There’s nothing as nerve wracking as your first company photo shoot (except for your first company meeting, first company presentation, first company review, etc.). You may try to dress well on a budget, wear tall heels to command respect or present yourself solemnly and seriously in response to your age and inexperience, but all of that hard work can be stripped away with the flash of one poorly placed camera. Your greenhorn status will be revealed without proper preparation and unlike the Facebook digital world you’re accustomed to, you won’t have the luxury of erasing your least flattering poses or demanding a do over. These pictures won’t go away either. Hiring a photographer is expensive, and your boss will be sure to get her money’s worth by parading the proofs all over the office. Be smart and plan ahead, or at the very least, avoid looking stupid by learning from my mistakes.
Wear Makeup/Do Your Hair
Even if you don’t normally wear makeup to the office or run a comb through your mane before settling at your desk, picture day is the perfect day to put forth a bit of effort. Without foundation and a nice shield of hair product to hide behind, you will absolutely look tired and unprepared for your close up. I don’t care if you think your complexion is perfect, or organic beauty is the best beauty, or whatever else the latest Dove commercial has you believing. The truth is that your image is your everything and until you can prove how capable you are, you’ll at least want to look halfway decent in the picture gracing your company website.
If your outfit looks okay in your bedroom mirror, it will look downright horrific in a photograph. Worst of all, that picture will be around for a very long time. Companies don’t shell out money for a new picture every year, so you need to be comfortable with your outfit representing you for the next 24 months. Yeah, that’s a big commitment, and since I’m not even sure I want the shirt on my back to represent me for the next 24 minutes, you can understand the importance of proper wardrobe preparedness. That is unless you don’t mind your entire office forever believing you’re club-footed and fifty pounds overweight.
Don’t Look Drunk
Try not to be the only one holding alcohol in your company picture. “That’s just common sense,” you’re thinking. So you’d think, I’m responding.
And again, let me reiterate the importance of taking the time to do your hair. Here’s more proof for good measure, in case you think I’m being a bit harsh.
When your company is taking pictures of an event, it’s easy to lose track of the cameraman in an attempt to enjoy socializing with your coworkers. Don’t do this. Always know where the camera is aimed, and be sure to either a) stay out of the reach of the lens or b) look perfect. There’s really no such thing as an “attractive candid” and the sooner you dash any illusions of how accidentally beautiful and fun loving you’ll appear, the better your chances of actually working hard enough to come off as those things. That is unless you’re cool with being caught sitting at the buffet table. No, not near it, or standing gracefully beside it, but sitting directly in front of the food as if the entire spread is your personal feast.
Ultimately, if you feel beautiful, your puffy suit jacket, champagne, gelled back hair and blush-free face can’t stop you from looking it. As soon as you stop caring about who everyone else thinks you are, you’ll have the chance to actually show them. Also, thank God for Photoshop.