Jason Malouin of the Portrait Store shares his tips on how agents can connect to customers through their headshot, how to improve personal branding, when the right time to take a new photo is, and how to be more comfortable in front of the camera.
Hey everybody, I’m Jason Malouin, headshot photographer and founder of Portrait Store. I work with professionals on the rise, helping them with their visual communication and creating the most powerful, meaningful portraits of real people that you’ve seen in Australia. The perfect headshot … It’s kind of an elusive creature, I guess. It’s an interesting concept because we are such dynamic people and a photograph is this weird, frozen moment in time.
Ultimately, there’s not really one thing that we can make a photo say. So, if we’re limited by that, then how do we fix that? We do it by approaching it from the other side, from the viewer’s perspective. We’re thinking about the end user every time we make something. So, in your business, if you’re writing a piece about a property, you’re not writing it for you. You’re writing it for the potential buyer. We give them a little glimpse of humanity that hopefully makes them feel that within themselves, and then that’s connection. That’s where it starts to really matter. I know that’s a really kind of roundabout way to say what’s the best headshot, but that really is it.
So, for me, “personal branding” is a bit of a loaded term. I don’t really like the words “personal branding” because it feels a bit forced. The most effective way to get it right is to just keep doing it. Keep iterating, keep putting yourself out there, keep posting photos, keep posting, you know, Facebook Live videos of yourself talking. By doing something that people connect with, that resonates, something that people can learn from and grow from and improve themselves, we are creating our personal brand.
The right time is either when you understand that you’ve changed or need a shift. To put yourself in that position of being recorded makes you stop and think and look. If you’re working with a real pro, you can see yourself a little bit differently. When you’re ready for a transformation, on the verge of a transformation, just undergone a transformation, that I think is the right time to go get yourself back in front of a camera.
For me, making people feel comfortable in front of the camera … I mean, I guess there are a couple things. What I’d like to do is get people a really quick win in front of the camera. So, one of the things that you would do in your selfies is the turtle, right? So, you’re always going to want to, like, bring your head a little bit closer to the camera. Now, that camera is going to be able to see the turtle, because it’s somewhere from my side, but straight on you can’t really tell. It just looks like you’re a little bit more engaged and a little bit more forward, right? So, it makes all this a little more flattering.
So, that’s one of those things. I like to give people a quick win. Then they see, “Oh, he knows what he’s talking about. All right, I trust that little bit more.” But I think in terms of anybody being comfortable in front of a camera anytime, there’s only one thing. There is one thing that makes people comfortable, and that’s just freaking doing it!