Are you hip? A cat? Or just hiding?

1576_051410_dg_0001_b_6x972 I just updated the portrait I use on my blog, Web site, and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

This image is also used on conference sites and in programs where I give talks.

It had been about six years since I last had a portrait shot and besides getting older, I wanted a new look.

Rock star wannabe

My awesome new portrait was shot by my friend Jay Blakesberg last weekend in San Francisco. Jay photographs rock stars for album covers and magazines like Rolling Stone. A few days before my session he shot Carlos Santana. If I can't be a real rock star, at least I can be photographed like one.

Your image is important!

The photo you choose to represent you says a great deal about who you are as an individual.

There are many choices when it comes to an image to use:

IMG_1259 You can use a casual shot taken by a friend. This is a great option for many people. But there are many different approaches and each says something important about you. Are you in a casual setting (like on a beach)? Or more formal like an office? What are you wearing?

IMG_0174 You can have other people & things with you in the photo. Your child and/or boyfriend. A random famous person (Dr. Ruth perhaps). Props like your dog, a fishing pole, or a beer in your hand. What about your company logo in the background?

DMS thumbnail You can use a formal portrait like I do. But the choice of style and clothing says a lot about who you are. Close-up or wide shot? (Wide shots are difficult to see in the postage stamp size on sites like Twitter). Smile or no smile? How close do you crop? For men: tie or no tie? Jacket?

Dms_avatar Many people use an avatar such as a graphic representation of themselves ala Second Life or a cartoon image. This approach is certainly appropriate for some people.

IMG_0648 A random image is also used by some. Your cat. Bart Simpson. A surfboard. You're certainly narrowing down what you want people to think of you if you go this route.

D_silhouette2 It is possible to default to the placeholder that sites like Twitter & Facebook provide. This says: "I’m too busy to use a photo or I'd prefer to remain anonymous."

I'm sure here are other choices I’m missing…

You ARE your photo

In my opinion, if you care about your personal brand, you should use your photo.

Here are how my portraits have changed over the years.


David Meerman Scott

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