Category: Tips

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The following tips will help guide you towards getting a great headshot. There is also a downloadable eBook where I shares a wider range of advice – see the link at the end of this article to better understand the process of getting a great headshot.

Great Headshot Tips

1. A professional headshot delivers value.

Whether you are an individual or part of a large organisation, you are the face of your business. A compelling portrait gives you a competitive edge while ensuring that you are immediately recognised during meetings. Remember, it is not only about your appearance, this is about you representing your brand.

2. Connect with your audience.

A great headshot is a key component in representing your trustworthiness. It is often quoted that body language accounts for 55% of our communication; in a photograph this is distilled into your pose and facial expression. Consider what you want your headshot to tell your audience.

3. Identify where you need to use a professional headshot.

There are many reasons you may want an image of yourself, here are a few suggestions:

  • Social media profile images for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. (hyperlinks)
  • Newspaper or magazine articles
  • Your business website
  • Professional forums and discussion boards
  • Personal branding
  • Marketing and promotions
  • Resumes
  • Comp cards and tear sheets for actors and models
4. Recognise what you really like.

Search the Internet, magazines and newspapers for the style(s) of portrait you prefer. Make sure to share these images with potential photographers to set expectations and to expedite the planning process (link to helpful tools and resources here).

5. Set the scene.

Your session can take place indoors or outdoors; in the studio, at a specific location or even within your workplace. Think about whether you want to be pictured in your working environment or for you to stand out against a simple background; it all depends on the mood you want to convey.

6. Take time to find the right photographer for you.

Just like any important purchase, do your research first. Get online and review a selection of portfolios to discover which photographer’s style meets your needs. It is important to note that some photographers are known for their particular style.

7. Get to know your photographer.

Always ask for a free consultation before you commit to buy. This will give you an opportunity to meet the photographer in person, work through your ideas, get your questions answered and to understand how they will work with you.

If you found these tips useful then you will want to download my free eBook “The Headshot eBook – A Guide for Clients”, which is packed full of helpful information including advice on choosing an appropriate wardrobe, details to clarify with your photographer, what to expect before, during and after your session, some links to useful tools and resources, plus a whole lot more.

Download the eBook

Great Headshot

The Art of Dining Out

As a photographer, I am keenly interested in how images help persuade me when, where and how to spend my hard earned cash.

I travel on a regular basis and I like my food. Unfortunately, the two rarely mix well , so I’m continually searching for great locations for dining out. If practical, I’ll ask a friend or colleague for a referral and often, I’ll brave searching my favoured online advisers. Once I have my dining out shortlist, I almost always visit each restaurant’s website to get directions, check the menu and scan the prices so that I won’t be too surprised when presented with the bill!

So why do I choose one restaurant over another?

In order of preference, I would say…
1. Value for money
2. Perception of quality (Referrals/Reviews/Website)
3. My food preference
4. The location

Of course, everyone’s priorities differ! With that in mind, I have included links to several relevant articles that I found interesting and I hope you will too.

40 Tasty Restaurant Websites to Inspire You
Since the main content of a restaurant is their food – or at least it should be – there is no better thing to do than show beautiful images of the food…

An Excellent Series of Marketing Articles
From “Strategies to Help Google Find Your Restaurant” to “How to Incorporate Your Restaurant Website into Your Customer’s Experience”

The Art of Food Photography
They say a picture paints a thousand words. But it can also tempt the appetites of millions of hungry customers…

Restaurant Marketing: What Do You Need?
This is the second article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your restaurant and make it a success.

Triggering Taste Buds Through Imagery
Considering the incredibly competitive nature of the restaurant industry, maintaining a steady flow of foot traffic can be a tall order, especially since the dining experience begins long before a customer walks through a restaurant’s doors.

Restaurant Statistics
Find out some interesting (and not so interesting) stats about the restaurant industry, you may be surprised!

Cover image by David Price.

There are some people who have a natural skill at communication…

…whereas I struggle, this is where Manager Tools and DiSC have helped me.

I consider myself a problem solver, a techie type who is able to apply logic to pull things apart and put them back together again.  On the creative front, I’m okay. I believe I have an eye for colour and composition, and I can use my problem solving skills to supplement my shortfalls.  I am also a people person; I was taught to be polite, I like people and I care about their feelings. In the past, I couldn’t understand why these traits didn’t always help me to effectively communicate with everyone.

About Me - manager tools and disc

I want to share how DiSC helped work alongside a group of people I’d never met face to face before. In fact, we spent five days together on the road, tightly crammed into a minibus. As the miles sped by, we covered a multitude of topics. One subject I brought up was about DiSC profiling. It’s been described as “an instrument for focusing on behaviour”. The model suggests there are four types of behavioural style in which we all have differing levels of each. I have found DiSC useful for modifying my style to better interact with different people… this could include customers, colleagues and friends alike.

The road trip proved to be one of the most challenging opportunities to test my ability to apply the principles of DiSC. The methods are not perfect, you can’t (and shouldn’t) be constantly aware of how you and others behave, but overall, it was helpful in allowing me to better understand and respond appropriately to each of my new found group of friends.

