Headshots Reflecting Your Brand

Your headshot is not only a reflection of you, but your business. The portrait must show that you're approachable in your expression and dedicated by the quality of the image.

A professional headshot is also a reflection of your brand. There are times when a particular background or 'look' is required. I recently had the opportunity to photograph Carla Atkins Long for Elite Title. You may have seen her last photo I created on a billboard in Springdale, well soon you'll be seeing a new one.

In speaking with her, she mentioned that she's always speaking with her clients in an open fashion from a chair in her office. This reflects an openness and honesty no boundaries to 'hid' behind such as a table or desk. To that end we created many images and the one below best emulated the brand of Elite Title.


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City Title Headshots

I remember when City Title was first formed, a couple of the key staff were Blake Hanby and Dwayne Flint who I knew well. Based on what I knew of just these two men, I knew City Title would be a success. Fast forward 8 years, they have a location in Fayetteville and Rogers with over 30 incredible staff, see all the images on the City Title website.

I recently had the opportunity to create new headshots for all at both locations. To compliment and go with their brand, they suggested outdoors. It's very rare I create headshots outdoors, simply because we have a studio and weather can be unpredictable at times. Even with the high winds the images look great.

Your brand and the look/feel you want to portray can set your company as unique and professional, consistency is one of the keys. You offer professional quality work, your headshots must reflect that quality.

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Headshot Tips

Do you remember the FIRST date you had? I remember being nervous, I wanted to make sure everything was right so she'd want to go on a second or third date. In preparing, a shower was a no-brainer, not only clean clothes but clothes in style that she'd want to be seen in public with me and just enough great cologne.

A Headshot is part of preparing to meet your prospect for the FIRST time. It's your virtual handshake, so everything has to be right, so you may be nervous and self conscious , but that's ok, your photographer is here to help make things right.

Here are some tips to a great headshot for your company.
  1. Confidence is Key … Being in front of the camera can be stressful and intimidating. But don't worry! Keith is a professional and will coach you through the process. He will take care of all the little details and guide you to create a portrait that will make the best first impression.
  2. Strike a Pose… If standing, shift your weight to the back leg, if sitting, lean forward slightly, shoulders back and down, tummy tight! Don't forget to relax the arms and slightly away from your body. Together, we'll help find the best pose for you.
  3. Size Matters … Loose fitting clothing does not photograph as well as tight fitting clothing. Clothing that fits well is important for your session. Men, make sure your suits re tailored properly.
  4. To Stripe or not to Stripe… Solid colors are always a better choice. Patterns and stripes will add one to two sizes to you in a photo so stick with solids! Avoid contrasting colors and bottoms as well (if a 3/4 to full view).
  5. Bend and Snap … If it bends, then bend it, we don't want to look too stiff and rigid! Creating movement and depth is one of the best ways to look great in a photo. Think about bending your joints-wrists, elbows, knees and ankles (if full length), again Keith will help you.
  6. Chinny Chin Chin … If you want to avoid the dreaded double chin, we have a helpful hint for you. While most want to lift their chin to the camera, it's best to stretch your chin towards the camera and then lower chin down. It will feel a bit awkward, but will minimize the look of multiple chins.
  7. Smile with your Eyes …. Get a little playful in front of the camera! A confident attitude and a glimmer in your eye will make your photograph take on a personality of its own. So don't hold back during your session.
  8. Bring out your Best Side … You'll rarely be photographed straight on to the camera. Since your shoulders are the widest part of your body, you will want to turn your shoulders about 2/3 turn away from the camera. This will not only be more slimming but most flattering.
  9. I'll Have What She's Having … Hair, make-up, and grooming are very important to the success of your session. Makeup should be tastefully done and in a non-trendy fashion. An airbrush finish is suggested. For men, make sure the 5 o'clock shadow is taken care of.
  10. Practice Makes Perfect… Don't hesitate to practice in front of the mirror before your session! This will help with the pre-session nerves. You may think it's silly but nobody has to know, don't worry, Keith will take care of you and coach you through the entire session, you'll love this experience.


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Preparedness Comes with Experience

We've all heard of Murphy's Law, "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong". We all try to avoid this, especially in business since it is a direct reflection on us and our brand. The first way to avoid the 'inevitable' is knowledge, the best way this is achieved is through experience, we learn through experiences, mistakes and learning from them.

