publicity headshots

How a Professional Business Portrait Can Help Your Career

Let's face it, at some point in your career, you're going to need a professional business headshot.  Whether you work in hi-tech, real estate, law, science, finance or the arts, 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 business headshot on your website, your Facebook page, your LinkedIn page, your Twitter account and your blog. Are you using the 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 good business portrait should do!

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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. Not at all!  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. We won't be doing any major makeovers. Your new business portrait will still be “you” only better! I guarantee you're going to enjoy having your picture taken and love your new business headshot. If not, we'll shoot as many images as necessary until you're satisfied!

Give me a call at 443.840.0484 or to book your session, click here and we can get started on the new professional you!

Why wearing makeup will make your business headshots so much better!

The idea of wearing makeup in Western culture, especially in the United States, is fraught with emotion and much debate. I did a quick, unscientific search on Google to see what I would find.  "Whether to wear makeup or not" resulted in more than fifteen pages of results and a ton of other, related topics.

There were lots of articles like Should You Wear Makeup at Work? published in the January 2017 issue of Scientific American, and a recent article in the New York Times Style Magazine, To Wear Makeup or Not to Wear Makeup, with a before and after photo illustration of singer Alicia Keys. What's a professional women to do about whether to wear makeup when it comes to her business headshots?

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I've decided to make the decision for you. Well, not really. Actually you've made the decision for yourself. If you're thinking of working with me, or any other professional business headshot photographer, you'll need to dig deep and think what your end game is. Why do you need these business headshots anyway? Do you want more clients? A promotion or advancement in your career? Maybe you want to make more money. Nothing wrong with any of those goals. I’m right there with you! However, I nor any other photographer can guarantee any of these wonderful aspirations happening for you, but I do know putting your best foot (in this case face) forward in your business headshots will go along way.

Maybe you're a staunch feminist and think that wearing makeup objectifies women. I totally get that. I came of age in the 70’s when not wearing a bra, much less makeup, was a right of passage. I understand that going bra-less is back into vogue. Thank god I’m too old for that!

I’ve also had clients tell me that wearing makeup makes them look phony or not who really you are since they rarely if ever wear makeup. That makes total sense. If you don’t wear makeup and start with full on foundation, contouring, blush, eyeshadow and fake eyelashes, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to know who that women is in the mirror, and, maybe no one else will either. But you still want to look your very best in your professional headshots. Here are some suggestions to quell the makeup vs. no makeup debate.

5 reasons why I'm all about you wearing even a little makeup for your business headshot session

You want you to look your very best! We all suffer from blotchy skin, bags under our eyes and thinning eyebrows. A little cover stick and brow pencil can go a long way. And don’t forget the mascara and lip gloss. It just makes for a more polished look.

Digital cameras pick up EVERY LITTLE THING. Modern photography cameras see it all. Porous skin, tiny blemishes and every little scar you've probably forgotten how you got. A small amount of accurately matched foundation carefully applied will tale care of that.

Stage actors wear makeup for a reason. Bright lights in theatrical productions can overwhelm features, making them and you virtually unnoticeable. That goes for photo studio light too. Eyes in particular, the gateway to the soul, can look small and lifeless in digital images. A little eyeshadow and again, mascara can help you stand out and be noticed.

A professional makeup and hair experts know how to make you look like your NOT wearing makeup! Forget about your wedding day when you had your makeup done by a professional makeup artist. She/he did your makeup like you've never worn it before. You looked like something out a glamour magazine. Woo-hoo! But wedding day makeup is not what you'd wear to your office, so why would your business headshot makeup look like your wedding day makeup? It shouldn’t. My makeup and hair professionals know that our photo session is about creating professional business images for Linkedin and your corporate or business website, etc. My Power Session includes light, even makeup coverage, that enhances your looks by NOT changing your looks. When looking at your business headshots photos, no one will ever know that you worked with a professional makeup artist.

Professional photographs ain't cheap! If you're going to go to the expense of spending a few hundred dollars on a professional headshot, why not look you're very best? You've already made up your mind as to why you need those business headshots. Why not take it a small step further by having professional makeup done. You’ll look great. You'll feel great. You’ll exude confidence that will show in your images.