For this reason, I highly recommend purchasing the DISC profile http://www.manager-tools.com/purchase-the-disc-profile as well as listening to the many freely available Manager Tools podcasts on the subject.

While on the subject of DiSC, a friend recently stated “…there is a lot of detail and complexity and I wonder how easy is it observe the traits of others and then act on these observations”.  I agreed, it is difficult. Much like anything, such as learning photography, it takes time and dedication to understand, see and apply the nuances of a new skill. I find that I concentrate on a small element, practice it, see if it works and then move onto the next.

I had a blast putting together my first videos; the making of apple splash.

You can freely download and use the actual RAW files used to create the final image from the bottom of this page.

Here’s part one where the images are created.

[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p-gPXvYVHw&vq=hd720&width=500&autoplay=1&modestbranding=1&rel=0&autohide=1[/embedyt]
The second is where the images are prepared in Photoshop

[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUrr3XUzkZU&vq=hd720&width=500&modestbranding=1&rel=0&autohide=1[/embedyt]
The third finishes preparing the images and starts to put things together

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqOCncAppyo&vq=hd720&width=500&modestbranding=1&rel=0&autohide=1[/embedyt]
The fourth video completes the set is here.

[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHEvMy_A3Mw&=hd720&width=500&modestbranding=1&rel=0&autohide=1[/embedyt]

Here are the RAW (Lightroom DNG format) images you can freely download

Note: They are from 17MB to 26MB each

The final image may need a little fine-tuning but the concept worked for me.

making of apple splash - P52 Summer Assignment 26: “Wet” #3

You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here

Seems like the weekend has flown by although I now have a basic grasp of how WordPress websites hang together and have this website to prove it.  That said, I know I have only just scratched the surface – I’ve glimpsed the code and I ain’t getting excited!

Putting my camera aside, my learning ordeal opportunity started on Friday evening by scanning the Internet for the best WordPress themes available. Alas, in my impatience, I mistakenly purchased a theme far too advanced for me named Ultimatum (http://ultimatumtheme.com/) BTW, it’s a great WordPress theme  if you’re great! It took me more time than I like to admit to get precisely nowhere. After much frustrated cussing, I ventured back to my favoured search engine to find a more basic theme. Second time lucky, I struck upon ‘Glare’ from cssigniter (http://www.cssigniter.com). With it’s uploadable demo website and basic instructions I was able to begin understanding how templates, styles and pages work together.

**Edit 16th June 2014: I have now updated to a responsive one-page theme. I will leave this post here as it could still be useful.

Hope you enjoy looking around my first WordPress website, now I need to make some images and write an about me page to do this site some justice 🙂

Here’s the techie useful bit, if you are thinking of using this theme and have a little working understanding of WordPress.

1. Size your images to the following dimensions @ 72 pixels per inch

  • gallery featured/header images: 2200×400
  • front page background:  2600 wide and more than 1500 high
  • gallery images: not sure it matters but mine are 1600 wide

2. Upload the gallery featured/header images separately and before attaching otherwise they become an image in the gallery itself.
3. Upload the gallery images only as part of creating a gallery – read this somewhere and stuck to it.
4. Sometimes it’s necessary to delete the images from the gallery page or you will get duplicates – some clever templating stuff going on here that is beyond me.
5. I think I have introduced a bug by messing around. Anyhow, when creating a new gallery I do not tick the box labelled “Disable the internal slider for this Gallery…” otherwise the images do not appear.  Tick this box after saving, if you want to see individual images rather than a slideshow.
6. To show a different header image in each gallery, you need to modify the code in the file “inc_hero.php”

  • Change line 14 from: if( is_page())
  • to the following: if( is_page() OR (get_post_type() == ‘galleries’) )

That’s about it for now although I haven’t worked out what the dimensions of the featured image should be for this post or for the header for the main blog page… I think it’s time to explore cssignte’s support forum!

*Update: support came straight back with answer to my missing blog header.

Very simple, just needed to assign a header image in ‘CSSIgniter settings -> display options’.

Here are some more customisations that can be added to ‘CSSIgniter settings -> Custom CSS’:

  • Remove zoom on gallery icons: .zoom .view-set {display:none !important;}
  • Remove white stripe on menu header: #header .transparent {background:none;}
  • Remove border around whole page: .brd {background: none;}
  • Remove front page navigation bar: #controls-wrapper {display: none !important;}
  • Remove the expand button: .pp_expand {display: none !important;}

*Update: support again replied promptly when I found a seemingly blank image in one of the galleries.

They identified a corrupt image and provided simple directions on how to remove. I also learned something new, it is extremely easy to re-order the position of images in each gallery; here’s the instructions

To reorder or add/remove images:

  • Edit the gallery
  • Click the add media button and in the media manager window
  • You will notice a drop-down towards the top left, select from it “uploaded to this post”
  • You will be presented with the images in the gallery, re-order by drag & drop, remove and/or add images here
  • When finished click the “X” (do not click insert to post) and update the gallery