Another way is being prepared, 'just in case' something happens, this is something I learned a long time ago. When going on location, I always carry backup, yes, it makes for a larger load but I know I'm prepared just in case, since I've been through several situations and learned from them. I always carry a backup camera, lens, batteries, backup flashes, cords, etc. that is, I have at least two of each just in case, say, a camera falls? This has actually happened a couple of times, as stressful as it is, I carry on with the session objective in mind and deal with the problem later, because I have a backup that will complete the job. One example was a wedding about 25 years ago when I was moving from the church to the reception and the camera fell off the tripod on to the concrete, when I picked it up, all i could hear was broken glass inside the camera (in the film days). I had another camera that did the job just as good and carried on. I once had a strobe start to smoke and over heat, I immediately unplugged it and replaced it with the backup.

Another way of being prepared is knowing the environment and situations of the location. As much as I communicate about the photography project, there are times were I'm not able to see the location until I arrive. On these occasions, I bring more than enough equipment to handle a variety of lighitng scenarios, my therory is that it's better to have too much, than not enough.

It's all about making sure the customer gets what they want and delivering the quality images they expect in a professional way. If you ever have a session where the person taking the photos shows up with only a camera and flash, be forewarned, not only are they not prepared, but they also don't have experience needed to provide the images you really want.

Shown below is a sample of the equipment taken to on location jobs, it always varies. Not shown are the light modifiers, tripod and stand.

Backup photography Equipment

Backup professional Photography equipment

The First, the Present & the Memories in Between

Olympus Canon commercial studio product photographer Branch Photography NW Arkansas
MamiyaRB67Olympus Canon Behind the scenes commercial studio product photographer by Branch Photography NW Arkansas


Memories are a POWERFUL thing, it can lift us up, bring us down, make us thankful or learn from mistakes. I was recently working in the shop with walnut wood and the smell triggered memories of my father and I making an entertainment center when i was 16, it's like I was there. The senses of sight, touch and sound are just as impactful.

Recently I was listening to the 70's music on iHeart Radio, wow did it ever take me back to a simpler time, you know the feeling. It's amazing when you hear a song and it unlocks memories and triggers emotions from times you thought you had forgotten, it's a powerful thing. Not long after that, I was thinking, 'what ever happened to my first camera?', honestly, i have no idea, but i had to look on eBay and found the exact model in pristine condition, an Olympus OM10. I purchased a camera exactly like this in 1979 to photograph sporting events for my local hometown newspaper. As soon as I got it, yep, I looked through the viewfinder and, more powerful than any song, a flood of memories came back as I saw the meter and heard the click of the camera and cranked the film advance. Then I looked at my current camera and thought of millions of images I've been blessed to take over the last 35 + years, the people the camera has put me in front of and the number of cameras I've had. So I had to take this photo of the two cameras, the first and the present.

I calculated I've had right at 20 different cameras between, some were very large as the second photo shows (a copy of a self portrait), the largest was a Mamiya RB67 with a 100-200 zoom lens. A few others were Hasselblad that I used at many proms, graduations and weddings and put thousands of rolls of film through them all. Wow how times and technology have changes… but thankful my memories the cameras have given me have never changed.

Business Headshot Tips

Everyone needs a good quality headshot, but what defines a great headshot.


Lets first answer the question of the purpose of a headshot
.

1. Shows the face behind the business. This is pretty simple but important so the client can visualize you while talking. This gives your business a personal touch, people like to put a face behind the name, it's a step in making a relationship.

2. To show that you are approachable. Being approachable is crucial in any headshot when you're representing a business, when a prospect can feel connected and feel that they can easily do business with you through a headshot, that quickly turns into profits and more referrals. This is achieved in the posing and expression.

3. A quality headshot will compliment your biography page. While prospects are reading about your history and accomplishments, they will relate this information to your portrait.

4. It will make your website look more professional. Most businesses invest heavily into their web site, it is the 'billboard' for your business, a professional headshot is required.

5. It is useful for Branding and Marketing assets. A headshot is not limited to a website, it is vital in LinkedIn as well as printed materials whether business cards, brochures or even billboards.

So now you are ready for your headshot, here are some Tips:

1- Don't use an old photo of yourself, when you were younger, we all want to look younger, but you want a headshot that shows what you look like now. Anything else is misleading about your age and you want to be honest.
2- The average shelf life of a headshot is about every two years.
3- I always ask the client what type/color background they want. It's best, when applicable, to tie in the background color with the marketing colors or type of business. Background colors can also have a psychological effect, for example, a white background can denote clean, which would be good for doctors, black would denote a more dramatic image.
4- Solid colors work best, ladies should avoid sleeveless outfits, but 1/4 sleeves are ok. Men should be clean shaven. The type of outfit will be reflective of the type of business, a plumber will not need to wear a suit and tie.
5- Since the images can be used on web and print, make sure to get a large resolution file in addition to web resolution.

Business portraits can be in studio….

