Tag Archives: Boston photographer

How is your LinkedIn profile photo affecting your career or business? or, Why professional headshots matter!

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When was the last time you updated your headshot? Does your LinkedIn profile have a blurry, awkwardly cropped iPhone photo of you instead of a clean, professional headshot? Did you know this could be hurting your business or career and limiting your network?

In an age in which we often are introduced to new people via the Internet, their profile photo is the generally the only visual cue we have to figure out what kind of a person they are.  On business related profiles, such as LinkedIn, where our personalities often don’t come out in the text we write, how do we communicate something about ourselves that encourages people to connect and get to know us better? It is our profile image that will make the quickest and most direct impact, and will encourage a new viewer want to learn more about you.  In fact, TheLadders did a study tracking the eye movements of recruiters on LinkedIn while they looked at profiles and resumes.  What they discovered was that the recruiters spent 19 percent of their time looking at the profile photo, compared to an only cursory glance at the candidate’s actual resume.  That is a pretty astonishing piece of data!

So, with that in mind, look at your current profile photo.  Does it say at a glance who you are and what kind of a person the viewer should expect to encounter? Is it a weirdly cropped photo that contains the shoulder of your best friend from a fun night out? What does that kind of a photo say about you? Is it a vacation photo? A crooked, poorly lit selfie? Do those images speak to how amazing you are at your job and how dedicated you are to your work? These are some serious considerations to make if they are influencing your professional life.  Would a potential client or employer give you a second glance with the photo you currently have?

If the answer to those questions is no, it’s time to think about having a professional headshot taken!  Now, I know that getting in front of a camera can be a stressful situation for a lot of people (heck, that’s why I’m behind the camera, not in front of it!), but some of the stress can be alleviated by walking into the situation prepared.  Think about what you want to convey about yourself: Do you want to appear approachable and confident? Funny? Serious? What is your message? Depending on the business you are in or the job you’re looking for, it might be a much different picture.

Generally speaking, you want to wear clothes that are appropriate to your industry.  If you work in an office that requires you to wear a suit every day, then you’ll want to put on your best suit for the photo.  If you work in an environment that is more business casual, you should try to wear the same kind of clothes you would normally wear to work (although, if you’re trying to move up the ladder, so to speak, you might want to consider dressing the part, whatever that might be).  I always recommend wearing wardrobe that makes you feel good, fits really well, and shows off a bit of your personality.  This should help alleviate some of your stress, because you’ll already know that you look amazing and it will give you some confidence walking into your headshot session.

For women, make sure your hair and makeup is both work appropriate and flattering.  You want to keep it natural so people can see who you truly are, and you want the photo to remain relevant regardless of current trends.  Consider hiring a makeup artist to make it perfect and to give your self a bit of pampering before your session for some additional relaxation.  For men, grooming is important as well.  Is your hair styled appropriately? Is your facial hair groomed or if you’re clean-shaven, you’ll want to make sure you don’t have that 5 o’clock shadow going on.

My final piece of advice is RELAX!! Stop over thinking it… Once you take a deep breath and shake out all the tension, you will naturally be able to share a bit of your personality!   Leave the rest of the image-making to the professionals, and just try to be yourself in front of the camera!

Start the year off right by having your professional portrait made and watch the impact it can have on your career or business!

Posted in Headshots, Portrait Also tagged , , , , , , , |

A New Project and a Trip to Oregon!

So, it just occurred to me that we are already in the fourth month of 2014 and unfortunately I have been seriously neglecting my blog posting for the year, as this is my first post!   I will be better about posting going forward and can’t wait to share the work I’ve been doing as well as the amazing projects I’ve got lined up for the next couple of months!

I hope the year has been good to you thus far and that you are excited about the Spring, I know I have been seriously jonesing for this warm weather to arrive since my trip to Oregon at the end of February and I’m excited that the temperature is finally where it was while we were on the west coast!  We went out to Portland to visit some friends who moved there a few years ago who we’ve been promising to visit literally since they moved.  Jae did a bit of a guest spot at our friends Joe and Dominic’s tattoo studio, Dead Gods Tattoo and I planned a few photo shoots while we were out there so I could get a chance to work with some new faces on the west coast.

Now, I should go back a bit in time and explain how and why I organized the shoots that I did while I was in Portland…

In January, I decided that I really need to give myself a personal project for the year to allow myself to explore some creative concepts in the midst of the fashion, beauty and portraiture that I usually focus on, and I really wanted to work on getting a cohesive body of fine art work together.  I have a tendency to wander in my interests photographically, which allows me to explore a lot of outlets and ideas, but makes for a strange assortment of work in my portfolio.  I spent a few weeks pondering what makes me happy when creating fine art images and what concepts I fall back on again and again that I have a passion for creating.  I realized that my favorite images have a few things in common, which I should concentrate on: they have a painterly feel, they are inspired by classical paintings in lighting and posing- especially work created during the Italian Renaissance and the Dutch Golden Age, and they have a fantastical or supernatural subject matter.  Using these three ideas to focus my project, I finally decided on: The Female Archetype Project.  This project will explore female archetypes using images depicting mythological female characters throughout the world.  I am really excited to be able to revisit some of my studies from college comparing religions and various mythologies, comparing ideas and finding the concepts which seem to be universal.  My hope is to be able to put a book together with all the images as well as some explanations of the archetypes, sharing the research I’ll be doing into these concepts!

