3 Ways to Boost Your Social Media Engagement

1. Have a Conversation, Be Visual

People do no like being lectured often- but do love a nice conversation or a good story. If you have a something to say, make it conversational. Plus, if you add an image or a nice visual piece you will most likely have an increased interaction rate. 

2. Show Your Personality, Try new things

Your followers and audience want to see that there’s actually a person or people behind the logo. But, how can you achieve that? You could share images or short videos what your typical day is like. You can introduce your employees and their hobbies. Try something new and get creative!

3. Ask, And You Shall Receive

Asking your followers and audience questions is an easy way to get your followers active on social media. You could ask them anything from “What are plans for the weekend?” to "What is the meaning of life?" Another idea is to hold a Q&A on YouTube- Check us out Alimond Studio on Youtube!

How do you engage with your social media followers?

This is Alimond Studio's introduction to Kassy, our studio extraordinaire!  

Posing Tip of Week: The Double Chin

It makes sense that you want a great and flattering photo of yourself every time someone snaps a photo of you. The Alimond Studio trick is called "The Turtle", because the action to slim your chin almost feels like a re-enactment of the way a turtle moves it's neck. The Turtle is made up of three simple steps, relaxing the neck, pushing your chin out, and gently pulling your chin downwards. The next time you have a run in with the paparazzi, just relax, smile, and do the turtle. You'll love the results. 

Show Off Your Team- With Video

Employees play important role for spreading the word about your brand, your culture, and your mission. You hired every specific member of your team for a reason, probably because at the core your team shares the same values as your brand.

Your team is the answer to continue the growth of your brand. Employee videos will help brand and create awareness for your business. Employee videos are able to achieve many things such as: 

  1. Introducing your new team to your clients
  2. Allowing your clients to get comfortable with your team
  3. Positioning your staff as specialist- This is why you hired them
  4. Setting your brand apart
  5. Increasing employee moral and creating a positive work environment

Overall, employee videos are great marketing materials that can encourage growth in your business. Plus, they are a great addition to any company website.

Can you relate to any of these reasons?

I did a little video going over 9 reasons stopping you from booking a session AND why you should reconsider. 

Do you relate to any of the following?

1. "I don't have enough time to get my headshot done!" 

Whether you are in a time crunch or taking the day off, we will work around your schedule. Regardless, you will walk out with a great headshot. 

2. "Is it expensive?"

Headshots have the power to move your career forward. It's an important investment. It is the first picture your clients or your future employer will see when they come across your LinkedIn site. What is the value of moving ahead in your career? 

3. "What if I am planning to lose weight?"

Book your session and come in anyways. I will pose you to outline your most beautiful features. 

4. "What do I even wear?"

Bring what you feel beautiful and comfortable in. 

5. "Will anyone help me choose my outfit?"

Of course! Our professional photographers will help you with your outfits and anything else you might need. Remember your headshot is about communicating a message with your facial expression, regardless of what you happen to be wearing.

6. "I am not photogenic!"

I heard that one before. But after the 5th shot, I realize you were a professional model in your past life. Our professional photographers know what we are doing, we will have you model ready by the end of the session. 

7. "I get nervous when there is a camera in my face..."

We have a set process. This process was crafted to decrease the stress of having your headshot taken and to encourage positive emotions. 

8. "How many headshots will I need?"

Where are you using these headshots? Our viewing session is organized to help you choose your favorite headshots. Do you need more than one. Remember your website, your social media accounts, and your professional networking accounts. 

9. "When will I get my final images?"

"How soon do you need them?" We have fast turnaround time. But if you need it sooner, we will get it to you sooner!

5 Steps to Taking a Perfect Selfie

A selfie is a self-portrait taken with a phone camera. Selfies have been around since forever, but popularity spiked in the 2000's. Even phone manufacturers started catering to this growing trend by adding another camera lens on the front of phone. You want to improve your selfie. It's a great way to represent yourself- so give it a try.

1. What is your Selfie’s Purpose?

What purpose is your selfie serving? Is your face glowing more than usual? Did you just get the best haircut of your life? Or do you feel extra beautiful today? As soon as you find your purpose you are able to tailor your selfie to this purpose. 

