Recent client Jennifer is an international affairs expert and wanted a more professional photograph for her LinkedIn profile. My typical business headshot sessions run about and hour and include headshots of course, but 3/4 body shots as well. I always encourage my clients to bring as many outfits as they want, to cover all the professional “roles” they see themselves in.
Depending on your profession, you may decide that a more traditional photo with say, a gray or dark background will serve you best. If you’re a finance type or lawyer, depending on what type of law you practice, you might want to convey a more serious but approachable persona.
If you’re a family therapist, software developer, realtor or entrepreneur your look could be a bit more casual and include a closeup headshot or non-traditional background such as outdoors.
I recently found a cool web tool called PhotoFeeler. For a small fee you can find out whether your social media photos make you look smart, likable, trustworthy or fun!
Since Jennifer’s field is more traditional we stuck with some pretty traditional poses and clothing choices. Here’s more on what to wear to your business headshot session.
So when it comes to business headshots for women: casual vs. traditional? Why not do both!
While we took the traditional poses, I wanted to capture a more casual vibe that Jennifer could use for her Google or Facebook avatar.
I recently worked with beautiful Amanda on a before and after modern glamour photography session. What was unique about the session was that Amanda trusted Connie Tsang and I to decide what type of glamour photography makeup styling would enhance Amanda’s good looks and unleash her inner bombshell!
Amanda has got those pretty, girl-next-door looks but I wanted to create something a little edgier. A little more “va-va-voom-y”! I scoured fashion magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar magazines in search of a look. I choose a makeup style worn by Kylie Jenner. Despite what some might think of her celebrity status, Kylie’s ad for Cover Girl lipstick was stunning. Connie used the ad for inspiration and voila! Glamour photography makeup at its best!
Not everyone is going to want a super glamour look for their photography session and that’s ok! During our consultation we’ll talk details on exactly how you want to be photographed and how much makeup feels right for you. I share what might look good based on what you’d like to wear, your personality and the purpose of the photograph.
Our handy makeup chart is a great way for us to visualize just what amount of makeup you’d like to wear for your modern glamour or contemporary business portrait session. And if you’re combining business headshot session with glamour one we can start with less makeup and add to it as we go along to create the fabulous looks you want! See you in the studio beautiful!
Let’s try to imagine a real estate world without the real estate agent headshot. Beside each realtor’s name and contact info would be one of those gray, generic avatars indicating only whether the realtor was a women or man. Of course, the all important marketing tool called “word of mouth,” would account for a good deal of new business, but without a headshot, how would a potential buyer or seller chose?
There are few professions where instilling a sense of trust and knowledge is vital to success. Doctors, lawyers and real estate agents have to look like the experts that they are. A professional, real estate agent headshot with good lighting and the right pose can go a long way to getting you business. Here are a few tips according to Zillow on how a professional real estate photograph can make you more memorable.
1) Make sure your photograph is current. There’s nothing more shocking than meeting someone who looks years older than their photo. Remember, you want to instill trust!
2) Do you have a specialty? Farm properties, lake properties or historic homes? Shoot your headshot on location. If not, use a solid color background.
3) Get electronic versions in .jpg, .gif or .png format. That way you can upload them to your blog, your LinkedIn page or anywhere on the web. Also ask for hi-resolution versions so you’ll have quality images for printing brochures and other marketing materials.
4) Don’t use props like “For Sale” signs or cell phones. And don’t include anyone else in your photograph unless they’re your realtor partner. No family members, friends, or pets!
5) Take it easy on the retouching! Blemishes are ok to remove, but totally eliminating any age lines or whittling away the waistline can appear to be dishonest.
Click here to schedule your session today and get ahead of the competition!
My husband, Joe and I recently saw The King and Iin New York a few weeks ago. It was outstanding, by the way. And just nominated for a Tony Award. So of course it had to be the name of this blog post!
As corny as it sounds, it is one of my most important goals and the key to you having a great photography experience. Most of us, including me, do NOT like having our picture taken. I still find it amazing that a complete stranger will make an appointment with me. Because, really, I am the stranger! That takes guts. So I’m all about making your photography session as stress-free as possible.
