One of my favor photo shoots is working with pageant girls and women. This past weekend I had the pleasure of photographing beautiful Danielle. She’s about to start her career in law, but before she does that, she’s going to enter one last pageant. Danielle brought along her brother, Greg, and Mom. They told me how beneficial “pageant-ing” is. Before you go assuming that pageants are sexist or exploitive you might want to check with Danielle and many of the very poised young women I’ve worked with.
Danielle’s mom attested to her growing confidence over the years and the pageants’ emphasis on academics and AND community service, not appearance. Although, it certainly helps to be well-groomed wherever you go in life!
Thanks to Danielle’s inner beauty and lovely personality, plus professional hair and makeup by the extraordinary Stephania with the A-List we managed to create a real-life princess!
My recent client came in get new business headshots and I was thrilled to be working with a fabulous makeup artist from The AList. The AList by Ariel Lewis is a bridal and event beauty company located in the Baltimore area. I love working with Ariel and her pros because they do such a great job of bringing out the beautiful best for all my women’s business headshot clients.
Bring as many clothing changes as you want to your professional headshot session.
My recent client Sarita has great taste and brought a several outfits to chose from. Her style is elegant, and it really shows. For her business headshot session, she brought not only a typical corporate look: suit and skirt. But she also came with one of her favorites a very feminine, pale pink dress that looks fabulous on her!
So bring on the outfits! We won’t use them all but better to have too many choices than too few. Check out my Pinterest page to get more ideas on what to bring to your business headshot session.
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.
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!
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.
Let’s face it, at some point in your career, you’re going to need a professional business portrait.
Whether you work in hi-tech, real estate, law, science, medicine or finance, it’s impossible to succeed without “marketing” yourself. If you want to develop new contacts and strengthen established relationships, your audience wants to see what you look like. Are you confident, trustworthy, approachable?
But you say you already have a photo on your website, your Facebook page, your LinkedIn page, your Twitter account and your blog. Are you using that snapshot your office mate took with her cell phone? Hmmm. Let’s try to overlook the poor lighting and distracting background. The question is, “does it convey your confidence, trustworthiness, and approachability. Probably not. But that’s what a great corporate headshot should do!
So, you’ve put this off because you don’t like having your picture taken or you think having a professional photo of yourself suggests vanity, think again! We can overcome your fear by making your photo session actually fun. Your images can be relaxed and informal or a more little more “corporate”. My goal is to help you convey whatever your vision is.
Don’t think you look as polished as you could? We can work together to determine the best clothing for you and your profession. Need some assistance with makeup and hair styling? No problem. I work with several great makeup/hair stylists. Don’t worry. Your new business portrait will be “you” only better! I guarantee you’re going to enjoy having your picture taken and love your corporate headshots. If not, we’ll shoot as many images as necessary until you’re satisfied! Schedule a call with me at 443-840-0484 and we can get started on the new professional you!
The unofficial end of summer is here! So pack up your white capris away until Memorial Day 2015. At least that used to be the rule long ago, long ago, when I was young(er). I’ve always wondered were in the world that ridiculous fashion directive got started, so I did a little research. In the early 20th century, some fashion historians suggest (Hey, I majored in history. I didn’t know I could get a degree in fashion history) that white linens and Panama hats is what the wealthy wore while they summer-ed at their country estates. Of course, there was no air-conditioning at the time and white would certainly keep one cooler than dark colors.
After Labor Day, the rich and famous returned to their city residences, dig out their fall apparel and mark the beginning of fall. Or least the end of summer. Whole new season, whole new wardrobe. Way back in the 1920’s Coco Chanel began wearing white year-round. The white suit became her signature look.
So do you follow this rule? It seems a bit hard in the Washington, DC area since temperatures can stay in the 80’s and 90’s well into October. Even Emily Post’s Etiquette, 17th Edition, says it’s fine to wear white after Labor Day. Do you wear white after Labor Day? I say, wear whatever you want as long as you feel beautiful in it!
This summer has been full of beautiful opportunities. Time to re-visit some old ideas and dust them off. After all, each of us is always trying to renew and keep our lives fresh. Right? Well, I decided some time ago to expand my little business and incorporate more art into my photography. Don’t get me wrong, I love shooting headshots for my actor clients. They will always, I mean always have an interesting life story or background or ambition that keeps me buoyed. And keeps me smiling.
But recently, I’ve been hearing a little voice in my head ( no, not those kinds of voices!) more like a gut feeling urging me to a stretch a little further and dig a little deeper into the meaning of what my profession means to me.
After much hand-wringing and procrastination, which is not always a bad thing. Procrastination often delays a hasty decision and helps one sort out exactly how the task needs to get done. At least that’s what I tell myself! But this time it really worked. Creating contemporary portraits of women has been a dream of mine forever. So this summer I took it upon myself to study the masters, Brigette Lacombe, Sue Bryce and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. None photograph women exclusively (and I won’t either) but each has the found the gift that all women have. Beauty. Flaunting it, individualizing it and owning it.
I asked my dear friend of over 15 years to pose for me. Grace is one of the most loving, giving people I have ever known. She’s beat breast cancer down twice. Been doing the Iron Girl challenge for years and she’s a marriage and family therapist!
and always stays poised. Her beautiful, still slighty British accent—Grace grew up in England—that helps with the poise thing. Grace is truly remarkable.
Grace needed business headshots so this is where we started!
And this was the gorgeous end result!
Grace spent the morning being pampered by makeup and hair professional Connie Tsang. We talked, we laughed and we created elegant, glamorous, photographs for Grace to keep and share forever.
So now opportunies are within my reach. I suppose they always have been.