2. Who is your Audience?

It is possible that your best friend just gifted you the most beautiful earrings, so you really want to thank her with a selfie of yourself in them. Plus, show off those new earrings to your followers.

Just keep in mind that our social media accounts usually consist of our friends, family, clients, and possibly your boss. You can easily adjust your privacy setting to your needs.

3. What’s in the background?

Is the Eiffel Tower your background? Maybe a solid color background to allow your audience to really focus on your beauty? Just be aware of your surroundings. Position yourself so that you're in front of a background you want people to see. A blossoming bush of flowers is always an easy and quick backdrop. A hippo charging at you in the background- probably not the safest choice. Hippos are fast.

4. Find good lighting. 

Natural light is always flattering. Keep the sun or other light source in front of you, preferable above eye level. And keep the flash off. Natural light is easy to find when outdoors, but if you’re indoors find a window that is bringing in a good source of natural light.

5. Find your perfect angle

What is your good side? Experiment with different angles to show off your favorite features. Hold your camera slightly higher than your head so that it's pointing down on you. This make your eyes look bigger and helps avoid getting a shot of your nostrils. No one wants a nostril pic- unless that is your selfie’s purpose. 

Now smile! Make sure your expression looks authentic. Try to capture yourself when you're feeling an emotion. Still laughing at a movie you saw last week- that emotion! 

P.S. Use the camera on the back of your phone since it takes higher-resolution pictures compared to the front camera.

Show off your crew with team headshots!

In business, image is often the difference between making a sale or missing an opportunity. A professional headshot will help prospective clients identify you and decide, sometimes without a meeting, if they want to work with you. We know that headshots are effective for your website, social media outlets, and can help potential clients put a face to a name. What about your company or team? Have you considered what your company image says about you?  When you capture team headshots for all of your employees you can say a lot more about your business in many different ways.  

It's time to show your prospective clients your company culture and the level of service you provide. Show your clients how your team works. This helps give them peace of mind that you are an established company who knows exactly what you’re doing.

As you can see, headshots make up your brand. Your company logo. We all know in business you have one chance to make a first impression and team headshots should represent how you want the world to see your business. Your photo equals INFINITE opportunities to make a positive impression – while promoting your brand.  

Is your team constantly changing?

Not a problem. If a group photo is what you want, our team is able to photoshop in more team members at your request. Plus, it will appear as if they were present for the initial photoshoot. Another option is individual headshots for your team. Both produce great outcomes for your brand.

A few examples of where you can use your new headshots... 

Business websites
Social networking sites (Facebook/Instagram)
Professional networking sites (LinkedIn)
Business cards
Any publications
Brochures/Press Releases/Advertisting
Plus, anywhere else

3 Steps to Improve Your Set of Dating Profile Pictures

I was in a session with a client one afternoon and we were discussing online dating profile pictures. I was given an assignment to jump on some popular dating sites- just see what type of bad photos some people were posting. I looked through Match, eHarmony, and okCupid. 

Aside from the outdated and horrendous images I stumbled upon, I also saw so many different articles with advice on what profile pictures you should post to a dating profile. For example, “ab-shots” (picture of a man without a shirt and showing off his abs) only work on men younger than 25, so maybe consider covering up a bit. 

After reading through about five different advice columns, I realized they were full of contradictions. One would recommend taking a picture with your pet to show you're a dog person or don’t include your pet in your picture because it is awkward. Or take a group photo with your friends to show you are social or don’t because no one wants to play “Where’s Waldo” on your profile. As a married woman, I have no need for a dating site profile, but I sympathize for my friends on these sites because there is no solid advice on what to post. 

Plus, why are people throwing up photos that don't represent them as their best selves? Is it because they aren't aware of how awful the photos make them look?  Is it because they aren't sure where to go for a "dating profile" set of images?  Is it because they're just "trying out the online dating scene" and don't want to invest too much time, effort or resources into it?

After looking through several articles, I brought together a good set of three uncomplicated recommendation on what pictures you should post on your online dating profile today. 

