Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Importance of a Good, Consistent, Easy to Recognize Avatar

So often, I see people use avatars (those little icons that represent you on social media sites) that are anything but an easy to recognize photo of themselves. Maybe they use their logo, their favorite signature photo of a client, a photograph of something pretty like a flower, or even a photo of themselves -- with a camera in front of their face.

When you use photos like this, guess what? No one will ever recognize you.

At WPPI, I had people tell me daily that they recognized me -- often followed by the question, "red wall?" Why? Because I use the same photo everywhere. Me, easy to see, with a red wall behind me. Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, OSP, Fast Track Photographer Forums, here on PhotoLoveCat. All the same photograph. I joked after the second day that I was going to figure out a way to have a piece of red poster board behind me at all times so I would be even easier to recognize.

While at a party one night, I was approached by another Twitter user who wanted to introduce herself. Because she also has an easy to recognize avatar, I remembered her right away - it was an instant visual connection. (Needed, because the party was so loud I could barely hear!) We work in a visual medium, and many of us remember things we see faster than we remember names.

This helps your clients too -- put a photo of yourself on your website so that if you are meeting them outside of a studio setting they can spot you easily. Don't cause them the stress of wandering into Panera or Starbucks and wondering which person sitting there with the laptop is the vendor they are supposed to be meeting with!

Get together with a photographer friend, shoot headshots of each other that you really like, and get them online! Make it easy for people to know who you are! Be sure to use a photo where everyone can see your whole face so we know who you are!

Christine Tremoulet is a Houston, Texas Hot Mama Boudoir photographer and wants you to have a Business of Awesome. She also runs Wholly Matrimony, a destination wedding blog. She is a creative geek, having blogged since 2000 at BigPinkCookie. When she isn't taking photos or knitting, she is busy devouring all the info related to Marketing & Social Media and its powers that she can find online. Follow her on Twitter.


  1. This is SO true. Whenever I think of someone, especially a fellow photographer I always envision a little image icon of them in my head. It really helps when someone has something memorable and consistent across all mediums of online networking.

  2. Excellent post Christine!

  3. Totally right, Christie! I use the same little photo everywhere I go, too :D

  4. Very timely Christine, I just changed my Avatar a few days ago to something along the lines of what you write about.

  5. This is really so logical if you stop to think about it.

    Im one of those that have a camera (and a ringflash - actually!) infront of his face on hsi avatar.

    But Ill take a new one when I get my new glasses..that actually shows my face =D

  6. I'm not always consistent with having the same avatar, but I can always be recognized by the many zebra things I carry! (Maybe my avatar should be zebra print?)


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