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Poll: Which of the following is closer to your opinion about profile photos/pictures?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 10:16
SITE STAFF
May 29, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Which of the following is closer to your opinion about profile photos/pictures?".

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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:16
Spanish to English
Yourself, looking professional(ish) May 29, 2011

Personally, if I am looking for a service provider (in any profession) I am not filled with confidence if they have a picture of their pet dog on their website.

That said, I don't think suit-clad white-toothed air-brushed perfection is necessary either.

Cheers
Simon

[Edited at 2011-05-29 10:04 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 29, 2011

If the question refers to my own profile image, and specifically for working/professional purposes, I currently prefer to use a logo or avatar and preserve some sort of degree of relative anonymity, for what it's worth. My logo is a sort of in-joke, and no outsiders are actually meant to "get it". It represents a jokey cartoon alterego loosely based on an anagram of my real name and created unprompted by one of my colleagues.

As for other people or businesses, I tend to have an imme
... See more
If the question refers to my own profile image, and specifically for working/professional purposes, I currently prefer to use a logo or avatar and preserve some sort of degree of relative anonymity, for what it's worth. My logo is a sort of in-joke, and no outsiders are actually meant to "get it". It represents a jokey cartoon alterego loosely based on an anagram of my real name and created unprompted by one of my colleagues.

As for other people or businesses, I tend to have an immediate sense of suspicion or rejection of people who look too well-groomed, sleek and airbrushedly professional. One esteemed colleague maintains, "never trust anyone whose website looks too slick and "professional", or has an up-market looking secretary, or who calls a job a "project" when referring to a one-off average length translation task.

Almost anyone can be made to look like a paragon or else a total toerag with the right lighting, airbrushing and tweaking, but the thing is, appearances, although deceptive, do count. I always remember my friend's mother's astonishment when her bag was stolen by a besuited and urbane looking gent... "but I can't believe it -he was so well dressed!"
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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:16
English to German
+ ...
In memoriam
Profile pictures display your priorities May 29, 2011

Deliberately or unconsciously. There is always a reason why you chose this particular picture.

Feel free to rip my head off - as an outsourcer I am hesitant whenever I see a family, wedding or a baby photo. Perceived message: "I might let you down because I have more important things to focus on than your project". Hm...

Also: Beauty shots, lots of cleavage, and party photos. Sorry, I am not impressed. I am already married. Worst of all: Photos of movie stars.
<
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Deliberately or unconsciously. There is always a reason why you chose this particular picture.

Feel free to rip my head off - as an outsourcer I am hesitant whenever I see a family, wedding or a baby photo. Perceived message: "I might let you down because I have more important things to focus on than your project". Hm...

Also: Beauty shots, lots of cleavage, and party photos. Sorry, I am not impressed. I am already married. Worst of all: Photos of movie stars.

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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:16
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Same here! May 29, 2011

Simon Bruni wrote:

Personally, if I am looking for a service provider (in any profession) I am not be filled with confidence if they have a picture of their pet dog on their website.

That said, I don't think suit-clad white-toothed air-brushed perfection is necessary either.
Especially the second part.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:16
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other - something that reflects what you do May 29, 2011

I wavered about the photo looking professional and finally voted 'other'.

If you look distinctive, are reasonably photogenic and can arrange a tiny bit of background (remembering you only have a postage stamp at your disposal), then a photo of you looking professional might be good.

If you are young, sleek and gorgeous enough to be a fashion model, then no matter what you do, it might be difficult to look professional in some fields. (I'm just envious!...
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I wavered about the photo looking professional and finally voted 'other'.

If you look distinctive, are reasonably photogenic and can arrange a tiny bit of background (remembering you only have a postage stamp at your disposal), then a photo of you looking professional might be good.

If you are young, sleek and gorgeous enough to be a fashion model, then no matter what you do, it might be difficult to look professional in some fields. (I'm just envious! )

You need something that identifies YOU to the kind of clients you like to work for.
In that sea of faces, a good logo stands out. Some people find them easier to remember than faces, and if this applies to the majority of your clients, then go for it.