1.) A photo with a genuine smile because happiness is beautiful. A warm, friendly smile shows you're relaxed and comfortable, which means you'll come across as confident and secure. Let someone imagine how fun it'll be right there next to you. Plus, 5 duck-face photos in a row can get exhausting. 

 2.) A full body shot because you are beautiful. This show that you’re not hiding anything. There is so much more to yourself than your face. People are more receptive to the confidence and honesty in full body photos. Pick a photo that shows you being you, the right person will love it.

3.) An up-to-date photo because beauty is forever. Yes, we look a lot different than we did 10 years ago, but beauty remains. We are our worst critics and you might be losing opportunities to meet people who love your so-called flaws! Show your physical appearance and age with honesty. People will find your self-confidence really attractive.

As a headshot photographer, my goal is to capture my clients personality in every photo, which anyone on the dating scene can benefit from. If you haven't had much luck online for yourself, or heck even if you know someone who is going through some fun online dating adventures and KNOW they could do SO MUCH BETTER with some personality filled photos for their dating profile, have them book one of the spots here. 

Whether you have a profile on Match.com, or heck even MulletPassions.com or FarmersOnly.com you could probably benefit from updated photos to upload. Book your session today!

How to Earn Loyal Followers to Your Business with Video

Want to earn loyal followers to your business?

AND turn your web visitors into paying clients and die-hard fans?

Getting your business known on the internet is more than providing your audience with large amounts of good looking content. It is about providing your followers with content that educates, informs and helps your followers develop themselves. Push content that your clients can't turn away from. Let's aim for content quality before just pushing out high amounts of okay content. Publish high-quality stuff! 

Start by developing a content strategy. You want every instagram post, tweet, snap, video, or blog post you share online to be the sum of your brand's reputation. Create content that appeals to the personality of your target audience. When you create content that shows a deep understanding or connection to someone else's life interest, they're more likely to share the content with others. Why? Because we share content that represents who we are. Overall, just keep your audience engaged and interested. 

Short videos -think 30-90 seconds long- make the list for high-quality content when done correctly and professionally. Short, custom videos are a highly effective way to communicate directly to audiences and increase customer engagement. 

5 reasons why you should add short videos to your business website and social media sites TODAY.

1.) 60% of business professionals would rather watch video than read text.

2.) 90% of users say that seeing a video about a product is most helpful in the decision process.

3.) Including video on your business page can increase conversion by 80%.

4.) More than 90% of mobile video watchers share short videos with others, which drives more traffic. 

5.) Including video in an email leads to a whopping 200-300% increase in click-through rate.

What to Expect at Your Viewing Session

What is a Viewing Session?  

A viewing session is now the part of your appointment where you are allowed to sit down and decide on which photograph best suits your personality, brand, and authenticity. Everyone loves and looks forward to this because you are no longer in front of the camera and you are able to see what beautiful images we were able to capture together. 

The viewing session is now included in your appointment


    At Alimond Studio, we have added the viewing session directly after your photo session. Having your headshot taken is hard enough, then having to drive home and look through all the images can be even tougher. So no, we are not expecting you to choose your headshot alone. We present all the images on a big screen television and assist you in narrowing down your selections. At any given session we may take upwards of 200 images, but don't worry, you'll only be seeing the best of the best. This large amount of pictures can easily overwhelm our clients. But with the system we have implemented in helping you narrow down your choices, our clients leave the studio with relief that they chose the right photos that best represent themselves and what they stand for. The process entails of the client taking a seat and letting us take over from there. Plus, the completion of the viewing session improves turnaround time and you get your retouched images within 2 business days. As a professional photographer, my clients are not only relying on my service to capture great images, but relying on me to help choose the best photo for their social media sites, business cards, or other websites. This all keeps decision fatigue at bay.


    Our clients enjoy the viewing session! Remember the session can be shared with whoever joins you at the studio, whether it be your best friend or a family member. The entire experience is meant to be exciting and fun for the client and the everyone involved. 

First Impressions on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with a total of about 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories, with more professionals signing up at a rate of 2 new members per second. To actively participate in this network, a complete and up-to-date LinkedIn profile is necessary. This implies a professional profile picture is necessary. 

Like I have always said...

