Is It Time to Update My Headshot? | Jefferson City Photographer

How do you know it's time to update your headshot? First, let's take a look as to why you should have one.

Friendly. Approachable. Girl Boss.

Friendly. Approachable. Girl Boss.

Let's face it: Whether we like it or not, this is the digital age, and oftentimes our first impression of a business lies solely in whether or not there is the ability to put a face with that entity.  A good professional headshot/ business portrait can create a look of professionalism and give your online (or otherwise) presence a sense of legitimacy. I recently came across an interesting bit of information last night, stating that 60% of consumers are more likely to contact a business when there is an image associated with it. An image that clearly reflects your personality and business can have very positive effects on inquiries!

So...you already have a business portrait??

Great start!

Think it is time to maybe get a new one??

Let's look a bit of some of the telltale signs that it's time:

1) Your business portrait was taken with an iphone.....

Ok, I admit...technology has come a very long way, and some may find it perfectly acceptable to snap a quick shot with the phone and call it a day. However, a professional understands lighting, posing, and ways to make you look your best. A polished, well done portrait, whether formal or more relaxed, can convey what you are aiming to say your audience.

2) Your look has changed....

  • Has your hair changed?
  • Do you wear glasses (or not) now?
  • Have you had a significant weight change?
  • How about your personal style?
  • Pale versus super summer tan??
  • All of these things change naturally over time.

If your business portrait happens to be the "workforce entry" portrait that you had made when you graduated college...and you look nothing like that person in the photo..it's probably time. People get comfortable and resist change, I know. But!!! If you have one profile photo on social media, and a potential client would not be able to pick you out of a lineup after seeing that photo.... it can give the impression of being insincere, and it's time to freshen things up a bit. Staying current can help you put your best face forward.

3) The general rule of thumb is, if it has been more than two years since updating your business portrait, it is time for a change. Even better...once a year.

Serious, yet friendly. Professional, yet approachable. Sincere.

Serious, yet friendly. Professional, yet approachable. Sincere.

 

"OK Nichole, I need a new business portrait. Now what???"

So glad you asked!! LOL!

Let's start with clothing choices:

First rule of thumb is that clothing choices should never distract from that fabulous face of yours! Go ahead and argue with me that your face isn't beautiful. I disagree! 

Back to my point..... Here are a few bullet points for a quick reference:

  • Clothing should FIT!!! Yes, I want to be able to see your body shape. Why? Loose, baggy clothing, as comfy as it may be, can be terribly unflattering on camera, and make you appear larger than you really are, or (dare I say it???)....sloppy. That never leaves a good impression. Neatness counts.
  • Speaking of neatness. Clothing should be clean and wrinkle free.
  • Solid colors work best. Avoid the dreaded striped shirt. I am a huge fan of stripes...I own lots, but try to avoid them in portraits. Very distracting...remember...it's about YOU. 
  • In general, long sleeves are perfection! Ladies, you want to avoid cap sleeves. When cropping an image, it can leave an awkward patch of skin, and can be a distraction. Depending on your profession, you could even go sleeveless. If you are interested in a personal branding session, you are welcome to bring a few different options. Different wardrobe styles can say very different things....we can aim for a shot of the serious you, the more relaxed you, the fun-loving you...
  • When it comes to color, pick something that works for your complexion and eye color. Dark gray is universally flattering, and it always helps to choose a color that compliments your eye color: (brown - gray, blue - blue, green- green). Avoid colors that are too close to your skintone. Instead, choose colors that are darker or lighter than your skintone. The contrast will help draw attention upward to your friendly face.
  • Another note on color: Unless it fits your brand, bright colors may not be the best choice. Many bright colors, such as neons and corals, tend to put a color cast on skin. No bueno.
  • A word on shoes: If you think you will want a full body portrait that shows your footwear, shoes should be clean, scuff-free, and match your clothing selection. Tennis shoes, unless they fit your brand, tend to stick out like a sore thumb. Especially runners that have been around the block...and let's face it, the color combinations that sneaker manufacturers put on runners these days...would be a challenge to match a professional outfit. (Otherwise...I LOVE my runners...love them)

Now that I have that covered, let's move on........

MO State Rep. Hannah Kelly. 

MO State Rep. Hannah Kelly. 

 

Prepping for your Portrait Session:

Here are a few guidelines to ensure you put your best face forward. In bullet format, again, because I like lists. Haha.

  • About a week or so before your scheduled session, get a hair trimmed up. This might not be the best time to experiment.
  • Get your personal grooming in check. That means...shave if you have to, clean up the lines if you are bearded, de-fuzz (the camera picks up everything...ask me how I know...really, go ahead), get those eyebrows looking neat, whiten teeth if you feel it's needed.
  • Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water the day and evening before your session. Perhaps avoid those nightcaps (or maybe stick to just one...then rehydrate). Your skin with thank you.
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before. No need to bring extra baggage to your session if you can avoid it. (And if you do....don't sweat it, I have ways of dealing with such things if you prefer).