 

Now, back to Oregon!  

So, in preparation for my trip, I put out a casting call on Model Mayhem in hopes of finding a model or two I would be able to work with while I was out there.  Because I would be planning from across the country and had no contacts in the modeling world in Oregon, I figured it would be my best bet to plan to work on the Female Archetype Project while I was there, vs attempting to find a full team of hair/makeup/wardrobe for a fashion-based concept. After going back and forth with a few different models, I settled on three who were interested in creating some mythological figures, had great work in their portfolios already and were available on the day I would have a vehicle and would be able to drive to locations.  We started throwing around goddess ideas and decided on Oonagh, Queen of the Fairies (or Queen Mab or Titania) for Alley, Persephone for Mary and finally Morrigan for Shawna.  Because they were all from the Vancouver, WA area I decided that the hour-long drive to them made the most sense, since they were far more familiar with that area than the Portland area.

I was lucky that my friend Erica Templeman was interested in creating a dress for Oonagh because she loved the concept, and she made a gorgeous piece that really made the images perfect!  She also amazingly created the entire dress from entirely thrifted elements!!  I also made a couple of flower wreath headpieces to go with the concept, which brought the wardrobe together!  Mary and Shawna brought their own wardrobe and props and really went all out!  I was lucky that they were so passionate about their concepts and were dedicated to putting together the perfect pieces for their goddess characters.  Alley also found a hair stylist/ makeup artist to assist us with her slightly more complicated look, and it rounded out the team quite nicely.

I started the day meeting Alley at her place in Vancouver and getting her into her wardrobe after she had been getting her hair and makeup done for a couple hours.  I unfortunately got lost on the way and ended up being 30 minutes late, which did actually work out because they were just finishing up hair and makeup when I arrived.  We got Alley into her dress, jumped into the car and headed to the first location, a beautiful huge tree in the middle of a field.  We took some great photos of the dress (before we got it dirty) and makeup, as well as exploring a few ideas about what a fairy queen might be doing in a field.  We had a quick makeup change and headed to our second location, which was an amazingly beautiful forest down the road. The trees were HUGE and everything was green- covered in moss and lichen, a truly magical little world.  We tromped through the woods looking for the perfect setting for our queen and Alley led us to a beautiful tree which had fallen over, revealing the root system, which made a lovely throne.  With rain constantly threatening, we set up the lighting, and started shooting to get as much material to work with for composites, exploring different poses and positions.  We worked fairly quickly and got what we needed in about 30 minutes, which was amazing!

After dropping Alley back off, Jae and I headed to another location on the other side of Vancouver; a beautiful state forest abutting a lake.  As we waited for Mary and Shawna to arrive, it started pouring out.  I was determined that we would not call of the shoot, as long as the rain lightened up a little bit, we’d be able to stay and work through both concepts.  We did a bit of recon to see where on the main path would have the most coverage from the rain and also had interesting features and found a few places that I could see us working from.  Shawna and Mary arrived a little bit later and started getting into their wardrobe and makeup.  With everyone set to go, I loaded up on plastic trash bags to cover my lights and camera if necessary, grabbed our umbrellas and props and headed into the woods. It was definitely a tricky situation shooting in the rain, also having to move aside for the dozen or so people who passed us on the path while we were working.  But, we got both Shawna and Mary’s concepts completed and none of the equipment got wet!

 

Here are final images from all three shoots!

Alley:

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and the image created for the Female Archetype Project

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Mary:
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And the image for the Female Archetype Project

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And Finally, Shawna: 


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Thank you to everyone who was involved in making these amazing images: Alley Blom, Mary Ward, Shawna Colton, Brittany Nowers, and Erica Templeman as well as Joe for letting Jae and I crash at his place, and his lovely other half Jen who let us borrow her car, and of course my husband Jae who was my chauffeur and voice-activated light stand for the day!

Posted in Female Archetype Project, Fine Art Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Beauty with Heather Schofield

A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of working with Makeup Artist Heather Schofield of HS-Artistry at The SOPHA in Manchester, NH.  We brought in two models neither of us had worked with before and had a blast creating some fun beauty shots!  Lavanyai and Kira were great sports and I am excited to share my favorite shots from the day with both of them!

Kira:

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Lavanyai:

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Posted in Beauty, Fashion, Headshots, Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

Amanda’s Dark Art Portrait Session

A few days before Halloween, I had the pleasure and privilege to photograph a portrait session of a young mother and wife who wanted to treat herself to a session for her birthday.  She told me during our consultation that she loved creepy things, halloween and Rob Zombie…. my first thought was, “YES!!!”  My creative tendencies lie in the direction of dark imagery to begin with, and being able to create art like that for a woman who not only appreciates the art, but wants to be a part of the image is my dream!  We decided to work within a few different concepts, and created a broad variety of image styles.  Here are a few of my favorites from the session!

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Hair and Make Up was created by Lyndsay Simon, of Makeup By Lyndsay, I created the outfit in the last two images, as well as the train on the black dress in the top two images.  The autumnal headpiece was created by me for my Discord Industries Etsy shop.

Posted in Fine Art, Photography, Portrait, Wardrobe Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |