What I learned from my own headshot session...
Visibility matters. I know it, I preach it, and generally, I live it. If they don't know you exist, they cannot hire you. And when it comes to your brand, you want to be sure that you're visible in a way that is flattering, accurate, and authentic. Your headshot is absolutely a huge part of this, and it was high time that I stopped making due with self timed shots (#theoriginalselfie) or photos that I set up and had my husband take (he's hot, and super handy, but not exactly a portrait photographer).
I'll start this post with the disclaimer that I LOVE my new headshots. Abbigail Saffian shot them for me, and she did so great. She's the staff photographer for the NHIA, and while she prefers to shoot weddings or architecture, she was so great to work with and got some really beautiful photos. You've all seen my new headshots around the social media sphere, so hopefully you agree! I did learn some super valuable lessons being on the other side though...
Let's be up front about the level of preparation I did for these photos... not that much. I mean, I know this stuff! I'm an expert at headshots! I would be fine just getting shots off the cuff right?? Yeah, it's different when you're not the one behind the camera :) I did book a hair appointment with the lovely Vanity Room a few days before, and I knew that I wanted to be photographed in my studio... but other than that, I did not do any of the pre work for myself that I do for my clients. Rookie Mistake.
Wardrobe: I chose my favorite white blouse, which I'm happy I did. White is my favorite 'color' to wear, and this blouse doesn't show sweat or wrinkles. Perfect! Additionally, I grabbed one of my favorite tops from KOKOON, a blue waffle knit. While in real life I think it looks awesome on, in my photos I do think it was too loose. Fitted clothing photographs better than loose, and I should've chosen one of the other many tops I have. Lesson: Spend time before your session trying on clothes to make sure they fit well, and follow the KHP Wardrobe Guide.
Location: The KHP Studio and surrounding area. I knew I wanted to be photographed in my gorgeous space - I'm still insanely proud of the renovation we did! We also ventured outside, to a few of my favorite locations to take my clients. There are so many different nooks and crannies to shoot in around the city of Nashua, NH, and we chose just a couple that I love. I do feel like the ones that we chose contributed to the success of this shoot; I love seeing myself in these spots! Lesson: Locations contribute so much to the overall feel of your images, and making sure they are on brand is so important!
Implementation: When I design a photoshoot for a client, I make sure we review their website and social media, so I can get a feel for which types of shots they need in different places. Do we need a lot of banner shots and just a few portrait orientation? Do we need almost social media shots exclusively? Is there a chance we are blowing any of these up to billboard size? All questions that determine the composition and layout of the final images. Did I do any of that for my own shoot? NO. I assumed that I would just grab a few headshots, and that would be fine! In hindsight, my favorite images are not cropped wide enough, or do not have enough space around them to use as much as I want. Lesson: Think through final usage of images, to be sure we're capturing all that you need. This is a really high level concept that your photographer (moi) would do with you! But if you're going the DIY route, it's helpful to consider.
Overall, I loved getting my photos done! I am definitely faster to send out pitches to speak on podcasts and in media articles, since I'm proud of my accompanying headshot. I am also super happy that my new website has polished and professional images of me on it, (another shout out to Pearl Marketing & Design for building this for me!) Truly, I am stepping into becoming my own personal brand, and having photos that I'm proud of is so instrumental in that.
If you're feeling like you also need new photos to get you to the next level, I'd love to chat. Let's book a consultation, and start discussing how you want to be seen!