I actually thought of neilmac among others as soon as I saw this question, so it works!

Pets and informal pictures do not have the same appeal to me, though I did like Gianfranco Manca's cat. Was it writing with its left paw?

But whatever you do, choose something you can live with, and don't change it too frequently! It confuses simple-minded folk like me.
(That is my excuse for keeping my own photo. It was the only presentable electronic picture I had at the time, and I have not found any more suitable since... or just been too lazy!)



PS It is worth giving some serious thought to your picture, logo or whatever you use. People remember them and they become part of your identity. I associate users of this site with their pictures years later. Vito Smoley had a very good drawing done by himself, and I have identified people at powwows from their pictures.

This is a thought for interpreters and others who actually meet their clients, but for those of us who do not, some form of identity is still an advantage.

Happy translating!

[Edited at 2011-05-29 14:11 GMT]
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Patricia Charnet
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:16
English to French
photo - professional May 29, 2011

worth investing in a session with a professional photographer to get a few decent pics

it does influence the client, and helps establishing some trust. I'm afraid, we are visual animals, and many people like to have a mental image of who they're talking too. Since I've put a few pics on my web site, I've had more work - people trust you more if they can see you.

translation: not compulsory, some people are happy with avatar, but it helps

interpreting: compu
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worth investing in a session with a professional photographer to get a few decent pics

it does influence the client, and helps establishing some trust. I'm afraid, we are visual animals, and many people like to have a mental image of who they're talking too. Since I've put a few pics on my web site, I've had more work - people trust you more if they can see you.

translation: not compulsory, some people are happy with avatar, but it helps

interpreting: compulsory, unlikely to get as many contracts otherwise, and some work can be important i.e. ministerial meetings, etc. or sometimes for community interpreting, some clients may have specific requirements i.e. hospital appointments, etc. some conference interpreting is also linked with some site visiting and you accompany the clients on a local tour.

tuition: compulsory, some people want to see who's going to teach them professional language skills to learn how to negotiate contracts and have telephone manners in the target language.

[Edited at 2011-05-29 10:09 GMT]
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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:16
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
a photo of yourself May 29, 2011

or looking professional. A logo is OK. If I had a logo I'd probably use that instead, since I would feel that it's more important to promote my agency than to promote my face.

And no to pictures of kids or dogs and definitely not movie stars. That drives me nuts on facebook. A lot of women seem to use pictures of their kids as their profile photos. I know they're your kids and you're proud of them but don't you have your own identity?


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:16
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
A photo of yourself May 29, 2011

Whether it's a professional or a casual one is, IMHO, secondary. A logo, which displays one's profession, is also a good and oftentimes attracting idea. This is generally spoken.

If I'm looking for any kind of service, I'm mostly interested in the service offered and its terms and conditions rather than in the person's photo. This might be based on negative experiences I've had with highly professional photo - with nothing to back up that professionalism behind the "nice front".... See more
Whether it's a professional or a casual one is, IMHO, secondary. A logo, which displays one's profession, is also a good and oftentimes attracting idea. This is generally spoken.

If I'm looking for any kind of service, I'm mostly interested in the service offered and its terms and conditions rather than in the person's photo. This might be based on negative experiences I've had with highly professional photo - with nothing to back up that professionalism behind the "nice front".

Even though outsourcers tend to take only professionally looking photos into consideration when it comes to trusting someone with a job, thus far none of my clients has ever had a problem with my casual photo. Those who did, and whom I know nothing about, well, there's plenty of fish (translators - and no disrespect intended here!) in the sea.

Enjoy your Sunday.
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Eser Perkins  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 20:16
Member (2010)
English to Turkish
+ ...
A photo of yourself May 29, 2011

As I had posted in a recent quick poll:

http://www.proz.com/forum/poll_discussion/197461-poll:_do_you_think_a_translators_profile_picture_can_influence_an_outsourcers_final_decision.html#1729307

But I would like to agree with some colleagues here who expresse
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As I had posted in a recent quick poll:

http://www.proz.com/forum/poll_discussion/197461-poll:_do_you_think_a_translators_profile_picture_can_influence_an_outsourcers_final_decision.html#1729307

But I would like to agree with some colleagues here who expressed their irritation in regards to pets, kids and favorite cartoon characters being used as a profile image. And I would like to add the awkward webcam angles, photos showing only one part of the face and glamour shots (some going quite a bit further) are definitely not acceptable for me.

As for no photo/avatar/logo at all, combined with an anonymous username: well, I do feel that the person has something to hide. And personally, I can't stand ambiguity. After all, this is not a social networking site, but a business place. I, for one, wouldn't feel like cooperating with an absolutely anonymous person.
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scriptrans (X)

Local time: 19:16
English to German
+ ...
No photo necessary May 29, 2011

Why? What does a photo actually tell you about a person? And how can you be sure that the picture shown is actually a picture of the translator herself/himself? Could be anybody, really...

Experience should have taught us by now that looks can be terribly deceiving. Besides, I'm not selling myself, I'm selling a service - translations. So does it really matter if look like Audrey Hepburn or a female Quasimodo? Not really, I think. It's the result that matters, and a photo is not go
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Why? What does a photo actually tell you about a person? And how can you be sure that the picture shown is actually a picture of the translator herself/himself? Could be anybody, really...

Experience should have taught us by now that looks can be terribly deceiving. Besides, I'm not selling myself, I'm selling a service - translations. So does it really matter if look like Audrey Hepburn or a female Quasimodo? Not really, I think. It's the result that matters, and a photo is not going to tell you anything about the result.

I wouldn't mind hiring a colleague with a photo of her/his pet/child/favourite cartoon at all. Why should I? Every person has a life besides translation... or at least I hope they do. And why should a "professional" picture be a guarantee for getting the job done?

As far as anonymous user names go: Anyone seriously interested in my services will find out my name soon enough. Why should I have something to hide if I don't feel like revealing it to any Tom, Dick and Harry?
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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:16
Flemish to English
+ ...
A logo May 29, 2011

which you also put on your invoices, so that when your invoice cannot be found among a stack of invoices with names on it, you can refer to your logo.

 

Wil Hardman  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Show your face... May 29, 2011

In all human communication eye contact and showing your face goes a long way. Although a logo might be memorable, I personally find faces more memorable and they make me feel like I know the person a bit better.

I think a natural photo looks best - I really don't like professional photos - as again it's like you are trying to hide the real you.

I've seen quite a few Facebook-style party photos with cleavage on show and, while being a liberal-minded person (it doesn't bo
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In all human communication eye contact and showing your face goes a long way. Although a logo might be memorable, I personally find faces more memorable and they make me feel like I know the person a bit better.

I think a natural photo looks best - I really don't like professional photos - as again it's like you are trying to hide the real you.

I've seen quite a few Facebook-style party photos with cleavage on show and, while being a liberal-minded person (it doesn't bother me), I really don't think they are doing themselves any favours.

The worst profile picture I've ever seen on Proz was a guy strewn across his bed with sunglasses on and his shirt raised up showing his hairy belly - I'm not sure what his aim was there but it made him look like he couldn't care less about anything.
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jacana54 (X)  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
a CURRENT photo... May 29, 2011

I think that using "The best photo of my life", even if taken many years before, is not a good idea. I get a very bad impression when I see a great photo and then realize by the resume or when we meet face to face that the person is at least 25 years older than what the picture shows.



 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:16
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Photo of oneself . . . May 30, 2011

. . . in a decent but not too "polished" pose.

I have to confess that on ProZ, at least, I feel a much stronger connection to the people who show their photos. There is absolutely no substitute. I don't particularly want to see people's children in the photo, and I am always disappointed by a logo. But my biggest pet peeve is animations. They are not funny!

On a website, I agree with Nicole that photos of family and pets suggest that one's primary focus is elswhere.

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Feel free to rip my head off - as an outsourcer I am hesitant whenever I see a family, wedding or a baby photo. Perceived message: "I might let you down because I have more important things to focus on than your project". Hm...



 
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