Headshot Tips

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What should I wear for my Headshot?

What “style” of Headshot do I need?

Should I smile in my Headshot?

Should I use a Hair & Makeup Artist?

What’s the best background for my Headshot?

How to get Comfortable in front of the camera?

What should I do BEFORE my Headshot or Personal Branding session?

Bring Your Favorite Outfits to your Headshot Session
What "style" of Headshot do I need?

And yes, there are different “styles” or types of headshots! Dark and dramatic versus crisp, clean and professional for example.

What do you want to tell the people that look at your headshot?

Are you exciting or fun to work with? Are you the person to trust with their money? Do you take a No B.S. approach to your work? Are you in the business of making someone feel better about themselves? It’s all about setting the stage.

The headshot style that’s right for you is personal. It’s gotta fit your work.

So think about how you want people to feel after they look at your photo and we’ll take it from there. We’ll select the right lighting, camera gear and background to make sure that we tell the story of you in the most effective way possible.

Should I smile in my photos?

If you don’t have a specific look you’re going for, then smiling is the default expression and is our recommendation. For most professions you’ll want to appear competent, confident and approachable and a smile helps you pull that off most of the time.

Of course, there are a variety of smiles, too. Really big, mouth-open smile. A great, full-on smile. A pleasant-looking smile where you still show some teeth. A smile with no teeth showing. And probably a few others.

I would recommend looking at yourself in the mirror or in other photos to see what you or your spouse or friends tend to like in your photos.

If you don’t have a preference or don’t have time to worry about it, once you get to your photo session, we can take a couple of test shots and determine the best type of smile (or no smile at all) that suits your needs.

If you’re getting more than a single photo, it may be best to get a photo with you smiling and one where you’re not. If you’re getting many photos then definitely some of each!

It all depends on your marketing needs and what you want to say to the world.

What's the best type/color of Background?

There are a few great choices and each has their own merits.

It’s all about the look you’re going for so let’s discuss.

Pure White backgrounds are clean, modern and minimalist. May be too stark for some.

Medium Gray backgrounds are more luxurious, yet modern and minimalist. May be too plain for some.

Black backgrounds can be super elegant or moody. Might be perfect or just a bit too much for some.

Very Blurry Environmental backgrounds. Shot at your office or elsewhere, these are my personal favorite. Visually interesting and at the same time alludes to your work environment.

Not so Blurry Environmental backgrounds. Here, while the background is still a bit blurred (to make you stand out) it’s easy to make out what’s in the background. If your work surroundings are integral to what you do, this is a great choice.

Other Colored backgrounds can certainly be used but are not as popular at the moment. We can definitely create these types of photos for you and if you need to match other headshots that are on your website, we can color match them for you.

What should I wear?

It depends on the professional look you’re after. Some professions tend toward the more stylized, others not so much. If you are in the Beauty and Glamour space then, yes, let’s bring out the bling (Whatever your idea of bling, is). If you’re a Mechanical Engineer, then a more muted, yet put-together look will probably be best.

We can schedule a Professional Hair & Makeup artist for your shoot or you’re welcome to use (or bring) your own. Additional charges apply.

What if I'm nervous about getting my photo taken?

First, I am right there with you. I don’t really enjoy being photographed.

Here’s something to try…

I’m a total soccer junkie and one of the most popular players, Cristiano Ronaldo, takes an unusual stance before he takes a free kick. He’s straight as a board, feet spread, shoulders back, hands out-stretched down, but away from, his sides. From a TED Talk, I’ve come to learn this is known as The Power Pose. It’s said to make you feel more confident. Of course, I had to try it and, amazingly, it actually works.

However you get to confident, make sure you do. You want to own this experience. You want the people looking at your photo to KNOW that you can do the job.

But, then there’s the other side: you want to look approachable, too. You want to let people know that you’d be great to work with.

Competent, confident and approachable. That’s usually the best starting point for most professional headshots.

Practicing really helps, too, so spend a couple of minutes in front of a mirror. Competent, confident and approachable.

However, if you’re looking for a different look, we have you covered.

What if my photo needs to match the others for our organization?

Photoshop is my friend.

