Pictures are worth a thousand words, and in today's modern age, the way you present yourself on the Internet can play a huge part in your success. At the very least, your online presence determines how your audience sees you. Luckily, as an independent artist, you're able to craft your online profile and persona. Here's how to decide on a photo for your artist profile:
Where is it going?
First, consider where the photo will be posted. If you recently joined an online artist community like Thalo, your audience is clear: other artists. Are you looking to connect with people? Then you may want to choose a photo of your face to appear friendlier and more approachable. No one wants to chat with a blank image or something that's unrecognizable. Although there are millions of Web users, some are disingenuous or robots, so people need to be convinced they're talking to an actual human, and a picture of yourself is a great way to provide that reassurance. It's also a good way to add some personalization to your profile.
"Choose your photo based on the online platform."
On the other hand, if this picture is going on your art-centric social media site, you might want to choose a photo of your favorite, newest or most popular piece. That way, you're drawing attention to the most important thing: your artwork. Choose a photo based on what platform you'll be using.
What is your goal?
When it comes to an online presence, be sure to consider your agenda. If the goal is selling your art, stick to pictures of your work. If it's making personal or social connections, you're better off choosing a photo of yourself. However, be conscious of the of the photo you choose. For example, you don't want a pixilated, off-center picture on your artist website. Something that looks unprofessional can deter potential buyers or collaborators. If you want to be taken seriously, you need an appropriate photo. Consider hiring a photographer to take headshots with various poses and facial expressions. That way, regardless of what you're trying to accomplish, you have options.
If the picture is going to be up on a buyer site like Etsy or eBay, a photo of your artwork is the best choice, especially if it's a piece that's well known. This can establish your credibility as an artist and draw in potential buyers. Do you have a favorite painting of yours? Use that! Whatever you choose, make sure it represents your artist brand.