That's it, folks! 

I hope that you found some of this information helpful. 

Ready to get started with your fresh look? Contact me!!

Looking back at 2017 | Jefferson City, MO Photographer

I meet a lot of incredible people through my job. We meet first through email or phone, and oftentimes leave our experience together as friends. It is an incredible gift to be allowed to peek into the lives of so many people, and my life is richer for it.

Here are a few favorites from my 2017 client work. I wish I could include them all, but it would mean a feature film versus a 2 minute video. 

For all you video snobs...first attempt. lol...

Have a Very Merry Christmas, and a Joyous and Prosperous New Year.

Hope you enjoy my look back. :)

Logan | Helias High School Senior | Jefferson City Photographer

I've known Logan's mom for quite some time now, and was pretty stoked when she asked me to photograph her son for his senior portraits!

Lemme tell ya...this kid is BUSY! A very successful soccer season made getting this guy on the schedule a bit of a challenge, but we got it done! I absolutely enjoyed working with him and his mom. Bonus!!! I also was blessed enough to photograph his family a week ago for some new family portraits (you have to wait to see those though....because this post is about Logan and all of his awesome-ness).

He kind of reminds me of a young Sean Penn....that face...that swagger... It was truly a joy having him in front of my camera. I am so thankful for such wonderful clients!

Without further adieu...

 

 

Whew!! It has been a while! Connor| Helias High School Senior | Jefferson City, MO Photographer

Boy, I can tell fall has hit!!! The months of September through October for most photographers are a a blessing and a curse. We love what we do and are very busy, but some things....like blogging, have to sometimes take a back seat to photographing clients and keeping up with production work. Which can leave us feeling a bit blue....because we love to share!

Aaaaannnnnyyywaaayyyyyy.........

I'm taking a minute while my computer churns away at some gallery uploads to share with you a few favorites from Connor's senior session. Connor is a senior at Helias High School right here in good ole Jefferson City. He loves tennis and is a pretty smart fella to boot. Soon enough, Connor will be moving with his family to California (the state..., not just down the road). I am thrilled and honored to have had the opportunity to work with him and his mom....such great people! Wishing them the absolute best on their new adventures.

 

Ayla | Jefferson City High School Senior

You know...I've said this before, but I absolutely love it when my seniors come as themselves. 

Their true selves.

I often tell prospective clients that I tend to shy away from fitting them into my "box". Of course, I have a certain way of photographing my clients, but it is largely influenced by what they bring to the table. 

Shy??? I meet them there.

Energetic?? I get energized.

Edgy?? Funky??? Quirky?? Classic?? Trendy??? 

My goal is to bring out the best in every client, while keeping them true to themselves.

Ayla was an exceptional subject, and she brought so many unique aspects of her personality to the session. Her style is a bit darker, she is interested in cosplay, loves Harry Potter, plays the viola (I mistakenly called it a violin...oopsie), a bit of an introvert ( I can totes relate to that!!), and super smart!!

And, I need to mention...she brought THE most fun Marvel Comics dress.

Her style, her interests, her attitude....all made my heart sing. I think we created some really great stuff together. Here are a few selections from Ayla's senior session. Enjoy!

Jack | Helias High School Senior | Jefferson City Photographer

When Jack's mom called to get him set up for senior portraits, I was super excited! I had the privilege of photographing his sister Morgan for her senior portraits a handful of years ago, and one of the greatest compliments I can get is for clients to come back for siblings.... Jack is a senior at Helias High School, and from what I gather, on heck of a good golfer! So, it was only natural that we spend a portion of his senior session highlighting something that holds such importance.

Check out a few favorites from Jack's session!! 

The Night Before Christmas | Mini Session to Benefit Toys for Tots | Jefferson City, MO Photographer

Folks have been asking if I am planning on bringing back my Night Before Christmas set this year. Good News!!! I AM!!

For one week only in November, I will be taking appointment for these mini sessions. The set is best suited for smaller children and well-behaved pets. I have created specially priced packages just for this event. Come in your PJ's, have some hot chocolate, and enjoy!!! 

This set will not be back for another year!!

BOOK TODAY via our online booking site! CLICK HERE

Sarah | Helias High School Senior | Jefferson City Photographer

This young lady made my heart dance as we created some amazing portraits together during her senior session...and as an added bonus, her big brother joined in for a few! He was leaving soon for college, so we took advantage of his presence for just a few minutes (because the spotlight was meant for Sarah, after all). The end result was a beautiful album (that I cannot wait to deliver!!), and some memories to cherish for generations.

Thank you so much, Sarah, for choosing me.

Enjoy a handful of favorites from her session, and don't forget to show her some love!!

Warning..long post ahead...For everyone. Photographers...pay attention.

Hey folks!

Pardon my lack of communication these last few weeks. I have been off the radar. It has been a busy summer, and the past couple weeks I took a bit of time off due to family visiting from out of town, then the next day heading off to St. Louis for our state professional photographers conference.

