Headshots

Voting with Photos...

I just became an Australian citizen on 26th January and at the ceremony.  I had thought I wouldn't make the cut to vote this time around.  So I (foolishly) hadn't bothered to learn anything about the candidates here in Queensland.  

It turns out I was registered to vote right there at the citizenship ceremony and told I'm expected to show up!  Oops.  Ok.  Better start cramming!

The ABC has a very interesting little tool to help you discover where you are in the political scheme of things.  It's called Vote Compass and it asks you all kinds of questions about various topics important to everyone - just as I had expected - which I dutifully answered.

Then, a very surprising section popped up...  

You are asked to rate the candidates for trustworthy-ness and competence using their photos!  

I often hear people say that a good online profile photo isn't very important...  That it's such a small image and people can't possibly make any decisions based on such limited information...

And that can be true...  If it's a crap photo.  And these photos of the Queensland politicians are all equally very weak photos.  But take a look.  One looks a bit like a super-villain.  One looks like a prison mugshot.  One looks like he has no idea where he is.  One really comes across as more genuine and trustworthy...

Politics aside (if that's possible), you really can and do make decisions based on visual cues.  I mean who the hell buys a different bottle of wine based on what the back label says?  You look at price, name and then you judge the "book" by its cover.

Now I'm certainly not saying that this is the way forward for political discourse.  Far from it.  But it is very fascinating to see this method used.

How did I fare with this step you may wonder?  I skipped it.  Visually, I'm super biased and didn't want that to influence my results at all.

But just in case any politicians or aspiring politicians out there are reading this...  Look into a truly exceptional headshot that actually communicates your values and intention.

Who knows how many votes you'll get with a freakin' amazing photo...