clients, to your business to them. So, this first impression is very important and what they think of you and how they perceive you is really critical."
So, how do you make a good first impression, without looking unnatural and awkward? He gives four tips anyone can use to let their personality shine through in a flattering way. First pick out professional clothing, typically dark with an accent color. Second, practice your smile before your shoot. Third, target your photo to your target audience. Evan says think about who you want to impress. And finally, pay attention to details.
"Make sure your nails, hair, makeup, all of those things are done," Evans said. "Those are some of the things you can control before you walk into your session."
While Hillery Janssen isn't photographing executives at Harold's Photo, she still has the same advice for adults that she gives to kids.
"Just relax and let us do the work," Janssen said. "We are the professionals, we've done it a million times. We know what to look for. We know what we're doing, so just relax."
And while it may be uncomfortable on the other side of the lens at times, Barnes says executive portraits helps make Morgan Stanley a step ahead of the competition.
"It's been something that's really been able to set us apart. When it's laid out, looking at the products and services that we offer, people have been able to say these guys really take it serious by what they've laid out and how they lay out their message," Barnes said.
Evans says some of his clients use his photos on billboards, but says most commonly, customers import their portraits online.
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