Wednesday, April 07, 2010

How Effective is Your Headshot?

With the economy shifting every day, the only option we have is to evolve and shift with it.  For many businesspeople, that means creating or completely revamping their marketing strategies, and a large part of that marketing strategy is having a decent photo of themselves.  This is especially true for those in sales position - and if you own your own business, you are in a sales position whether you realize it or not.  The interesting thing, however, is that many people don't realize the importance of a good headshot.

Whether it is in business or personal life, most of you make an effort to create a good first impression.  Everything from the way you dress, to the firmness of your handshake, to the scent you wear; it all serves a similar purpose. A headshot is an extension of that first impression, and in some cases it is the only impression (at least visually) that someone may have of you and your respective business. Your goal as a businessperson, and my goal as a photographer, should be to make sure your headshot is congruent with the way you portray yourself to your current and potential clients. That is, assuming you are already attempting to make those first impressions count. If you aren't, I assure you that your competition is!

So, what makes a good headshot great?  Beyond all other factors, the key to an effective headshot is YOU.  No matter how amazing a photographer is, or how much photoshopping is done after the session, if you don’t see the value in a good photo of yourself and/or you hate the thought of having your picture taken, you will absolutely fulfill your own thoughts and end up with a bad shot. Granted, a good photographer may be able to come up with something better than what you expected, but your goal should be more than just “better than bad.” Trust me when I tell you, everyone has a great shot in them, and the most common thing that gets in the way is someone's mindset.

Once my clients are committed to getting a great shot of themselves, the process can begin. We can work together to get a shot that is harmonious with who they really are and what they are selling. They have done their homework and have determined what they want to get out of their photos. They show up comfortable, confident, and prepared, and so do I. They are less focused on what everyone else is doing in their industry and more focused on what they want to portray. All of a sudden we are both shooting with intention and our intention is the same - to get the best and most effective shot possible. The result is that we end up with a photo that they love (yes you can love a headshot) and are proud to use on all of their marketing material.

They have a photo that says 1,000 words, and yes, they are all good words.

Here are 5 things you should consider BEFORE you have your photo taken: 
  • What are you planning on using this image for?
  • What would you like to portray to someone seeing the image for the first time?
  • What do I find appealing in a headshot?
  • Do you enjoy having your picture taken? If not, please think about why.
  • What are 4 positive qualities about yourself (write them down!). 
(Article reprinted with permission from Local Focus Photography.)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Great skincare and makeup products!

Paula's Choice Skin Care

We all want our skin to look great in portraits, and I use lighting and retouching to make that happen. But using good skin care products helps to achieve that naturally. I've been a fan of Paula Begoun ever since I read one of her books back in the 80's. Known as the "cosmetics cop", she was one of the first to investigate the ingredients of skincare and makeup products, reporting on their harms, benefits, hype, and options for less expensive alternatives.

Frustrated with finding suitable products for problem skin, she developed her own line of skincare called Paula's Choice. I've been using her skincare and makeup products for a while now, am very happy with the results and wanted to share the news about great, affordable products that work. My favorite is the Clear Anti-Acne System, but she carries something to address every skin type. Start with the Custom skincare guide to find the products that are right for you.

As to makeup, after trying two other popular mineral makeup lines, I now just use Paula's Choice Healthy Finish Pressed Powder and Soft Cream Concealer. Every time I've ordered, I've received free samples and have found new products that I love. You can also purchase sample sizes to try. A great feature of her website are all the reviews from other users that can help you make your choices. So click on the above link for more info and to place your order. Then let me know what you think.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

And baby makes 3

3 boys thats is! We had a bit of a challenge to get the brothers to be, umm, brotherly, but we still captured some great images. Here's a sneak peak.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Business Portraits and Headshots

A quality headshot should convey a positive image imparting your demeanor, professionalism, and competance. Displaying your business portrait helps your client feel as if they know you, increasing their comfort level and confidence in you. A poorly executed portrait can negatively influence people in their decision to do business with you. A well done portrait is not an expense, it's an investment in your future!

I provide you with a professional image that portrays you at your best. Upon reserving your session, I'll send you my Business Portrait Guide to help you prepare for your session so we achieve the best results. We'll chat about your objective for the portrait and look you wish to portray and go over clothing options. After your session, we go thru the images together and I'll help you select the best. Then I refine the image with a bit of enhancement, not a plastic doll makeover, just a clean, fresh look. Here's a before/after example from a recent client session.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Update that headshot!

Now is the perfect time to update your headshot, business portrait or profile pic with our new, lower prices!

Studio Session, up to one hour, and one high resolution image on CD $150. Additional images $75.

Location Session, up to one hour and five high resolution images on CD $250. Upgrade to all session images on CD for additional $250.

Professional quality executive, business and promotional portraits help sell you and your product. Use on business cards, brochures, flyers, websites and more. High resolution digital files with reproduction rights granted. Includes minimal basic retouching per image for blemish removal.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Secret Baby Planner

After photographing their maternity and newborn portraits, mom decided to sign up for my one year baby portrait plan. But she wanted to keep it a secret from dad, so she could surprise him with the final baby panel at the end of the year as a Christmas gift. This required a bit of sneaky planning, but we pulled it off! So finally, I can post baby Ethan's images online. Here is one from each session at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. I've also posted each complete session in the Featured Sessions section of the Image Gallery on my website.