The short answer is yes, we can match the look of just about any headshot photo, but before we commit just have us take a look at the other photo(s) so we know what we’re working towards. We can use photoshop to swap out one background for another, too. Additional charges may apply.

We’ve got you covered.

Where, oh where, will my Headshot session be?

Your headshot photo session can be wherever you want or need it to be.

If you’re organizing headshots for your team, then it’s usually better for me to bring my gear to you so that you save time. (And remember, we have some great quantity discounts for groups!) We can use your office as the background in your photos or we can bring a standard background for your photographs.

If it’s your photography session then you can come to our studio near downtown Clayton, we can meet at the location of your choice (or my recommendation) or we can come to your office.

If you’re location is important for your work, say, for example, you’re a dentist, then it probably makes more sense to have what’s called an Environmental Portrait so people can see you in your element.

Anything to get the shot, right?

What if I don't like getting my pictue taken?

If you don’t like having your photo taken, you’re in the majority, and I’m right there with you. There are several reasons why we don’t. There’s humility (why is all the attention on me!). There’s the Mirror-effect (we’re used to seeing ourselves in the the mirror, which is the opposite of the image that you’ll see from the camera). There’s also our own subjective image that we conjure up in our mind of how we think we look, but really don’t. This is all normal.

But you still need a headshot!

Because I can empathize with your plight, I will go out of my way to make you feel safe and comfortable; to relax and have some fun with this. Remember, my job is to make you look great and to capture the best version of you. I’ll guide you through the process so don’t fret.

For some folks you’re headshot session will take a couple of minutes, others may take quite a bit longer because we need to help you bring that confident and approachable vibe out of you.

Your mindset coming in should be competent, confident and approachable and I encourage you to practice with and without a mirror so you come in with the right thoughts in your brain.

If all of this doesn’t work, just pretend you’re an actor and your Fan Club is demanding that they get a new photo of you. You gotta give the people what they want, right?

How long will this take?

I know you’re busy.

Many headshot photographers like to say “You’re shoot will be 2-3 hours.” I don’t think that’s the right approach.

It’s better if we are together until we get the headshot photo(s) that you love and then we’re done. If that takes one minute, then fine. If that takes an 6 hours, that’s fine, too.

Obviously, if you’re getting more than a single look, then you’ll need to change outfits and your shoot will take a little longer.

We’ll create a few photos, take a look at them and go from there. We’ll probably try a few different things so that you know we’ve given you a great set of options for your photos. You’re in control and we’ll make sure that you’re really happy with your photos.

What will happen during my Headshot or Personal Branding session?

Stress-Free Headshot Photo Shoot

What will happen during my Headshot or Personal Branding session?

Stress-Free Headshot Photo Shoot
Where, oh where, will my Headshot session be?

Your headshot photo session can be wherever you want or need it to be.

If you’re organizing headshots for your team, then it’s usually better for me to bring my gear to you so that you save time. (And remember, we have some great quantity discounts for groups!) We can use your office as the background in your photos or we can bring a standard background for your photographs.

If it’s your photography session then you can come to our studio near downtown Clayton, we can meet at the location of your choice (or my recommendation) or we can come to your office.

If you’re location is important for your work, say, for example, you’re a dentist, then it probably makes more sense to have what’s called an Environmental Portrait so people can see you in your element.

Anything to get the shot, right?

What if I don't like getting my pictue taken?

If you don’t like having your photo taken, you’re in the majority, and I’m right there with you. There are several reasons why we don’t. There’s humility (why is all the attention on me!). There’s the Mirror-effect (we’re used to seeing ourselves in the the mirror, which is the opposite of the image that you’ll see from the camera). There’s also our own subjective image that we conjure up in our mind of how we think we look, but really don’t. This is all normal.

But you still need a headshot!

Because I can empathize with your plight, I will go out of my way to make you feel safe and comfortable; to relax and have some fun with this. Remember, my job is to make you look great and to capture the best version of you. I’ll guide you through the process so don’t fret.

For some folks you’re headshot session will take a couple of minutes, others may take quite a bit longer because we need to help you bring that confident and approachable vibe out of you.

Your mindset coming in should be competent, confident and approachable and I encourage you to practice with and without a mirror so you come in with the right thoughts in your brain.

If all of this doesn’t work, just pretend you’re an actor and your Fan Club is demanding that they get a new photo of you. You gotta give the people what they want, right?