Your LinkedIn profile photo acts as a first impression and you do not get a second chance at a first impression. Your LinkedIn profile picture, this virtual handshake, also speaks to your audience and it must align with your role as a professional. It’s typically recommended to use a photo that says you are approachable, knowledgeable, and friendly. You get to decide how you are perceived to your clients and the general public. The impression you create can affect future job opportunities and future collaborations. LinkedIn has evolved from a text-heavy social network, to one that allows its members to embrace additional images, videos, and other digital presentations. Take advantage of this opportunity to showcase yourself and your unique story. 

Our team at Alimond Studio is now offering videos! Whether it is a video exclusively for LinkedIn and Facebook or an entire mini series of educational videos, together we can plan how the videos can assist you in reaching your business goals. This is great way to continuously showcase your personal or professional brand.

Need extra help uploading that new headshot?

LinkedIn recommends the member to choose a square profile picture under 8 MB in file size. Our packages, regardless if you choose 1 or 100 retouched files will include a full resolution image and an uploadable resized image that works perfect for LinkedIn. After you have your photo downloaded onto your computer or mobile device, you are ready to upload the image onto LinkedIn in 5 easy steps. 

1.    On your Home menu click your current profile photo if you already have one in place.
2.    When you are in your profile, click your current profile photo again to add your desired photo. 
3.    Here you will be able to upload your photo. Here you will be given a preview of what your photo will look like.  You can even resize the photo and change its position. 
4.    Click Save and you are ready to impress your audience. 

Smile! Your Career May Depend on It

I heard someone the other day mention the "LinkedIn Effect." It's definitely not a popular phrase, like the "Nordstrom Effect," but it has been gaining popularity over the last couple of years. So what is it? It's the way LinkedIn has affected our lives professionally. Instead of who you know, now it's who someone in your LinkedIn network knows. LinkedIn has forever changed the way we will find jobs, locate qualified recruits, and enhance our careers.

Yep, it’s that good.

So, how’s your LinkedIn profile looking these days? There are all sorts of blogs out there with tips on how to improve your profile. Publishing high-quality content and having a killer background summary may seem like they would make you look desirable to potential employers and connections, but do you know what they see first? Your profile picture.

First impressions matter.It may sound crazy, but you could easily argue that your picture is more important than your résumé on LinkedIn. First impressions are everything – especially on social media. Social Psychologist and author, Amy Cuddy, says that we immediately ask ourselves two things when we glance at a photo:

  1. Is that person approachable?

  2. Is that person competent?

In a matter of seconds, people are going to look at your profile picture to see if you look trustworthy. If their brain tells them that you are, then you’re safe to approach. Congratulations, you’ve completed hurdle #1.

Once you’ve been categorized as being friendly and warm, then people will move on to decide whether or not you look competent at whatever you do. Just how do you look skilled and capable in a photo? Good question. We’ll talk about that later.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t do you any good to look competent if you’re not approachable. If I don’t trust you, it doesn’t matter if you can do your job well or not.

What’s your photo saying about you?This may hurt a little, but I’m going to just say the first thing that comes to mind when I look at different types of profile pictures. If I’m thinking it, so is someone else – and you might want that person to be your boss one day.

Like a band-aid, here we go…

  • The cropped wedding photo: Why is this the best shot of you? Do you attend weddings as a hobby? If it’s your own wedding, well… I’m afraid of why you think it enhances your professional life.
  • The selfie: With sunglasses, a pout, and your shoulder precariously perched to let everyone know that you took this masterpiece yourself, you are simply too cool for me. And to be honest, you look like you’re the opposite of nice.

  • The here-buddy-will-you-take-my-picture: Do you live at a bar? Do you work at a bar? Ahhh… wait, I get it. Maybe you own the bar. Now it makes sense.

  • The out-of-focus snap: Let's be clear: if your photo incorporates Christmas lighting, you need a new one. I don't know what it is, but blurry headshots make me think one of two things: the person is either too lazy to find one that's in focus, or they have no attention to detail.

  • The I-don’t-need-to-put-up-a-photo photo.: This category can represent the gray and white default profile pictures on LinkedIn or those people who choose to put up pictures of anything other than themselves. Kids, dogs, motorcycles, and logos are not profile pictures. They just aren't. Those photos have a home. It's called Facebook. Why don't you like following the rules? Why are you frightened to show your face? You must be hiding something.  More than likely you have low self confidence. 

