Custom Branding Sessions: How Branding Helps Grow Your Business

Custom Branding Sessions: How Branding Helps Grow Your Business

I recently teamed up with Emily Yahn of Tangible Designs, for a presentation to the Vienna Business Association. The topic was “Don’t Improve Your Product – Improve Your Brand.”

Here are some quick headshot and branding points:

Did you know website visitors are 80% more likely to read content on your website if it is paired with an image?

And, 64% are more likely to remember what they read when there is an image that goes along with your content.

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That’s why it’s important to have high quality professional photography

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So, what makes a “good Headshot?”

Within moments a person seeing your headshot for the first time starts making some computations: Are you trustworthy? Are you likeable? Do you project status? Are you approachable?

Make your headshot say what you want to project to your ideal clients

 

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Preparing for Your Headshot

Posted by / September 13, 2017 / Categories: Corporate Headshots, Custom Branding, Headshots, Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Congratulations on getting your headshots taken or updated. It’s usually one of the most put-off things we do but also one of the most important for personal branding and presenting a professional image.  Because of this, you may be living with your headshot for a few years. To capture the best version of yourself at the moment the shutter clicks, and feel confident in front of the camera, I have put together some simple tips that will make for a successful (and fun/painless headshot session:

  • Mindset:  Relax and have fun! I’m going to make you look great and you’ll have an easygoing time! I know how to position your head, shoulders and body for a flattering view. Just follow my direction during the session (no matter how odd it feels at the time) and it will be fine!
  •  Clothing and Jewelry
    • Style: Make sure that your photo depicts you in a manner appropriate for your field. Typically this means a dress shirt or blouse, a shirt and tie, or even a suit. If you are in a corporate field, this often means solid dark colors like blue or black. If you are in a more casually-dressed field, you can dress as you would for your business, but avoid bright patterns, low necklines and turtlenecks.
    • Fit: A tight fitting collar or overly low and loose neckline can squeeze or reveal more than you may wish. Check the fit. If you are going to have arms showing, move your arms in your jacket and test the fit, jackets that pull at the shoulders and arms are not flattering.
    • Jewelry: Keep it simple. Big, shiny jewelry (unless that’s your business) can distract from the important subject, you. I don’t recommend dangling earrings unless they are important to your “look.”
    • Colors: Try to keep the clothing from being too close to your natural skin tone. Whites, pinks, and yellows sometimes “wash out” skin tones. In general, the best colors are medium shades of blue, green, burgundy, and rust.
  • If you are unsure about how your outfit may photograph, have someone take a few shots of you with a cell phone so you can see how it looks at a quick glance. Or, just look in the mirror and move your head and body a bit to see how the clothes move – especially around the shoulders and neck
  • Makeup Suggestions:
    • I always urge my female clients to wear more makeup than usual, but not to go overboard. You want to add a little definition to your features, but you don’t want the makeup to be what is noticed.  Make sure you use a base/foundation to even out the skin tone (foundations without SPF and are more matte based are best), some mascara, curled eyelashes and eye liner helps to define your eye. Lip color should not be too bright (one to two shades darker than your natural color) and should coordinate with the outfit that you bring. Also apply some powder to eliminate shine. Some blusher will give your skin a healthy glow. It’s a good idea to bring your lipstick and powder to the session for reapplication if necessary. Shimmery eye shadow and cheek color reflects the flash and does not photograph well.
  • Hair Tips:  Again, remember that you will be living with your headshot for quite a while and you will not want it to be a reminder that you needed a haircut or color touch-up! It’s a good idea to get your haircut a week or so before the session, maybe even go to a “blow-out” bar and get the hair done by a pro right before the session. Feeling good about how you look will make you feel good about getting your picture taken. Men, a fresh shave is important.
  • Glasses:  If people would not recognize you without your glasses, wear them. If you wear them occasionally, I would leave them at home. I will work with you to make sure your glasses don’t catch too much of a reflection.

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  • Additional Tips for Looking Your Best:
    • If you get your eyebrows waxed or threaded, please do so at least 2-3 days prior to your headshot shoot.
    • Increased water consumption will help clear your skin and give it a healthy glow. It will also make you look younger and fresher.
    • Reducing consumption of coffee, teas and sodas will give your teeth a break from stains and discoloration to
    • If at all possible, avoid alcohol for a day or two before your shoot. It dehydrates the skin.
    • Try to get a good night’s rest before the day of your shoot.

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  • Confidence is Key!

    No amount of preparation or posing will replace the natural magnetism that comes out to play when you’re having fun in front of the camera. Once you are prepared for your session, then relax and have fun in front of the camera. Be yourself and those great photos you are looking for will get captured that much easier.

 

How Head Position Affects Your Headshot

How Head Position Affects Your Headshot

Posted by / August 4, 2017 / Categories: Actors, Headshots, Portraits / 0 Comments

Clients always look at me like I’m a little crazy when I explain the best head position for their headshot – it takes a little practice – those who have had a session with me, always comment on the “be a turtle” phrase and “head forward, chin down” that it may seem like I say more than a few times.

It’s hard for me to explain from behind the camera how it so changes the look in camera. When I reviewed at my latest session with my affable young subject, Nathan, I saw the perfect demonstration of how this really changes the look of the image.

Now, Nathan is a young athlete –  a college football player, so maybe not the same situation as some of a certain age whose chin and neck are not in their prime shape. But he also has a football players broad neck. When he sits and smiles like he would for a snapshot or selfie (those used to selfies always seem to lean back in their pose – probably due to the phone always being held up and above them), his neck looks larger and his head looks smaller.

But when he does the “turtle,” the head and eyes become the focus of the shot. And that’s what we want to see!

Hope this helps explain things a little!

Realtor Headshots –

Realtor Headshots –

When this local realtor came to me with specific requirements for her new real estate agency, I was able to accommodate the specifics in my studio. I do love how agencies are realizing the importance of branding, and are promoting their agents’ personalities to their clients. In the competitive world of real estate, the connection and bond with the client is paramount and communicating that through branded photography that displays personality is the best way showcase it!

We started with the standard paramount lighted shots with plain background – these shots could be used as is or extracted for the marketing materials produced by the agency

Realtor Headshots

 

After finishing with these standard shots, we went outside on a beautiful, sunny afternoon (who knew we would get a spring snowfall the next day) and took some shots in Jodi’s town and place of business. Jody was a good sport for letting me place her in alley ways and along the main street. As we talked I learned that many years ago, she worked in the retail business and as a model. I wasn’t surprised – the way she flashed that smile and knew how to give a slightly different angle and look in each succession of shots.

Realtor Headshots

Realtor Headshots

 

Refresh Those Headshots!

Refresh Those Headshots!

It’s time isn’t it?

Does that profile image on your LinkedIn Page really still look like you?

Or that realtor image that shows up in all your marketing materials. Would your clients recognize you, or was that three hairstyles ago? If that’s the case it’s time to update your headshots.

Remember the saying “a picture Is worth A thousand words” – overused, but there’s a reason people say it. Your image often precedes an in-person interaction or a phone call discussion with a potential client or employer.

Don’t worry.  Headshots are not the stiff and fake/posey style they used to be. They can actually be fun now and, more importantly, reflect your personality.

A good set of headshots and portraits can help advance your career or create your personal brand.

When I shoot headshots I spend time discussing the type of image you hope to present. We determine whether the simple, plain background will work or you want an “environmental” or “Lifestyle” image. That depends on you and your needs. For more information on the different type of headshots click here. No matter what type of session, we will discuss preparation, outfits, makeup and grooming and even lighting and location.

I would love to help you present your best image, contact me for more information and schedule your session today!

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