Photos and Presentations – all part of the same picture?

Catherine Sandland, the presenting queen by Andrew Collier Photography

In our first guest blog for a long while Catherine Sandland (known many of us as The Presenting Queen) shares her thoughts about photos and presentations and being photographed by me. This is what she had to say…

I recently had some photos taken for the website and also to update my profile pictures. And the conversation I had with my photographer, Andrew Collier was an interesting one and one that threw up several parallels with what he does and what I do professionally.

1. FIRST THINGS FIRST
A professional profile photograph and pictures on the website are one of business life essentials nowadays. It is about presenting a personal, professional image that compliments and supports the rest of your business. It’s a big ask isn’t it – to expect a single photo to do that but that photo is often the first thing people see when they visit you (or check you out) on Linked in and maybe your Facebook business page, It’s the visual that links the face to face meeting with the online follow up. And it can speak volumes.

• In the same way, being able to speak clearly and concisely about your business face to face (and to some extent on video) is also an important skill. You may well be brilliant at what you do, and what your business does. It will have more impact and more influence when you have mastered the art of speaking powerfully and compellingly.

Action photos of Catherine Sandland, the presenting queen by Andrew Collier Photography

2. CRAFTED AND TAILORED
A good photo usually doesn’t just happen – when I had my photos done recently with Andrew, I chatted to him about the way we could do this so it was tailored just for my business. I had my makeup done. We decided on what I was going to wear.

• In the same way a good 60-second introduction or 30 minute presentation doesn’t just happen. It is crafted, planned, structured and tailored for that particular audience. It needs to sound natural with flow and focus..and it will do that when it is well prepared, sequenced and structures.

Action portraits of a presentation trainer in Cheshire

3. CAPTURING THE ESSENCE
A good photo captures the essence. My recent photos were a change from the typical head and shoulder shots. Instead Andrew asked me to speak and then took a series of photos ‘in action’ as it were. They may not be suitable for Vogue (sorry Andrew, that’s more a reflection of me as model than you as photographer) but they are a really good example of what and who I am when I present and somehow he’s captured what people will experience when they hear me speak and when they engage me to train them.

• In the same way, a good presentation has to capture both the essence of the message and connect with and speak to each of the individuals in that audience. It’s not the detail that people will remember: it’s the gist, the core message and the energy and meaning behind that message. If I may paraphrase Maya Angelou, she said people will remember how you made them feel, long after what you’ve said and done is forgotten. More people need to think about how they can make people feel.

Action portraits in Cheshire by Andrew Collier Photography

So, after all this it seems appropriate to add in a testimonial for Andrew

I hate having my photo taken. I hate the whole ‘posey’ thing that goes on, I haven’t mastered the art of the pout and I never usually like the final outcomes. Especially that. You know, where you think you look amazing, but then look at the end result and decide that while you thought you looked like Michelle Pfeiffer, you actually resembled Mrs Brown!

Ok, I may exaggerate but I really don’t like having my photo taken. So when it comes around to that time to update my website and to renew my profile picture, it’s always with some reluctance and not a little dread.

So my choice of photographer is a big deal for me. And I want some one who knows me, someone who can capture my ‘essence’ if you like, rather than a formal portrait, and above all someone who makes me laugh – I always relax more when I laugh!

Andrew Collier fits the bill on all these accounts. It really helps that he has seen me speak at a number of different events over the years and is now familiar with the way I work, speak and move. But he is really good at picking up on this with people he’s only just met as well. He likes what I do (at least that what he tells me) so he knows what’s important to me and the values behind what I say in public and the way I say it as a presenter. And finally, he makes me laugh. (you can probably tell that from the photos)

You can reach Andrew at www.andrewcollierphotography.co.uk and if you want to chat to Catherine about your speaking experiences, then call on 07946 604859 or email on catherine@catherinesandland.com

Action portraits of Catherine Sandland, the presenting queen by Andrew Collier Photography

Action portraits of Catherine Sandland in Warrington by Andrew Collier Photography