  • The you-can-see-too-much-of-me picture: Well, unfortunately we all know what this one is. It’s the friend with too much cleavage or whose close-up can literally count towards their semi-annual dental exam. I don’t need to know that much about you. I bet if I connect with you, you'll message me incessantly and try to become my BFF. Pass.

How can you find a picture that makes you look both approachable and competent?

  1. Invest in a professional headshot. It will be clear, properly proportioned, and we won’t be able to tell what you ate for lunch.
  2. Dress professionally and check your hair. The more sophisticated you look, the more competent you’ll seem. You don’t have to look serious to prove that you are serious about what you do. Just look like you can take care of yourself. Believe it or not, employers will take that to mean you can take care of their business, too.

  3. Speaking of serious, don’t go for a look that wouldn’t translate to qualities on a job application. “Sexy,” “tough,” and “somber” rarely find their way onto position descriptions.

  4. Smile. It’s pretty simple. Grin, show your teeth, and think happy thoughts.

And another thing to remember is that other people don’t see your faults like you do. If you hate your teeth or think you have an ugly smile, get over it. No one will notice. They will notice if you look unfriendly, unkempt, and angry, though… so it’s your choice.

That profile picture that you hate or think is useless may actually impact your career. So, when the time comes to update your photo, choose wisely.

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Leesburg, Virginia Headshot Photography

Negativity

I recently asked my Facebook friends about how they deal with negative energy. We all deal with negative energy in our lives on a daily basis. Northern Virginia is a stressful area and well, we all have short fuses at times. Sometimes it comes from the person who beeps at you as soon as the light turns green… or it could come via the person three carts behind you in line at the grocery store who rushes to the new lane opening ahead of you.  

Although it can be one big incident that happens and really gets under your skin, a lot of the time it’s just a bunch of little things that build up over the course of a day. 

The variety of answers I got on Facebook was pretty amazing. We all live in the same area, but we are so different! I want to show you all the various ways you can deal with negative energy in your life, thanks to my friends. 

Spiritual 

The majority of my friends had spiritual replies, but not necessarily spiritual in the religious sense. There were a lot of people who prayed. They prayed for the person who hurt them, they prayed the Serenity Prayer, and they prayed the Rosary. Some meditated either alone, with the help of a guide, or transcendentally. One friend does a Full Moon Ritual to release negativity. There was talk of techniques to keep you grounded, chanting Sanskrit mantras, and repeating “God is good” over and over.  

Mindset 

A lot of my friends believe that negativity is more of a mindset and not something that can affect you unwillingly. “Don’t allow negative people to reside in your mental real estate.” You’ve got to detach yourself from negative situations and move on. Part of being in a positive mindset means you have to surround yourself with positive people. Some people recommended spending time on yourself to get back into balance, or creating something beautiful to change your focus. Others said that self-validation, positive thinking, and positive visualization were key to keeping negativity out. 

Action 

I know a lot of movers and shakers, so it’s not surprising that a lot of my friends took action to feel better. Some burned sage, practiced aromatherapy, or used essential oils. I saw recommendations for tai chi chuan, walking, hiking, getting back to nature, standing barefoot in the grass, running, swimming, motorcycling, kickboxing, and kundalini yoga. Of course, all of that can be done with or without music or an audio book playing in the background. Many people recommended reiki, an Epsom salt bath, breathing, screaming, punching a pillow, or napping. Some decluttered, kept a journal (or wrote and then burned the pages), laughed, smiled, or cried. Spending time with kids or love ones made the list, of course. One friend keeps a rubber band on her wrist to snap herself into focusing on something else when she finds herself lingering on negative thoughts. She also recommended setting an alarm on your phone to remember to focus on good things, which I think is an awesome idea.  

Eat and Drink 

Stress makes a lot of us eat – or not eat. It’s funny like that. People recommended wine, desserts, and even coffee to make you relax. I definitely agree that what we put into our bodies has a big impact on how we feel. Sometimes a little chocolate really can make you happy. 

