Blog‎ > ‎

Portrait Photo

posted May 27, 2011, 7:38 AM by Aldo Figueroa   [ updated May 27, 2011, 7:47 AM ]
I was recently selected by the well known and cutting edge real estate website Redfin to be one of their few partner agents in the Baltimore Metro area. (Not to worry, I'm still with Riley & Associates.) They have requested a full length photo of me with white background to post on their website so potential home buyers can click on my name and contact me, should they need an agent. As a real estate professional I had to have my professional picture taken before and had no second thoughts about it.

However, as I sat in the waiting area of The Picture People in White Marsh Mall for my photographer to come out and take a full length photo, I found myself amidst crying babies, cute dogs and young couples and feeling too professional for the crowd around me.

I could feel the anxiety and anticipation surrounding the moment when the camera goes 'click'.  Should I cross my arms, put them in my pockets, stand sideways, smile big, smile small, stand straight, at ease, do what the photographer says or just what I want?

After waiting for 40 minutes past my initial appointment, the photographer showed up.  She was a young lady (well, a teenager really) who responded with a huge question mark on her face regarding my questions about the type of lighting, megapixels and extra time I had to try different poses (OK, I probably shouldn't have asked that but it was my way of getting her out of auto mode.)  I proceeded to pose, feeling awkward and pretending to be a rock star, it was hard to relax. She must have thought I was ridiculous since most of her customers are cute babies and puppies.

I wonder why portrait photos are so necessary for real estate professionals to market themselves? Perhaps because we, as humans, are attracted to what we are, the familiar.  Therefore buyers and sellers choose an agent that looks the most like them, thus giving them a feeling of 'closeness' and security. Or because they want to make sure that their agent has a head, two ears and two arms?
Whatever the case is, there are no guarantees that the agent will listen to their clients needs even though s/he has two ears, that the agent will shake hands or use their brain much when negotiating a deal.

One thing I know for sure is: it is hard to portray who you really are and what kind of work ethics you have in one single photo shot.

I would recommend people looking for an agent to not judge by the photo. Call the agent first and set up an interview. Think yourself as an employer; browse through their website, ask them about their experience, negotiating style, how many houses they have sold, if they know the market, etc.

As to my full length shot today, I was not completely happy with the results but, oh well, I should not complain. I'm more than my photo anyway.