Public Speakers, hire a photographer

photos for testimonialsThere's always so much to worry about…

Public speakers, you'll find tips on my site about learning to speak without notes (which I highly recommend), not reading your slides (please!), knowing how to manage the time that's been allotted to you (even if it's less than you originally thought) and much more. And trust me, there's a lot to practice and remember. So I feel for you.

But I realized that there's one item I've missed – across all my posts. And it came up as I've been working with a public speaker and author on their new site.

Hire a photographer

The other day as I was talking to this client, I asked about the high resolution images of them speaking on stage. That's when I realized I'd never written about this. And it isn't an issue of website overhauls. It's an issue of getting good images when you're on stage (which isn't just a great iphone photo posted to Twitter).

In just about every crowd of folks, especially attending your next event, there is bound to be a friend, fan, or local photographer that you can reach ahead of time and come to an agreement about taking photos of you when you're on stage.

My friend Raquel Landefeld loves her camera. She happens to also be at many of the presentations I give. So it was a pretty simple request to find out what she would charge me to dedicate some time (while I was speaking) to focus on taking pictures of me while I was on stage.

The number she quoted me was completely acceptable and so we agreed to connect before my talk to discuss any specifics I had. In particular, I wanted to mention a few distinct photos I wanted. I also wanted to warn her that my arms move a lot (which means a shutter adjustment).

The upside for your website

There's a huge benefit of getting great photos (non-blurry, good contrast, well-lit) of you on stage – because you can use them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more. But there's another benefit of connecting with a photographer before your next event. As I have been in the process of redesigning my site, I realized I wanted to include some testimonials. Many of the folks that I wanted quotes from would be at one of my upcoming talks.

So I asked them for quotes in advance. Then (for those who sent me them), I asked Raquel to find them and take their photo at the event. As you can see above, the photos are fantastic. And they'll do a great job of showcasing all the folks who sent me testimonial quotes.

I was also able to use one of my stage photos in the new design where others might put a slider (no, my site won't have a home page slider – but that's another topic).


All because I contacted a photographer in advance.

If you're a public speaker, don't rely on friends with iphones sitting at the back of the room. I did that once and the result wasn't anything I'd ever be able to use elsewhere.

If you're a WordPresser…

One last tip, especially for those WordPress friends of mine that may be joining me in Phoenix in January – speaking at WordCamp. That's Raquel Landefeld‘s home. She'll be there. With her camera. If you're presenting – hit her up to see if she'll take good photos for you. It may cost you a tiny bit, but hey, that lens she uses isn't free. And the photos are great!

I realize, as I'm finishing this post, that there are two parts of my new design already in this post. Want to see another little part?

blog categoriesIf you don't like it, the design is all mine and my fault. If you do like it, the driver behind many of my concepts is #brandfirst guru, Chris Ford. She's another talented person you may want to hit up (and who knows, she may be at #wcphx too).