They say your net worth is about as much as your network. And business events and conferences are a great place to strengthen your network and make valuable connections. But most people often overlook the fact that most large high-profile events will usually have a media team as part of the event planning, and you are quite likely to end up being photographed.
So what is your go-to checklist when you spot the photographer approaching from behind somebody’s shoulder? Are you one of those people who panic and end up with the “deer in headlights” look because you hadn’t quite prepared for the moment? Fret not, I’m here to set you up for success.
I’m a professional photographer and I’ve been hired to photograph high-profile events where I’ve had the opportunity to meet some very interesting people. But it always surprises me how so many people are often very uncomfortable with the idea of being photographed at such events. And I think it all comes down to the nerves and lack of practice.
So here are 6 things I'd ask you rehearse before any event to ensure you feel prepped to be in front of the lens.
Don’t be shy. In fact, say hi. As the photographer I’m trying to capture the essence of the event, and your presence is a big part of it. So don’t go into your shell or avoid me. If you’re overly shy or conscious of yourself, then engaging the photographer in polite conversation will actually make you feel better. Ask how its going and introduce yourself. The photographer will probably take a liking to you and even make the effort to snap you in a flattering angle.
When getting your photo taken, it can be tempting to try to pose in a way that you think looks best. But the truth is, the more natural you look in the photo, the better it will turn out. And trust me, no one wants to look back at a photo and see them doing the "duck face", “dab” or "peace sign." So, try to keep your poses natural and avoid any cheesy or over-the-top poses.
Smiling can make any photo look better. When you’re getting your photo taken at a networking event, try to give a genuine and friendly smile. A real smile will make you look more approachable and will give your photo a more natural look. And if you struggle to smile at will, or are too nervous to be able to keep it genuine, then take a moment to breathe and gather yourself. Perhaps think of something funny. Or engage in some friendly banter with those around you, so that you end up provoking some light-heartedness. And remember, it doesn’t need to be a ‘perfect’ smile. In fact, don’t psyche yourself into aiming for a hallmark movie look. Goofy and crooked grins can be just as endearing. Ease up.
Stand Up Straight
Good posture can make all the difference in a photo. So, suck in that gut and stand tall! This will not only make you look more confident, but it will also make you look taller and more attractive in the photo. I always repeat what my yoga and pilates instructor says to me - imagine you´re being pulled up from the top of your head.
Look into the lens
That is the equivalent of making good eye-contact. It makes you look confident and trustworthy. And don’t hold your eyes open too long to avoid blinking when the photo is taken. Trust the photographer: we know how to capture the moment. If you focus too much on holding your eyes open, you’ll end up straining the muscles on your eyelids and come across looking somewhat creepy and murderous. Relax. If you need to blink, just blink normally. The photographer usually get a few shots anyways and won’t be publishing any photos of guests with their eyes shut.
The most important tip for being photographed at a networking event is to have fun. The more relaxed and natural you look in the photo, the better it will turn out.
That sums it up
Being photographed at a networking event doesn’t have to be intimidating. With these six tips, you can make sure to look your best in any photos taken of you. Remember to engage, look into the lens and smile (as naturally as you can). Also stand up straight and avoid strange poses. And don’t forget to have fun.