It's a fact of life, size does matter and photography is no exception. I have to admit, I did not give much thought to the psychology behind the evolution of small form factor cameras until I personally made the transition, committed and regrettably experienced the ludicrousy.
As a race we are judgemental, continuously building stereotypes and filing boxes based on appearance. A concept familiar to most, and in the realm of photography where the world is always watching, it can get a little tiring. So it should not come as a complete surprise when you discover, on top of everything else there is to worry about you are also getting filed and stored based on the make, model and sheer heft of your camera.
Crowds will part if you walk down the street with a colossal pro body and a 300mm F2.8 slung over your shoulder, I have seen it happen! In respect of your experience and fundamental understanding of photography, at face value and as far as first impressions go, the bigger and increasingly vulgar your equipment setup is, the more immediate and superficial the respect is awarded.
So where does that leave those who followed suit and embraced the smaller future? How do we compete? Although there is no one fit solution, I found these little tricks help dress up a mirror-less camera system to a professional standard, cloaking and concealing it from the cynics in order to give the little guy a fighting chance.
Think bigger is better. If available, pick up a vertical battery grip for your rig. Not only will it help you work more comfortably and efficiently in the portrait orientation, they also add a mighty heft and bulk in the aesthetic department. Most of the time battery grips are a modular accessory, so when you are done putting on a macho performance, as quickly as you bulked up there is the option to slim down and melt back into the shadows operating discreetly: one of the key features for a small form factor camera and one of the key reasons you probably own one in the first place.
The misunderstood hot-shoe. If you sit down and think about it, there is almost an endless range of cords, speedlights, flash triggers and electronic view finders on the market, which once attached and fitted you can hide behind. Again, any of these accessories will add a little extra boost to your first impression stats.
The under appreciated lens hood, not only does it protect the font glass elements from environmental influences it can also double the length of your lens. Since most manufacturers provide a hood, this is really a no brainer.
I think I made my point loud and clear. Until society comes to terms and unquestionably accepts the small form factor camera as a serious DSLR adversary, debunking the "bigger is better" mentality with these little tricks will hopefully get you through a few extra doors. Just remember that getting in is only part of the journey, you still need to smash the brief and drive the money shot out of the arena every inning.