There were so many recommendations that I’ve just covered the basics here. I think it’s so fascinating that the answers ranged from one end of the spectrum to the other. It’s a little sad that there’s so much negativity out there that we have to come up with these coping techniques, but it’s just part of life. What makes us so great is that we all find ways to get through it the best that we can. 

The next time someone cuts you off on the toll road or talks really loudly in the cubicle next to you, try a couple of these ideas. I think you’ll find something that might help. 

Personally, I deal with negativity by keeping amazing people around me, like this fine fellow, Rusty Foster of Bow Tie Strategies.  

Personally, I deal with negativity by keeping amazing people around me, like this fine fellow, Rusty Foster of Bow Tie Strategies.  

Are you Blue?

I get asked about what to wear for photoshoots a lot – especially when it comes to headshots. People ask about jewelry, clothing types, hair, and makeup. The thing I get asked about the most is arguably the most important… 

Color. 

Corporate Headshots at Alimond Studio.  She's a blue for sure.

It’s pretty amazing how our brains interpret colors. We have different feelings on products based solely on their colors. I know I talk a lot about perception management, but when you are trying to decide on a color to wear for your headshot, it really IS all about perception.  

How does a certain color make people feel? 

Research says that within 90 seconds, a person will make some sort of subconscious decision on a product. 62-90% of those judgements are based on color ALONE. 

Here’s what researchers say about each color: 

Red is... 

  • Courageous 
  • Passionate 

  • Energetic 

  • Thrilling 

Orange is… 

  • Excited 
  • Cheerful 

  • Secure 

  • Intriguing 

Yellow is… 

  • Peppy 

  • Impromptu 

  • Vigorous 

  • Creative 

Green is… 

  • Healthy 
  • Fresh 

  • Prosperous 

  • Peaceful 

Blue is… 

  • Credible 
  • Responsible 

  • Safe 

  • Loyal 

Purple (or Indigo, for you artists) is… 

  • Dignified 
  • Enigmatic 

  • Astute 

  • Spiritual 

Brown is… 

  • Natural 
  • Straightforward 

  • Down-to-earth 

  • Reliable 

Black is… 

  • Exclusive 
  • Sophisticated 

  • Classy 

  • Authoritative 

White is… 

  • Pure 
  • Clean 

  • Uncomplicated 

  • Flawless 

 

There’s a lot to take in here, I know. It’s really good information, though, especially when you start to think about some well-known brands and how you perceive them.  

Coca-cola and Virgin are both red because they are going after an audience with the promise of excitement.  

McDonald’s is yellow… probably because of the often-spontaneous nature of fast food.  

Whole Foods is green, of course. 

Chase and Dell? Blue. They want to be seen as dependable and safe. 

UPS is brown and proud of it. They push the fact that they are reliable.  

And, last but not least, Apple is white for perfection. 

Isn’t it crazy how much those descriptions make sense? Choosing a shirt, suit, tie, or dress is actually more complicated than you think. 

Think about what you want to achieve with your photos and then choose some color options from there. 

If you want to be perceived as being on the cutting edge, maybe you should try red and white. If you want to be seen as the master of alternative medicine, try brown, green, and white.  

I always tell my clients that they can bring in as many shirts as they would like for a photo session. It’s nice to try a few shirts on and see what kind of feeling the finished product gives you. Are you coming across in a way consistent with your brand? 

But hey, let’s be honest - we all know that we look best in certain tones. Not every color looks good on every person. I have a good friend who swears that white and brown will never be seen on her ever again because she thinks that it washes her out. Yet in the same breath, she jokes that she used to hate black because it seemed too harsh to her and now ¾ of her closet is black.  

Colors do funny things to people. There’s a lot of shades within every category, so it’s definitely possible to find a shade that works for you.  

The real question is… what color are you?

If you have one of these three headshots, you are hurting your personal brand

Out of all the headshots I’ve seen over the years, there is one mistake I see photographers make EVERY SINGLE DAY.  This one mistake is costing their clients more than just the cost for the photos and the session.  

I am going to show you three examples how having one of these three headshots will both hurt your personal brand AND cost you and your business money.

