The answer is yes. But only if you have something worth saying visually.
Take a moment, and have a quick look at your contacts in some of your social media tools, like LinkedIn. How many people do you know with a decent profile photo?
Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Did you look? Think about your reaction for a moment: did you find yourself involuntarily making snap judgements based on those pictures?
Most people do; we can’t help it. We all need pictures for our profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Slack, YouTube, and so on… especially if we use any or all of these platforms professionally.
No, not quite that way.
My video series about the Internet of Things features two people in speaking roles: myself, and the Vice-President of Micrium, Christian Légaré. One of the delicate parts of a production like this is making sure that the top man looks good on camera. He must be the voice of the company, an authority figure, and a source of insight. And something as trivial as bad lighting would completely undermine his credibility.
I wanted to shoot Christian’s segments in his office, which you can see below. Ideally, I wanted to place him in an open, airy space that was still recognizable as a workplace. But at first glance, his office doesn’t seem to be a likely candidate. But looks can be deceiving.
How do you make an interesting and dynamic photo when all you have to work with is ugly fluorescent light?
For the last few years, I’ve been photographing cosplayers at the Montreal ComicCon. The costumes are often inventive and visually arresting. But from a photographer’s point of view, the lighting conditions at your typical convention center are appalling.
All but the most inexpensive digital cameras have a manual mode. That’s where the exposure controls are completely in the hands of the photographer, rather than set automatically by the camera. I’d bet, however, that the vast majority of pocket cameras have never even once been used in manual mode. And that’s a shame.