How long will this take?

I know you’re busy.

Many headshot photographers like to say “You’re shoot will be 2-3 hours.” I don’t think that’s the right approach.

It’s better if we are together until we get the headshot photo(s) that you love and then we’re done. If that takes one minute, then fine. If that takes an 6 hours, that’s fine, too.

Obviously, if you’re getting more than a single look, then you’ll need to change outfits and your shoot will take a little longer.

We’ll create a few photos, take a look at them and go from there. We’ll probably try a few different things so that you know we’ve given you a great set of options for your photos. You’re in control and we’ll make sure that you’re really happy with your photos.

Do I get to select my favorite photos? When? Will you help me?

See your photos at your photo shoot
Will I be able to see my photos at my session?

Yes! You’ll be able to see your photos at your session.

We connect a laptop computer to the camera at your headshot session so it’s easy to see which of your (unedited) photos you want to keep and those you want to toss.

How do I pick the best photo(s)?

Usually, it’s pretty easy to pick the photo(s) that will work best for your headshot photo, but part of the process includes my best professional guidance to help you choose the photos that will serve your needs. Having an objective (and expert) set of eyes looking at your photos will normally be enough to confirm your choices.

What if I'm not able to select my photo(s) at the session?

Sometimes circumstances prohibit you from  the selecting of the best images at the session, so as a backup we can upload your photos to an online gallery.

We’ll create the online gallery and then send you the link. All you need to do is go in and put a star on the photos you want. We’ll edit those and send them to you. Done.

What's involved in Editing my photos?

Editing a photo brings out the very best of that image and all professionally produced photographs are edited, and that’s ok. Even though I shoot with one of the best cameras available, it’s not perfect.

My job is to make you look great! Editing is an art and I treat it as such.

If you have temporary blemishes, we remove those. If you have freckles or a mole, we leave them in because that’s part of you. If you have a feature that you want to “hide” we can either shoot around it with creative posing or use editing to minimize its appearance.

Your photo, your choice.

If you have wrinkles, and every person over the age of about 16 has wrinkles and bags under their eyes, we soften those. My rationale for this is that in real life, as you’re talking with someone, you may notice but don’t really focus on those wrinkles, you focus on their eyes. In a photograph, though, it’s super easy to be distracted by wrinkles because our cameras have such high resolution that they give those “imperfections” more prominence than they deserve. We create the best version of you.

If you’re in your sixties, the edit won’t have you looking like you’re in your twenties, but you also won’t look like you’re in your eighties, either. There aren’t any “phone filters” involved as our editing is all custom and done with a tremendous amount of care in our professional editing software programs. You will NOT end up looking like a plastic mannequin.

You’ll look fresh and put together.

We will create the best version of your current self!

Can you change the background in my photos?

Yes, we can replace an existing background with a new one.

One of my clients works as a sales professional in the medical instrument space. He wanted a white background for most of his photos but also wanted one where he was in a lab to help his potential clients make a better connection with him. Since it would be difficult to get permission to set up a photo session in the lab at one of his client locations, I composited (combined) two photographs together to make it appear as though he was in a lab, when he was actually photographed in my studio.

On another shoot, we were outside, but the sky was a dull gray. I changed the sky to a beautiful blue with just the right amount of clouds and my clients loved it.

It’s an easy concept to understand, because you’re just changing the background, but it’s actually very difficult to make it look realistic. Because it’s difficult, we must add an extra fee for this type of work.

We can also do some much more fantastical type of composite photography, too. What do you think, would you like to be seen riding on the back of an elephant?

What do you do when you Edit my photos?

Editing your Headshot Photos

What do you do when you Edit my photos?

Editing your Headshot Photos
What's involved in Editing my photos?

Editing a photo brings out the very best of that image and all professionally produced photographs are edited, and that’s ok. Even though I shoot with one of the best cameras available, it’s not perfect.

My job is to make you look great! Editing is an art and I treat it as such.

If you have temporary blemishes, we remove those. If you have freckles or a mole, we leave them in because that’s part of you. If you have a feature that you want to “hide” we can either shoot around it with creative posing or use editing to minimize its appearance.

Your photo, your choice.

If you have wrinkles, and every person over the age of about 16 has wrinkles and bags under their eyes, we soften those. My rationale for this is that in real life, as you’re talking with someone, you may notice but don’t really focus on those wrinkles, you focus on their eyes. In a photograph, though, it’s super easy to be distracted by wrinkles because our cameras have such high resolution that they give those “imperfections” more prominence than they deserve. We create the best version of you.

If you’re in your sixties, the edit won’t have you looking like you’re in your twenties, but you also won’t look like you’re in your eighties, either. There aren’t any “phone filters” involved as our editing is all custom and done with a tremendous amount of care in our professional editing software programs. You will NOT end up looking like a plastic mannequin.

You’ll look fresh and put together.

We will create the best version of your current self!

Can you change the background in my photos?

Yes, we can replace an existing background with a new one.

One of my clients works as a sales professional in the medical instrument space. He wanted a white background for most of his photos but also wanted one where he was in a lab to help his potential clients make a better connection with him. Since it would be difficult to get permission to set up a photo session in the lab at one of his client locations, I composited (combined) two photographs together to make it appear as though he was in a lab, when he was actually photographed in my studio.

On another shoot, we were outside, but the sky was a dull gray. I changed the sky to a beautiful blue with just the right amount of clouds and my clients loved it.

It’s an easy concept to understand, because you’re just changing the background, but it’s actually very difficult to make it look realistic. Because it’s difficult, we must add an extra fee for this type of work.

We can also do some much more fantastical type of composite photography, too. What do you think, would you like to be seen riding on the back of an elephant?

What are the best ways to use my photo(s) and how will I get them?

Headshot Photography Uses
Besides LinkedIn, where else can I use my photos?

There are actually quite a lot of ways to use your headshot in addition to the most obvious place, LinkedIn.

It’s interesting because at first, you’ll probably be somewhat resistant to using your photo. After a while, though, you’ll get used to seeing it and so it becomes less of a thing.

More importantly, though, the people that are considering working with you, really want to see you so they can get to know you a bit better. It really is about putting yourself out there and letting your light shine.

  • LinkedIn
  • Email Signature
  • TV Commercials
  • Magazine or other Print Ads
  • Facebook Business Page + Post
  • Facebook Profile Pic + Post
  • Instagram Profile Pic + Post
  • Twitter Profile Pic + Tweet
  • Book or eBook Cover
  • Direct Mail Pieces
  • Billboards
  • Business Cards
  • Brochures
  • Trade Show Signage
  • Vehicle Wraps
  • Portraits for Your Office Walls
  • Ad Specialty Items such as Coffee Cups, Mouse Pads, etc.
Can I use my photo(s) anywhere I want?

Yes!

You will have Full Commercial Use Licensing for every photo you purchase. Have at it!

Put one on the cover of your next book, a billboard or an Ad on Times Square.

Have at it!

Can you provide me with Prints of my photos?

Yes!

We’re happy to provide you with Wall Art for your home or office.

Our Photo Labs can deliver traditional Wall Art such as Fine Art Quality Framed Prints and Canvasses.

We also have access to an amazing Print Lab that can print right on really creative materials like nails, wood, feathers, BB’s or even bread! Yes, you read that right. Something like this may be a great conversation starter.

How will I get my photos?

Normally, we will simply email your photos to you, but we can also offer you an online gallery if that works best for you.

You’ll get a Full-Resolution version and an Online-Resolution version. If you need something unique, just let us know.

When will I get my photos?

For most headshot sessions you’ll have your photos within a couple of days. For large groups, it may take us a few more days to get them all to you. If you have an urgent need, just let us know.

How often should I update my headshot?

You should update your headshot whenever you lose 10 lbs!

Kidding aside, every 2 – 3 years suits most folks’ needs. If it’s been over 5 years you’re catfishing people. 

If you’re “putting yourself out there” as a leader then you’ll definitely need to have access to updated photos on a regular basis, perhaps quarterly.

What if I don't like my photos?

We offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee. No questions asked.

If you don’t like your photos, we can re-take your photos or we’ll give you all of your money back.

We’re very proud of the care and effort that we put into your photographs and because of this, we’ve never had any issues, but isn’t it nice to know that we put our money where our mouth is?

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