Picture Perfect PR |Are You Camera-Ready?

christinahills-barbararozgonyi-martinwales Cameras. They're everywhere. And, they're aimed at you.

Because I've been in front of or behind the camera so frequently recently, looking camera-ready is on my mind.

At a recent tweetup [a social gathering for people who twitter; follow me @wiredprworks], we joked about getting our pictures taken. Part of the fun of socializing is recording the moment for play back on all kinds of screens.

Here's an image from my camera taken a few weeks ago at The System Seminar. Thanks to Christina Hills and Martin Wales who posed with me. Martin suggested we take our nametags off. We looked around for good lighting and a somewhat interesting background. Then, we cornered a person we'd met to take our picture. Christina's hat is quite charming, isn't it?

While I'm no leading expert on how to look great, I do know that first impressions matter - especially when your image can wind up anywhere in front of people you've never met who will know you before you know them.

How do you feel when people recognize you and you have no idea who they are or how you know them?

It's happened to me. What do people say? You look so much better in real life. While I'm happy to hear that, it makes me wonder how much better my pictures could be online.

Picture Perfect PR: 11 Ways to Get Camera-Ready

For the purpose of this post, let's talk about candid or quick shots that other people snap either with their camera or yours. What else would you add?

1. Hire an image consultant who can tell you how you can look your best. At a recent conference, I ran into someone who did just that. I almost didn't recognize Alex. His new image positioned him as a savvy, successful business owner. Where was Alex, the guy with the ponytail who looked like a freelance musician?

2. Dress up a notch and wear your most flattering clothes. Black is not always the answer. Need to look slim and sleek?

3. Take a few practice pictures. Take a test shot of you in your outfit before you go out the door. Looking in the mirror doesn't capture the shadows and imperfections like a flash does.

4. Pose like a celebrity and act famous! Just kidding about acting famous, but if you have people lining up to take your picture, you will be!

5. Be seen with your crowd. Going with a collaborative colleague? Make sure you're in pictures together.

6. Request that images be focused on smiling faces. Set your camera to zoom in from the spot where your picture will be taken.

7. Women, wear more makeup and look above, not into the lens.

8. Ask to see images and request that the ones you don't like not be used in other's cameras. A cheery, "Let's see how it turned out!" is all it takes to get a preview. This may be tricky or impossible, especially if you're at an event where everyone is taking pictures.

9. Stick with what works: colors, clothes, poses.

10. Put your best face forward; think happy thoughts.

11. Scout out photo opp spots before everyone arrives. Then start the snapping trend.

Let's have some fun. Link to your best photo online.

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