Making your Digital Media first impression count!

Making your Digital Media first impression count!


Professional Digital Portraits, or Headshots are vital for managing and making sure that you make a great first impression. With more recruiters, employers and people getting to know each other online, first impressions have never been more important. The static nature of profile pictures, or “selfies”, further highlights the importance of a great shot that represents you and/or the brand values that you are looking to create and communicate with your online first impression.

Quick, easy and affordable, Headshots Adelaide portraits aim to optimise your first impression by managing elements such as expression, pose, camera position and lighting, which all contribute toward creating an appealing image
that best represents you and your best online first impression.

Neuroscientist and University Lecturer in Psychology, Tom Hartley (et al., 2014),

illustrate the importance of  managing the changeable features of the face image
by looking at two pictures of Clare (below).



Anecdotally, we can see that Clare on the left looks approachable,
youthful and attractive, whereas; Clare on the right, could be viewed as
a little less intelligent and more unapproachable.

According to  Hartley(et al., 2014), a variety of social inferences can be gleaned
from appearance such as; trustworthiness, intelligence, dominance
and extraversion, however; these traits have a tendency to fall together
in predicable ways that include;

  • approachability (do they want to help me or to harm me?)
  • dominance (are they capable of carrying out these intentions?)
  • youthful-attractiveness (perhaps representing whether they’d be
    a good romantic partner – or a rival!

Hartley suggests that while we may not aware of how we arrive at our first impressions,
they do have a tendency to affect future behaviour, which can be difficult to then overturn (Hartley et al., 2014).

So, we know that we are all being judged by our profile images; we also know that after people have formed an impression of us, it’s very difficult to change their mind, so we can see just how important it is to manage as many of the the variables as possible. Professional portrait photography manages many of the changeable features to optimise your digital first impression, which can go a long way toward advancing careers, social life and even dating.


1. Know your audience.

Whether you are applying for a job, seeking a partner, or simply doing your yearly digital media update, take a moment to think about and perhaps even document some of the qualities that will help others form the best impression of you.

Consider the company that you would like to work for – perhaps Google the company and people that you are applying for a job with, or think about your personal values and how they might be communicated through your clothing, make-up and hair style. Aim for conservative clothing when working in, applying for jobs, or aspiring to work in professional and corporate fields.

NOTE: Where possible, avoid wearing stripes and checks as they can create a moire effect or be problematic
in post-producution/editing.

TIP: While the rules are not set in stone, corporate attire is best worn for images intended for use on Linkedin and Twitter, as these audiences are predominantly male, professional, business and corporate.

Maintaining a consistent look across all digital media assets does not mean that you have to use exactly the same photograph, wear the same outfit, or set your face with the same expression in each image. Consistency can be created through lighting, background and photographic style, while subtly changing expressions and outfits to suit each digital media audience and platform.

Facebook and Pintrest attract predominantly female audiences, so offering a softer look with a dash of colour can appear more approachable while 90% +/- of Instagram users are predominantly under 35s (Smith, 2013), suggesting a groovier, more current look may gain greater traction with your audience.

When booking your Headshots Adelaide package you will receie an email that addresses some of the frequently asked questions and some tips – if you like, we can also advise on attire that aligns with your industry, potential audiences and the possible end use/s of your images.

2. Prepare and practice.

Practicing facial expressions in front of a mirror before your shoot can greatly improve the outcome by understanding how your face feels when making a certain expression and understanding the angles of your face.

Preparing your outfit so that it is pressed and clean is always best, as is having a good night sleep, ample hydration the night before and making sure that the spinach roll you had for lunch is not taking centre stage in your portrait.

3. Hair and Make-up

While it may seem antiquated and unfair, women may want to consider wearing some makeup. A PLoS ONE study conducted in 2011 (Etcoff, et al.), found that “people judged women with makeup as more likeable, competent and trustworthy than those with bare faces — though wearing too much makeup undermined those impressions.

Guadagno and Robert Cialdini (2007), further emphasise that dressing professionally is particularly critical for women, suggesting that “Women need to think more about their hairstyle and clothing and what it says about them”.

So, you can pop-in, get a great shot in your lunch break, make a booking to do your annual update, book your whole team in to update your corporate, or website shots, or spend a little more time thinking about, preparing and targeting your headshots to ensure that your image/s speak to your audience – Whatever you choose we will be delighted advise and meet you and we will always get great shots that you can use across your various digital media assets!

Simply email Headshots Adelaide at, let us know the date and time that you would like to come in and we will get back to you as soon as possible within 24 hours.

If you would like to book a studio or an on location shoot (we come to you) for your team, corporate headshots, Annual Report, Marketing materials and Websites, please send an email with the details and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your needs and prepare a quote.

Cooper Smith (2013). Here's Why Instagram's Demographics Are So Attractive To Brands. Business Insider Australia. DEC 21 2013, 7:30AM. [Accessed 16/04/15].

L. Etcoff ,Shannon Stock,Lauren E. Haley,Sarah A. Vickery,David M. House,. (2011). The Extended Human Phenotype: Modulation of the Perception of Biologically Important Facial Signals. Plos One [Website] Published: October 3, 2011.DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025656. [Accessed 16/04/15].

Rosanna E. Guadagno & Robert B. Cialdini., 2007. Differences in Impression Management
in Organizations: A Qualitative Review. Sex Roles. DOI 10.1007/s11199-007-9187-3

J. W. Vernon, Clare A. M. Sutherland, Andrew W. Young, and Tom Hartley. (2014). Modeling first impressions from highly variable facial. Department of Psychology, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, United Kingdom. images [Accessed 16/04/15].