In our digital age, more and more first connections are made online. In order to get long-lasting relationships, it is crucial to create a connection and trust from the very first moment.


The question is, what are the tools for a great portrait? Here are 5 tips from a professional photographer:


  • Choose your message you want to convey


What do you want people to think of you when they see your portrait?


Do you want them to think that you are a gentle, serious, creative or energetic?


Find an example below: There is the same woman in both pictures. What words come to mind spontaneously to describe her in the first photo? What about the second picture?

They will be probably different for each one…yourself on your website and your social networks play a big role.


Photo credit: Bulles de Joie Photography


Exercise: Write down different words that come to your mind that you would like people to say about you when they see your portrait. These words will determine the venue of your photo session, your outfits, and your attitude.


  • A refined background


Once you have highlighted the main qualities to bring out, now, think about the frame.


Where will your shooting take place?


Will it be in your office, at home, in a café or perhaps in front of a white wall? Do you want to incorporate a scenery that will inform your potential clients of your environment? Or on the contrary, a white background to have a neutral photo?



  • A neat background


When inside, take care of tidying the space so that the eye is not disturbed by a dragging object, such as, a garbage can or vacuum cleaner.




  • Ideally blurred


With our current phones, we have the possibility to modify photos like a pro!

Ideally, put the number encircled in orange at 2, to have a blurred background.


  • Be yourself!


  • Hair and make-up


If you are not used to wearing a lot of make-up, keep your make-up and work on your complexion. Same thing with hairdressing. Don’t try to do a sophisticated hairstyle if it’s not you! Stay natural so people who have seen you online will recognize you IRL.


  • Your personality


Also, stay true to your attitude and personality. Don’t try to have a too serious face if you are jovial in nature. Choose to be natural. The goal is for your future customers to identify with your personality.

Photo: Bulles de Joie


  • Choose the right light


Choose natural light.


  • Inside


Face a window so that your face is as bright as possible.


  • Outside


During summer, the morning light is more flattering. Avoid being in direct sunlight between 11 am and 3 pm, as this will create unsightly shadows on your face. Rather choose shadow if this is the case.


Inside AND Outside:


What is the best angle to the light? Run tests to see which render is the most flattering (in terms of light as well as background).


Example below:



  • Choose the right person to take the photos


  • Someone who makes you smile!


Choose someone you feel comfortable with. Being photographed is not an easy exercise. The more you feel comfortable with the person, the more natural and authentic the photos will be… and the more confident your potential customers will feel.

Ask the person to talk to you, make you laugh and to catch you laughing. This will allow you to have cheerful and natural photos.

Photo: Bulles de Joie


If, despite all these tips, the result is still far from your expectations, call a pro!



Article written by Stéphanie from Bulles de Joie, photographer of Happy People in Paris.

She creates authentic and joyful portraits for businesswomen, to connect them to their ideal target.


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