It was a fantastic weekend, and I had the opportunity to participate in the print competition. 

So there is this: 

 

print competition.jpg

It is just an iphone image, because my head is still reeling from this last weekend. Three solid days of 6 am to 2am. I am a bit fried.

What I received them for is unimportant. I have something on my mind.

As I was unpacking last night, I got to thinking.

From the outside looking in, these look like just awards. A physical representation of my hard work, and my willingness to stick my neck out and have the results of my blood, sweat (and often tears), placed in front of highly respected colleagues to not only tell me where I am excelling, but to also hear where I am falling short.

But let me tell you what this means to me...(and if you happen to be a photographer, listen up):

To me this is not just a pile of awards.

This represents

....hard work.

.....every single person who has ever taken the time to critique my images.

....every single person who has taught me something new.

.....every single person who has picked me up when I was down.

.....every single person who has expected more of me than I thought I was capable of giving.

....every single person who offered encouragement.

...every single person who saw my potential before I did.

They represent community.

This weekend marked the 7th year I have been board member of the Missouri Professional Photographers Association, and the end to my year as President of that organization. I have agreed to stay on another year as Secretary.

Why all the hard work??? Why all the headache?? Can't someone else just do it?

Because I believe in it.

Yes, I will be stepping back after one more year, and will no longer be on the board. But, I feel it is necessary to talk to all of you photographers who are not involved with your local or state affiliate organizations.

Can you get great education online?       Yeah, sure...

Can you feel like you are part of a family on a Facebook Page?      Maybe.

But is a far cry from attending local and state events where you honestly and truly become and extended family. Our keynote speaker for the weekend was Jason Groupp. He made a very interesting point about how most photographers talk about the "industry", and quickly corrected it to use the term "community". This is who we are. We see each other through highs and lows. We pick each other up. We encourage each other. We give each other tough love.

An industry is a machine.

A community has heart.

I encourage you. Wherever you are, geographically, become part of your local and state guilds and affiliates.

Volunteer.

Become part of the community. Be a giver and not just a taker. To give is to receive. Your experience as a professional photographer will be so much richer for it.

 

Oopsie...I skipped a week! | Jefferson City Senior Portrait Photographer

Had a fabulous time with Lauren and her mom!! Easy going, amazingly beautiful, both inside and out. And loves pineapple. 

We had some fun with that. And it was delicious. 

Just completed the artwork on this session, and I really hope you all enjoy Lauren's senior portraits as much as I do!

Do you have something unique about your interests or personality that you would like to highlight in your senior portrait session?? I don't care how quirky it is....hit me with it! I love a challenge.

Ellie | Jefferson City High School Senior Photographer

Sometimes, I feel like the luckiest photographer ever. I am so thankful. I get to do what I love as my job, and part of that is meeting some pretty incredible people along the way. Ellie is no different, and she happens to be a senior model for me this year. (If you haven't snagged a discount card from her yet...you might want to do that).

I am super in love with all the images that were selected to be a part of Ellie's album, and here are just a handful for you to enjoy.

 

Catherine | Jefferson City Senior Portrait Photographer

There is something about this young lady that drew me in, and made me think of an old Masters Painting.  I joked with Catherine's mom about her being a mix of Venus and The Mona Lisa...and I think there was a bit of truth there.

Catherine came in for her senior portrait session in the studio and opted for something a bit more classic and dramatic. She is quite a bubbly and smily character, but I truly enjoyed capturing her serious side too. 

Thank you, Catherine, for giving me the opportunity to create these memories for you. Best wishes for an incredible senior year!

 

Pets are Family, too | Jefferson City Pet Photographer

They are silly.

......almost always happy

......can be a bit naughty

.....are often a bit .....DERPY

..........sometimes stinky

........always adorable

........often a comedian

.......and love unconditionally.

They are our pets. Our family members. For those of you who have pets, you understand the love that we can have for these unbelievably important creatures. A few years ago, we adopted our own goofball from a Jefferson City pet rescue organization called People Helping Paws. Since then, I have had the opportunity to pay back their generosity by photographing some of their pooches as they are taken in by their foster families, in hopes that good photos would help to more quickly find them homes. (It works!)

Last year, there was a particular litter that had been abandoned, along with their mama (who unfortunately had heartworm, and was in really rough shape. She has since recovered, through costly treatment and the generosity of others.) This gaggle of dogs was particularly energetic, and what fun it was interacting with them!

Fast forward to this year. I was approached with the opportunity to photograph two of the pups who had been adopted, and they wanted to celebrate their one year anniversary at their Fur-Ever home. Of course....how could I say no??

This July 4, there will be a fundraising effort at Studio 573 in Jefferson City, called Sweat 4 the Pets!!! This is a donation only event, and you not need be a member to participate. All donations will go to People Helping Paws, as they help to defer the cost of veterinary treatment and other expenses that caring for these animals entails.

Please consider attending!! 

And....take a look at what a year can do. :)