Getting chosen by a birth mother is a lot of things, but I never realized that my great pictures played a part in our fast success!
We were attending a regional adoption conference three or four months after we adopted our little boy when the topic of great pictures first came up. During the lunch break I ran into a case worker who was located in Phoenix. We realized our mutual connection, and she shared with me that she had several birth parents who were looking at my file and wanted to contact me, but our file had a hold on it (as we had been chosen by another birth mother). She told me she thought we had attracted so many interests because our pictures really stood out.
This was a happy surprise for me to hear, and it just confirmed what I realized when we started our adoption profile: You’ve got to make a great first impression with your profile picture!
I admit I’m an adoption profile junkie. This habit started when we were taking the first steps in the adoption process. As I scoured through countless profiles, I started seeing a pattern in the couples I choose to look at.
- The couple/family pictures were outside.
- I could see all the faces of the people in the picture.
- The image was well composed, crisp, colorful, and bright.
- They looked recent and up-to-date.
- The image looked like it was taken by a professional.
I started to think about this, and it makes total sense. If you’re thinking about what family you are going to entrust this most precious gift to, you want them to be the best.
The Visual Effect of Adoption
Here’s a simple exercise. Here are two pictures of my family. Which one would you choose to trust with your baby?
The first picture would be a great image to put in our album. It shows that we like to go out as a family and gives a glimpse into our lives. Your profile image needs to… how do you say… show you off! It’s like your picture is telling others how important adoption and your family is to you.
It’s tempting to go with someone who is “free” or costs less than $100, but it could cost you a lot more in time as you wait to be chosen. We were so blessed to be contacted and then chosen after two days of posting our profile. I know it had to do in part because of our pictures/videos and presentation. Pictures are worth the investment, and luckily for all of us adoptive families, we can write off the cost of the pictures dollar for dollar through the adoption tax credit (as long as the images are used for adoption purposes).
Choosing a Great Adoption Photographer
Here are some suggestions for when you are looking for a photographer:
- Look at 3-4 people before making a decision.
- Pay attention to your emotional response to their photography style.
- Look for images that have a classic feel to them so you will still love the way they look 10 years down the road.
- Don’t go for posed “Cheese!” pictures. You want interaction and lifestyle moments for your adoption album.
Later, after you’ve chosen your great photographer, hang these pictures in your house. When you look at them, they’ll make you and others smile.