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Do You Need a Photograph?

Do You Need a Photograph?

photoOne piece of advice I give bloggers is to show their photograph.

Lately I have been asked if it is really essential, are there cases where it might not be a good idea?

Here are the cases for and against:

In Favor of Photographs

  • One of the reasons people will visit your site will be to find out about you
  • It creates a greater opportunity for a connection between you and your reader
  • Use consistent imagery across social media to help build your brand and recognition
  • Smiling faces are welcoming and approachable
  • Can (probably not in my case) show you off as a professional without having to say so

Against photographs

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  • Lots of us don’t like having our picture taken, photographs make some people uncomfortable
  • Blogging anonymously
  • “It’s about the content, not me”
  • “People will judge me/make fun because of how I look”
  • Haven’t got a suitable image
  • Yours is a multi-author blog or a great deal of the content is from guests

I would say having your photograph visible is still a good thing, and the one time I would recommend against it very strongly is if you are getting the wrong sort of attention because of your photograph, which I hear does happen occasionally.

What do you think about photographs on blogs? For, or against?

View Comments (10)
  • I have to disagree with this. I have had a lot of negative experiences posting a mug of myself online. I prefer an avatar instead of a photo. In my case, since I’m a cartoonist, I can get away with it [grin].

  • I’ve had my photo on my blog for about a year and about 3 months ago I put it right on the homepage. I haven’t received any negative attention from my photo and I haven’t seen any difference in traffic or commenting on my blog.

    I would say that it depends on where you want your blog to go, if you want your blog to help you with your writing career, putting your picture on it is a good idea, if you just want to share your thoughts with others but don’t really like the idea of thousands of people looking at your picture every month then maybe it isn’t for you.

  • I have to admit, seeing a photo sure puts a face to who is writing the stuff. But I’ve seen some photos posted that is 30 years younger which gives a slight air of distrust when you find out how old the blogger really is.

  • I’m still on the fence on this one. So far I haven’t put my picture up. I guess I still want to keep my anonymity because I worry about people having too much info about me. I would also say that I don’t really have a reputation or brand to worry about yet, but I guess I need to decide where I am going with the blog before I really decide how far I want to go with my public identity.

  • I guess I’m one of those who is just incredibly uncomfortable posting a picture of myself. I have a unique image, which I use as my universal avatar. I also don’t use my name, as you can see, and I use nicknames for my kids.

    Too secretive? I don’t think so. This is just how I prefer to represent myself. All the tiny face avatars all over the place make me think of high school yearbooks. There’s just a certain level of informality and false chumminess that doesn’t appeal to me.

  • Well… I’ve gone both ways on this. Sort of.

    My tattoo/body art blog has a picture of me showing off one of my tattoos, but it’s part of a message and not visible unless someone looks.

    My personal journal, I don’t think anyone really cares what I look like, so no pictures of me anywhere.

  • I’m for it. I have mine on the top of my homepage. I do this because I really enjoy visiting blogs where they post pictures of themselves. This really helps make their writing much more memorable to me as I put peoples faces to their writing.

  • I don’t really mind them.

    Myself I dun have a picture on my blog mainly because I just don’t have a picture of myself which I consider worthy of putting up there and asides to that I look a lot younger than I feel or will make apparent in my writing at times.

    Outside of blogging it’s something which sometimes leads to being expected “to be older” after having talked to people over the phone or through mail before meeting up or also not always being taken as serious but just regarded as some kid. Prejudice like that is something I’d like to stay away from.

  • I always like to see a face with a blog, but in a total contradiction to that, I have never put a picture of myself on my blog, nor have I encouraged it from the staff of my site.

    With everything I do online, from LiveJournal to Twitter to the Colboards, I use a variant of the picture on the header of my blog. As soon as people see me, and my avatar, they know that’s the Stephen Colbert blogger. It’s a sense of identity to use the same picture, not of me but of my subject (Stephen Colbert), as a way to brand myself and my site and to easily identify my content.

  • I think that for a job-related blog, a picture can add credibility. For more personal blogs, it may give you the feeling to give up your anonymity.

    As for myself, I’m blogging about wildlive-gardening, about herbs, about ecology. But I also give away personal things, like things about my kids, my husband. And, being a mental health care professional, and having been stalked by patients before, I do not want to be too recognizable…

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