If a trade magazine or a newspaper asked you to send them your photo, could you pop one in the mail? Would the president of your company have one to send?

Probably not. At a time when self-promotion is important for both entrepreneurs and corporate-ladder climbers, an amazing percentage of people can’t supply their photo.

"It’s false economy to scrimp on photography," says Nicole Plett, arts editor of U.S. 1, who advocates that artists submit head shots of themselves as well as photographs of their work. "Since the advent of People magazine, people want to see who they are reading about."

A Manhattan-based trade magazine has been trying for a week to get a good picture of Martyn Greenacre, former CEO of Delsys Pharmaceuticals (recently sold to Elan Pharmaceutical). An editor called U.S. 1 and explained that "the only headshot they had was godawful." We could supply one taken five years ago, when Greenacre was featured on our cover.

And in a classic example of the shoemaker’s children, U.S. 1 was unable to immediately locate a recent photo of our Richard K. Rein, in connection with a Princeton Chamber event on March 20.

Many times our sources supply their own photography, but even when we are able to send our own photographer to the workplace, things can go awry. Take the February 13 story on Firmenich, "The Nose Knows," for example. It had a picture on page 43 of Firmenich’s John Landecker graphically silhouetted in the sun’s rays. Somehow the photograph was incorrectly identified as belonging to Robert McEwan. Both men were gracious and insisted that a correction not be printed. But in this context we cannot ignore our error.

We often encounter resistance to photo requests. "I don’t take a good picture." It sounds cruel and obvious, but what we tell the recalcitrant subject is: You’re probably not going to look any better five years from now.

To the Editor

THANK YOU SO much for including my picture on the cover of your February 6 issue dealing with women in paid and volunteer work for non-profits. Lots of people commented on the cover, even giving me their copies to send to friends and family.

Our nonprofit, the Trenton Community Music School, is directed by Marcia Wood. We offer music training at affordable rates to all who seek it, regardless of age, ability, income, or racial identity by providing high-quality music instruction by a professional faculty of music artists to residents of Trenton and surrounding areas. Our grant-funded outreach program, directed by Ronnie Ragan, offers training for Trenton-area preschool teachers and parents in the Music Together curriculum.

We will have a benefit concert on Sunday, April 21, at 4 p.m. at Har Sinai Temple on Bellevue Avenue to honor Bill Lacy, one of Trenton’s most distinguished jazz musicians. A dinner to raise money for the Bill Lacy Scholarship Fund will be held at Merlino’s Waterfront Restaurant at 7 p.m. We invite readers to the concert ($15) or the dinner (609-394-8700).

Ellen Saxon

Administrative Director

Trenton Community Music School

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