headshots

Workshops - Learning, Sharing, Shooting

When considering whether or not to attend a workshop, a lot of factors contribute to the ultimate decision of attending. They are a great way to expand your network as there will undoubtedly be other like-minded people to speak with, to share knowledge with and of course the obvious, to learn! Do I? or Don’t I? Of course the first one is cost followed by content followed by a series of questions: How will it benefit me? How long is the workshop? and who is giving the workshop?
When the Peter Hurley “Illuminating the Face” workshop was announced for Toronto, well that was a no brainer! I knew I had to attend as I had been waiting some time for this one to come to town. It took place back in March and this was an incredible opportunity to learn from the best in the industry. How could I possibly pass that up!? I figured I wasn’t going to get many chances to actually get to interact, to learn from him. I had to take advantage of being up close and personal with the one and only Peter Hurley. I found the cost to be incredibly reasonable. The location was right here in Toronto, so getting there was easy. The time commitment was only an 8 hour day. This was without a doubt something I had to do.
The workshop was put on by Henry’s Camera and they did an incredible job. I would like to say a huge thanks to them for putting this on. The workshop was also sponsored by Profoto and I have to say their gear is absolutely incredible, so easy to use and easy to work with. Their reps were so friendly and helpful.
It was an absolutely incredible day all around. It was a full, jam packed eight hour day where I got to learn from the master of headshots. I got to meet a ton of great people. Perhaps some of the nicest people I have ever met. Peter Hurley was such an incredible teacher. So easy to talk to, down to earth and just an all-around incredibly nice guy. It was such an invaluable experience I will never forget.

Spreading My Wings - Trying New Things

Anyone who knows my style of photography or about the genre of photography I typically shoot, you know I am an urban exploration shooter. This is my passion and my love. I know photographers can make money at this by selling prints of their work but let’s be honest, how many urbex shooters do you know make a living selling their artwork? By no means am I saying this is impossible to do however let’s say it’s not commonplace.
Over the past year I have been thinking about how I can branch out. Ideas swimming around in my head. Personal projects I want to work on but mainly I wonder, how can I start making some real money at this? I have settled upon doing portraiture and headshots. It seemed very fitting seeing as I am currently the headshot photographer at my full time job. It was a no brainer. I truly enjoy the interaction with the client while shooting. Dealing with people and photographing them. Bringing out the best I can in them.
Recently I have found inspiration in watching some training videos on mastering the perfect headshot as well as other educational videos on different methods and styles of shooting headshots. One in particular by a photographer whose work I really admire, Peter Hurley. He has inspired me! I just love to watch him work and learn from him. He is a master at his craft and seems incredibly down to earth and to be honest, a very cool guy. Seeing as I don’t have a half decent headshot myself it would be a thrill to meet him and have him take my headshot. Seems pretty strange for a photographer not to have a really great headshot, I know.
Watching his videos has inspired me to not only branch out and try a new avenue to generate revenue but to experiment and pursue a new method of lighting to incorporate into my headshots. I gave this method a shot a couple of weeks ago for a friend of mine who is a real estate agent here in the Toronto area and I must say I am quite pleased with how they turned out. I know he is happy with the end results as well. Spreading your wings and branching out and trying new things can be very scary at times but the risk can be well worth the reward. I know I still have to practice and work on my technique but I am excited about this new journey I am embarking on in the photography world and I look forward to learning and developing my style as a headshot photographer.

The Professional Headshot - The Importance of One!

The world is evolving technologically and at a rapid pace. In this, the Interweb age, we are constantly being bombarded with images, snippets, catch phrases and sound bites. At these breakneck speeds people don’t take the time to slow down and talk with each other as much anymore. Elevator pitches are the way of the future. Say what you need to say in 30 seconds or less. Capture someone’s attention or they’re out the door.
How does this affect the photos you post online, specifically those of a professional nature. You may own a quality camera and can take a selfie with the best of them. Post that photo on Facebook or Twitter and you may get all the likes in the world from your friends and family members. But now ask yourself these questions:

  • Should I put this on LinkedIn?
  • Does it look professional?
  • Would I get into business with me if I came across this picture online?

 
Now I know what you are thinking, we aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover but let’s be totally honest here, we ALL do it anyway. Your headshot is the first thing people online will see. If it’s professionally done, people will notice and see that you actually care about the details and your appearance. With the growing importance of networks like LinkedIn you should be asking yourself: does my profile picture convey professionalism.
A professional headshot is essential to your personal brand. Here are a couple of key things to consider;
Look the Part
When you are getting a professional headshot done, make sure you dress appropriately and look approachable. I hear from so many different photographers who say their clients show up unprepared for their photo. When it comes right down to it, you are selling YOURSELF so look the part!
It Takes Money to Make Money
Why wouldn’t you pay a professional to do the job? Yes you have to spend a bit of money up front but think of how it will pay dividends in the long run. I have heard the headshot referred to as a digital version of your business card. Do you want to be taken seriously? Would you hand someone a business card that looks like it came from a vending machine? Probably not!

As my Dad always told me, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”, so why not make a great impression with a professional head shot. You ARE your own ambassador, your OWN BRAND. Do things the right way, dress for success and hire a professional. You’ll thank me later.

Headshots - Photographing the Photographer

I don’t know about you or anyone else for that matter but I can tell you with absolute certainty, I cannot stand having my photo taken.
When you think about it, is this really an oddity among photographers? I am not too sure it would be. I would much rather be the one behind the camera pressing the shutter and giving direction. I’d rather not be the subject and take direction.
On the other hand, I would say it’s a necessary evil for photographers to have a great head shot. We are after all trying to sell ourselves and when all is said and done, we are sensory, visual beings. It would be nice for the people hiring us to be able to see who they’re hiring instead of some faceless photographer.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have a head shot on my website. It’s a very dramatically lit, artistic photograph. I like it very much however is it appropriate for me to promote my services with this type of photograph? Probably not! I do realize I need to update it sooner rather than later. I have agonized over this realization for some time now but have decided it’s time I man up or bite the proverbial bullet and just get it done and over with.
I will be attending a photography workshop next month and it just so happens there are a couple of photographers offering a “photograph the photographer” photo session and I have signed up for it. So look out for a new head shot of me sometime later next month.