“My buddy is a pediatrician. I’ll just get him to perform my heart surgery real quick this weekend.”

A Doctors a Doctor, right? They both went to medical school. What could possibly go wrong?  

 Look, I understand that your headshot and heart surgery are very different topics but I wanted you to understand that there are specialist in fields for a reason.  Not everyone is an expert on all things and photographers are no different.

 I don’t shoot weddings. I turn down wedding jobs all the time. I turned down one this week where the bride offered to fly me to Ohio to shoot her wedding.  Am I missing out on money?  Probably (definitely), but I’m not a wedding photographer.  There are specific shots everybody expects in their wedding album.  I don’t know what those are.  I don’t want to know what those are.  Sure I could take shot after absolutely beautiful shot of your wedding but in the end you wouldn’t be satisfied if the prerequisite wedding day photos weren’t in your album.

The same thing can be said of a wedding photographer shooting your headshot.  “3,2,1, cheese” is not the secret sauce in the headshot recipe (FYI, its not even an ingredient).  Posing and coaching you for your headshot is very different from capturing your first dance at your reception.  

 Then there’s lighting. Bouncing light around a reception hall is a completely different lighting animal than headshot lighting. I’m not saying that lighting a reception isn’t challenging because it is.  I couldn’t do it.  I’m fine with that.   I light and shoot headshots.

 Florence Catania, a headshot specialist from California, agrees.  She say’s “I own a camera but that doesn’t mean I’ll bring it to your wedding.”

 Professionals become specialists in their field for a reason.  Find the specialist that’s right for your needs.  

Photoshop and Your Headshot

If you’ve ever seen those celebrity “before and after” shots online, you know that Photoshop can be like a Jedi Mind Trick for photographers.  It seems like just a few hours of work can make practically any average person look like a supermodel. 

But the truth is that this is the Dark Side of Photoshop.  Because it isn’t going to help you make more contacts if your first impression looks nothing like you. 

Instead, you want to look like you on your best day. Not your best day from 1987 but your best day this year.

We all want to look younger, thinner, taller, tanner. We want more hair, less hair, better hair. But all that does you zero good in the end if your headshot looks nothing like you.

Realtors are the number one perpetrator of this. How many times have you seen a realtor’s headshot only to find out when you met them that the shot was 10 years old? Not only is their hair style different but its also a completely different color. And now he has a beard. Do you feel tricked? Fooled? What else are they hiding from you?

With proper posing and expression coaching, along with the proper lighting, your professional headshot photographer can make sure you look like you, having your best day this year.

Photoshop is a just a tool. Don’t think of it as more than that. The retoucher’s job isn’t to create a new you. They are there to assisted you. They’ll catch those stray hairs we missed during the shoot. Maybe they will help with the dark areas under your eyes from the late nights with the baby. Get rid of that pimple we all get the morning of our shoot.

Matthew Hamilton, a Philadelphia photographer, asks “Are you displaying the best version of yourself online for the world to see?” If your photographer over used photoshop then you are not.

 

 

Do I Really Need a Professional Headshot?

We all do it.  Sometimes we do it several times an hour.  We just can’t help ourselves.  We get an email from a stranger.  We highlight their name, copy, paste, return.  We’re looking them up.  We just have to know what Susan in customer service looks like or maybe it was the way Bishop wrote that email that has you wondering.  Either way, it’s happening.  We are going to see what this person looks like.  

Don’t for a minute think that Susan or Bishop hasn’t already done this to you.  Before you even knew they existed, they’ve checked you out.  What did they see?  What first impression are you giving?  What face did they make when they saw your headshot on LinkedIn? 

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These days first impressions are made on line.  Getting a professional headshot is one of the best choices you can make to help advance your career.  But you don’t have to take my word for it… 

According to Dr. Alexander Todorov, head of the Social Perception Lab at Princeton University, it takes the average person just a fraction of a secondto form a first impression. 

 

(Click here to see the great talk Dr. Todorov recently gave at Google on the incredible power of first impressions) 

 Those first impressions tend to stick too, and they can impact EVERYTHING. Whether it’s getting that job interview, landing that big promotion, or making important sales and networking connections on social Media. 

 The right headshot can help do all of this and more. 

 It’s an incredible tool that you can use to start telling the story of your personal brand and to tell the right story, using the help of a proffessional headshot photographer will be one of the smartest investments you’ve ever made. 

 Does your headshot make you look trustworthy?  Does your LinkedIn profile pic say “I’m appraocahable”?  More importantly, does your headshot move people to work with you? 

 I’m always checking in with other professionl headshot photographers around the countryon topics like this.  I recently asked Robert Read of San Jose his opinion on heashots and first impressions and here is what he said.  “A mistake that leads a lot of people to making the WRONG first impression, and it could cost you big time, is thinking that your corporate headshot has to be cold, boring and formal.” 

 While looking professional is always important, that doesn’t mean you have to look like some corporate mannequin. In fact, the best way to connect with decision makers is to create a headshot that is professional, but also shows of your warm, competent personality. 

It can be a fine line to walk, but I have TONS of experience making this work for my clients. 

When you book a session with me, I’ll help you get comfortable, have fun, and create a piece that shows of the real you. Your warmth and intelligence. Your confidence and your competence.

 Then you can pick the shot that you like most, so that can send the message that feels right to you. 

If you’re ready to book your headshot session just click here.

 

 

Realtor Headshots

 
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You wouldn’t wear that name tag at a new client meeting so why are you using a bad headshot? Your Realtor headshot is your first step in reaching your sales goal. If your headshot sends the wrong message then you are potentially missing out on thousands of dollars. What do potential clients think when they see your headshot for the first time?

In your career, first impressions matter and now more than ever, that first impression is made online. A professional Realtor headshot gives you a leg up on your competition. I know you looked good at your cousin’s wedding and sure you could just crop the ex out of the picture but what message is that sending to potential clients? Yes, yes, I know your new iPhone camera has a portrait setting, you can use it for posting beautiful cat portraits to facebook. Look, if your headshot is a selfie or has your ex croppped out, its sending the wrong message. If your headshot was taken with a camera phone in front of a cubical wall, it’s not working for you. And

Realtors, if you can’t remember who was President when your headshot was taken, it’s time for a new one. My good friend and Headshot photographer Norman Jaillet of Boston says “Think of your professional headshot photographer as your first impression coach. They are in your corner”.

As a photographer, I want all of my Realtor clients to be successful. I truly believe that every real estate agent’s proffessional headshot should say “I’m reliable. I can get the job done”. If you don’t look confident, you don’t get clients. Its really that simple.

Realtors should all have 3 great shots in their pocket. A killer professional headshot, a great full length body shot, and an enviromental portrait that says “I’m confident. I know what I’m doing”.

Your new headshot isn’t all smiles. You have to dress the part too. If you’re not a yoga instructor, don’t dress like one for your headshot. Guys, get the jacket cleaned and the shirt pressed. Maybe invest in a new tie. Clean the lenses in your glasses too while youre at it. Ladies, what would you wear to a job interview? Is it a blouse with a blazer or is it a dress? Less is more when it comes to make up. The same goes for jewlery. Think small studs over large hoops. Everyone should try to stick to solid colors. Headshot day is not the day to try bold new colors or patterns.

It’s time. Schedule an appointmet. Get in front of a headshot professional’s camera and update that realtor headshot.