When you contact me, I will either call or email you as soon as possible. I’m adamant about providing you with all the information about your session, upfront and as soon as I can. “What should I bring?” “What should I wear?” “Can I bring a friend?” “How long before I get my photos?” I’ll answer all of these questions, and any others you might have before we ever book your session.
You can even schedule a complimentary twenty minute phone consultation so that we can chat and you can find out if we’re a good fit. I’m sure we will be, but it couldn’t hurt. Feel more comfortable with FaceTime or Skype? I can do that too. Just let me know.
I’ll also send you a quick survey that asks questions like “What kind of music do you like?” And “where do you want to display, promote or do with your final images?” The more I know before our session, the more I can help you feel at ease.
After you’ve arrived and before we get to shooting, I like to chat a little more and find out if there’s anything that you’re still a bit nervous about. It helps both of us relax and gives me get an idea of your unique personality. I love to have a have laugh, so I’ll do my best to make that happen and get you the photographs that you’ve always wanted! I promise. You’re going to leave having had a little fun and having made a new BFF!
What makes a portrait beautiful? Is it the gorgeous afternoon sun streaming through the window behind the subject? Or maybe it’s the flattering outfit or well-coiffed hairstyle of the photograph-ee? Perhaps it’s the confident poses of those being photographed?
Of course, all of these are really important considerations. Especially for all of us who love to photograph people. But they’re not the only consideration. In fact, none of them are important at all.
So what makes a portrait beautiful? It’s beautiful if someone you love is in it. I bet of all the things you own, and cherish your family photographs are your most prized. I know mine are. That’s one of the reasons I love photography. I have beautiful black and white family photographs taken by my grandfather. They’re mostly posed images of my dad, my aunt and my grandmother and various cousins and family friends. Many of those people are gone now. But those photographs will live on as long as I take good care of them and cherish them as I much as the people I love in the photograph. Whether taken by a professional or by Uncle Bob family photographs tell us who we are and where we come from.
But too often we women would rather stand on the sidelines and out of the picture rather than be in the photograph. And when we are in the picture, we’re complaining about the way we look.
The photo of my mom was taken in her upstairs bathroom almost 15 years ago. She really wasn’t feeling it that day and I had to beg her to pose for me. Her hair wasn’t “done” and her makeup wasn’t on. I convinced her after much prodding to slap on some lipstick and try to look elegant. Well, I think she pulled it off with aplomb. She’s now 83 and still beautiful. And I’m so glad I insisted.
Come on ladies, admit it. We will go to great lengths to alter our appearance supposedly for the better but refuse to be in a photograph because we’re too fat, too old, too wrinkly, too whatever!
Remember that pair of three-inch Manolo Blahnik heels you wore to your niece’s wedding and could barely walk, let alone dance to the Electric Slide? Not because you’re so done of with that line dance, but because your feet were killing you!
And let’s talk about that crash diet you went on for your high school reunion. You know the one where you ate only grapefruit for two weeks? My 40th is coming up in August and I may consider it. Have you ever had your upper lip or eyebrows waxed? Girl. You know the pain, if not, trust me… you don’t want to!
So the next time Uncle Bob wants you in that family photo, stand up straight and smooth your hair. Then slap on some lipstick and smile.
Glamour shots you say? Yes. Glamour shots. Remember back in the day when we’d go to the mall for a girls day out? Have tons of makeup applied, get our hair styled in a fancy do we’d probably never wear out on the street (or maybe we would, after all, it was the 80’s and everyone’s hair just looked bad). We’d wear the glittery, feather boa while donning Marilyn Monroe-like evening gloves. And remember the poses? We tried ever so hard to look alluring and sophisticated. Well I never actually had my glamour shots done, but I did apply for a job there many years ago. They turned me down. So, I just started taking pictures of my kids, then their friends and now here I am taking pictures of grownups and now offering, you guessed it, Glamour shots, but with a modern twist.
Why glamour now? Like Patty Stanger from one of my favorite guilty pleasure shows, Millionaire Matchmaker always asks her clients “Why love now”? Well. Modern or contemporary glamour photography has had resurgence in recent years. Thanks to us baby boomers who always find a way to stay young and relevant. And thanks to a beauty industry that, whether we like it or not, won’t let us get old!
It’s not likely we feel any guilt about getting our nails done, having a massage or going on a trip with our girls! We can now safely and proudly indulge our desires and brag about it! Aren’t you glad to be a women living right now?
So why glamour now? Because we can. Because we’re confident. Because we’re beautiful!
I had the opportunity to take on-location corporate headshots for SFMC recently. SFMC, accredited by the Community Associations Institute, is one of the leading condominium and homeowners association management companies in the metropolitan DC area. In business since 1996, SFMC provides the following services:
I had a great session with Stephen A. Good recently. Stephen needed a business headshot for his new company website and decided on the Mini-Business Portrait. Xenon helps businesses with a presence abroad manage risk by training employees on security issues and strategic planning. Stephen was a former intelligence officer with the federal government and has traveled extensively all over the world. Read more about Stephen and his company Xenon here.
How do I book a portrait session with you? You can do this a couple of ways. The easiest is to click here. It will take you to an online scheduler where you can easily select the service, date and time convenient for you. You’ll also be asked to make a $100 deposit. The deposit is refundable—if you cancel 24 hours before your session.
If you’re not quite ready to book your session and have additional questions, please schedule yourself a free, 20 minute phone consultation. I’d love to chat with you! And of course contact me at 703.509.8984. We can schedule your session that way too.
What should I wear? Of course it depends on whether you’re getting business headshots or online dating portraits but here are some suggestions to cover it all.
Ladies A simple boat or v-neck style looks elegant and casual on just about everyone, no matter your size or shape. For a business headshot be sure to bring a nice fitting jacket and any understated jewelry you might like to wear. Even if you don’t wear makeup in your everyday life, it’s best to put a little on for the photo shoot. Without makeup, you will look tired and worn out.
Gentleman I suggest jeans/casual pants and crew or turtleneck shirts in muted colors like gray, navy or brown. Long-sleeved goes without saying unless you’re really buff! Also, a knit sweater with no pattern in small knit will also look good. And if you have a nice suit or outdoor or dress jacket, bring it along too.
Everyone Please avoid loud patterns, stripes, logos or “messages”, wrinkled and ill-fitting clothing. If you’re still not sure what to wear call me and check my Pinterest page for some examples.
Should I hire a make-up artist? That depends. I have many beautiful images of clients that didn’t use a make-up artist at all. However, I would consider those clients quite skilled at make-up application. If you’re like me and wear what takes under five minutes to apply, then I would highly recommend a professional! My makeup pro’s charge $225 for hair and make-up application(they work with guys too, just ask me for a quote). I work with several amazing professionals who I can put you in touch before your session. They really know their stuff and are a delight to work with!
So you’re positive you don’t need the services of a makeup artist? Just arrive with makeup already applied and be sure to bring your makeup kit, including a brush or comb along for touch-ups.
How long does a typical photo session take? A two to three outfit shoot should take about an hour. While you’re changing into your different outfits I’ll change lighting set-ups and/or backgrounds. This will give you a variety of images to choose from.
What exactly do I get for your fee? Depending on your package and service we’ll be taking anywhere from 20 to 100 images or even more. I’ll then post your proofs anywhere from 5 to 40 images on-line in your own personal gallery to review within 48 hours of our session, usually sooner. Choose your favorite(s) to retouch and after they are complete you can download your hi-resolution digital images to your computer or flash drive.
Where are you located? My home studio is located in Reston, Virginia, not far from the Dulles Toll Road and Fairfax County Parkway.
A Business Portrait Session with Toni and Ginger of Women in Gear
“If you can dream it you can become it.”
That’s the first sentence of Toni Thomas’ latest blog post for Women in Gear. Launching in January 2015, Women in Gear, will offer online classes in a variety of skills such as Home Staging, Makeup Artistry and Image Consultant. What makes Women in Gear’s training so unique is that its video courses are taught by industry experts and will offer certification upon completion. I had the great opportunity to create business portraits for Ginger Delph and Toni Thomas recently and it was as much fun as it was inspiring!
Toni’s experience comes from many years of advising women in rural communities, with limited career opportunities, on developing skills to compete in non-traditional careers. Ginger and Toni are passionate about providing affordable, online skills training specifically for women.