I've never had a client regret having her makeup done. But I have had clients who were super critical of their images when they didn't hire a pro makeup artist. I truly want you to look amazing and I want you to love your photographs!

Want more info on how to get great business headshots? Check these out!

How a Professional Business Headshot Can Help Your Career

Prepping for Your Headshot Session

FAQ's About Your Headshot Session

How do I book a headshot 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 deposit. The deposit is refundable—if you cancel 48 hours before your session.

If you’re not quite ready to book your session and have additional questions, please call or text me at 443.840.0484. I’d love to chat with you!

What should I wear? Of course it depends on whether you’re getting actor headshots, 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.

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 Columbia, Maryland, not far from the Route 32 and I-95.

I am so looking forward to working with you!

Cheers,

Bonnie

Kid and Teen Headshots: What to Wear

Kid and Teen Headshots: What to Wear

If your child or teen is interested in acting, they've probably been bugging you, Mom or Dad, for some headshots. Headshots can be pricey and you want to get them right, the first time. After all, both you and your little darling need this investment to pay off! Am I right? One way to make sure that your kid's headshots get noticed is to be sure clothing choices complement your child's hair, complexion, and unique personality. Here are a few guidelines:

Stay away from patterns, stripes, slogans, and logos. It's very hard to find clothes (especially for the little ones!) that don't have some crazy, bold flower print, movie character or pithy saying. So if you must do a non-solid color, here's the right way.

I love bright colors and they work so well on littler kids. Target and Walmart are great places to find inexpensive, solid colored shirts. However, if you're not finding tops without stripes or patterns, try layering. Morgan is rock'in her bold, pink and white blouse with a matching, solid colored sweater. It's not at all distracting from her beautiful smile!

Carly looks fresh and pretty in her aquamarine top. If your child has blue or green eyes, they'll look best in colors that complement and/or match their eyes. Think of the colors of the sea. By the way, the color plum looks great on just about everyone!

Derek has light brown eyes and reddish hair. He looks great in dark gray, don't you think? A quick way to find out your child's (or your own) skin tone, is to look at the veins on the underside of your wrist. If they look blue or purple you are a "cool tone." If the veins are green or yellowish, then you are a "warm tone." I didn't check Derek's wrist for a clue, but we decided that he was indeed "cool" and colors like grey and navy, as well as black and white look great on him.

So, if you're still in doubt, check my Pinterest page here for more ideas and bring lots of clothing choices to your child's headshot session! We'll figure it when you get here:))

Cheers,

Bonnie

Not Using a LinkedIn Photo? Here's Why It's a Bad Idea!

Do we pretty much agree that LinkedIn can open doors to new business opportunities? Of course you do! So it would stand to reason that including a profile photograph could get you more business. According to a recent Forbes article, 8 Mistakes You Should Never Make On LinkedInyou're seven times more likely to have your profile viewed if you include a picture.Since I specialize in publicity headshots, I thought you might be interested in why not including a profile photo and using a less than professional image isn't such a good idea. What are your thoughts? Has including an up-to-date, business profile photograph gotten you more "views"?

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Recent client Dionne Peart is an attorney with the D.C. Office of the Attorney General, serving as General Counsel for one of the District’s agencies. Prior to moving to the District, Dionne was a senior associate with Blackwell Burke P.A., a minority-owned Minneapolis-based law firm, where she represented Fortune 500 clients in a variety of litigation matters.

Born in England to Jamaican parents, Dionne grew up in Canada and later moved to the U.S. to study law.  Her debut novel, Somerset Grove, was inspired by the many stories of Caribbean transplants she grew up with while living in Winnipeg. A story that takes the reader on a journey between Jamaica and Canada, Somerset Grove explores the complicated relationships between Ruby, Angelique and Carmen, a family of three generations of women struggling to find happiness for themselves and with each other.

Dionne is currently working on her second novel. When she isn’t writing, Dionne loves to read stories that explore another time, place and culture.

Cheers,

Bonnie

Ready to schedule your publicity headshot? I can be reached at 703-509-8984.  Visit Bonnie Johnson Photography to see other LinkedIn photographs. Happily serving the Northern Virginia, Maryland and DC area since 2002!