Boen-Kemp commercial Studio headshot photographer by Branch Photography NW ArkansasCommercial Studio headshot photographer by Branch Photography NW ArkansasPersonal commercial Studio headshot photographer by Branch Photography NW ArkansasKirby Jett Harris commercial Studio headshot photographer by Branch Photography NW ArkansasRose Marie Speck (Dr Rosie) commercial Studio headshot photographer by Branch Photography NW Arkansas

Or on location….

Judge Beth Story Bryan commercial Location headshot photographer by Branch Photography NW ArkansasLegacy Patrick Swope commercial Location headshot photographer by Branch Photography NW ArkansasPremier Dermatology commercial Location headshot photographer by Branch Photography NW ArkansasWyley Elliott executive editor of Celebrate Arkansas magazine commercial Location headshot photographer by Branch Photography NW ArkansasPinnacle Counceling Gary Nelson commercial Location headshot photographer by Branch Photography NW Arkansas

Legacy Bank CEO

Legacy Bank CEO Patrick Swope on location commercial headshot, website and marketing photographer for Legacy Bank springdale Arkansas by Branch Photography NW Arkansas

The great leaders we have in NW Arkansas is impressive to say the least. Whether from those small business owners who have excelled to the large corporate CEOs. I know you're tired of me saying this, but I'm truly blessed to have a job where I get to meet these great people. You never know who you'll meet out and about in NWA, they're people just like you and I.

Last year, I had the opportunity to photograph Patrick Swope, who was promoted to CEO of Legacy Bank. In the brief time I had to speak with him, I could tell he was humble and had true concern and dedication for the bank and his new role. I make an effort to listen when great leaders, such as Patrick, speak, you never know where they'll drop 'pearls of wisdom' that could enhance or change your life.

PS: When visiting Legacy Bank web site, I have the honor to have created the banner images on the front page :)

Dr Rosie

I look forward to all my photography sessions. I get to meet great people who are passionate about what they do and have a goal to excel in their industry, that is why they come to Branch Photography for their images. Many times I have the opportunity to collaborate with the client to get the end result they are looking for. Dr Rosie Speck is just that person.

Rosie is one of those people that, after chatting with her, you're thankful to know her. She works closely with people all over the world, diagnosing English as a second language problems and prescribing remedies (to borrow her words). She gives group sessions and webinars to help more of her clients all over the world with their English. Imagine you speak a language other than English and have been given a great job opportunity, but everyone speaks English. Words and phrases, and general 1-2-1 interaction, can be greatly different from your country of origin. This is where Dr Rosie steps in to help make a transition. She has a huge heart for helping others, this is quickly apparent when getting to know others, which makes her even better at what she does.

It takes a lot of thought and courage to rebrand a business, Rosie has done just that with a theme that will be memorable and tie into what she does. Visit her web site at: http://drrosie.org/

Here are a couple of the images created for her business brand…


Rose Marie Speck headshot, website, branding and marketing photographer in studio at Branch Photography NW ArkansasRose Marie Speck - Dr Rosie headshot, website, branding and marketing photographer in studio at Branch Photography NW Arkansas

Pinnacle Counseling

Gary Nelson at Pinnacle Counseling in Rogers Arkansas location professional commercial headshot photographer Branch Photography NW ArkansasSharon Nelson at Pinnacle Counseling in Rogers Arkansas location professional commercial headshot photographer Branch Photography NW Arkansas

Developing relationships is important in any business. Over the past 6 years, I've had the honor to have a continuing relationship with Gary and Sharron Nelson at Pinnacle Counseling. When I first started creating their photos back in 2011, they were increasing their advertising and branding efforts, over time they have increase their staff and patient base. The first reason is because of who they are, they are very kind, receptive and understanding counselors, it's their work and helping of others that has built the service they offer. The other reason is they appreciate quality, not only in the services they provide but also in their marketing. The website is clean and informative with quality images that are consistent and blend together.

When I have photo projects with them, I always have time during set up to visit with Gary. He's an easy gentleman to talk to, genuinely interested and concerned for others, his wife is the same. If you have the need for a counselor for any reason, you'll be glad you contacted Pinnacle Counseling.

Beaver Water District

Beaver Water District is responsible for distributing water to Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale, Bentonville and all surrounding cities in NW Arkansas. Having had the opportunity to work closely with BWD in their marketing over the past year, I’ve been privileged to see ‘behind the scenes’ at how much work & dedication goes in to making the water clean. Drawing from the vast supply of water from Beaver Lake, they are consistent and relentless in attaining clean pure drinking water. The Beaver Water District facility is more massive and impressive than you can imagine, I encourage you to visit to see the scale model and map in their lobby to get a better understanding of what goes into providing you the cleanest water possible.


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