This is important for you to understand so you make sure you don’t make these same mistakes.

1). The Professional Headshot - There is a fine line between the two "types" of professional headshots.  While we always go into a session saying we want to “look professional”.  That word is so vague and if the photographer doesn’t do it properly, they can actually cross this line.  While the RIGHT professional shot will allow you to look competent, strategic and the right person for the job, it can also mistakingly make you look dry, aloof, and stand offish.  Not knowing the differences between the two WILL cost you opportunities.  And the scary thing is, you’ll never know what those missed opportunities are since you use your headshots on your social media and website which will be seen by thousands of people every single day.

2). The Empathetic Headshot - Once again, the empathetic headshot is important for leaders and managers when they have teams that look up to them.  Any type of industry where you are working with people is important that you look not just approachable, but you you need the viewer to understand that you care about them.  However, just like the first example, there is a fine line which can be crossed.  You don’t want to appear as a push over or that you aren't confident/knowledgable.  The differences between versions of empathy are HUGE, but only need subtle tweaks to transform them from one type of empathy that says “i’m approachable” versus another empathy that says “i’m a pushover”.

3). The Assertive Headshots - Have you seen the arms crossed across your chest images?  i’m not sure which “expert” decided this was a great pose, but am very greatful that this pose is dying out.  While most clients that request this image are trying to convey confidence and being assertive, what they are actually saying is I am not confident, I have no idea what to do with my hands AND I have lost touch with my team and my clients that support me.  Whew! All that from a simple headshot?  YES!  You want an assertive headshot to say I am confident and will guarantee that job will get done properly.

 

How do you feel when you look at her headshot?  Would you trust her to lead your team?  Does she look like a pushover or does she look competent?  Is she "too" professional, or does she look approachable? Is she a leader or a follower?

How do you feel when you look at her headshot?  Would you trust her to lead your team?  Does she look like a pushover or does she look competent?  Is she "too" professional, or does she look approachable? Is she a leader or a follower?

Do you think you can see the differences from one to another? AND can you see how important the little changes are so that your image is saying the RIGHT things about you?

The last thing you want to do is hire a photographer to create headshots of you JUST so you can damage your brand. 

This is exactly why we take a strategic approach to planning and capturing your images.  We don’t believe headshots should be treated like cookie cutters where we are simply churning out the exact same images for every single person who comes through our studio.  

Learn more about how we create our headshots by going to www.alimondstudio.com

 

Should you give input during your headshot session?

There are a lot of good headshot photographers out there. However, sometimes when I’m scrolling through Facebook or LinkedIn, I will see a beautiful headshot that just doesn’t convey the personal image the person should be promoting (in my opinion).  

When you want a headshot to promote your in-home day care, perhaps an angle shooting you from above – and focusing a little too much on cleavage – is inappropriate. 

Or, maybe you want a headshot for your mortgage business. Leaning your head on your hand – with your hand looking larger than life, balled up in a tense fist by your chin – just distracts viewers from your actual face. It might come off as either Glamour Shots'ish or even like you're a little sleepy.  Do mortgages make you sleepy? Don't answer that...

Little things like too much cleavage or awkward hand placement can actually negate an otherwise beautiful photo. Instead of people looking into your eyes and getting to know you, feeling the connection you're seeking, people are going to be staring at whatever seems uncomfortable or odd. They may not even remember your face. 

Do you remember Glamour Shots from the ‘80s and ‘90s? What do you remember about them? When I think of them, I think of bare shoulders (or sometimes shiny wraps), big hair, and lots and lots of makeup. I don’t remember the person’s eyes or smile. I just think about all the “stuff” that was done to the poor customers. 

Although photographers don’t go that far today, the resulting headshots can be just as perplexing. 

If you feel awkward, muscles all over your body and face tense up in weird ways. Even if you smile through it, you still aren’t going to appear relaxed and confident.  

If a photographer is putting you in a position you don’t like and doesn’t feel natural to you, then let him/her know. Tell the person that you feel uncomfortable and you would like to try something else. Most photographers will respect your wishes and either show you how it looks on camera (because sometimes it actually looks great on camera!) and if you still don't feel comfortable, they will just move on to different looks.

I understand that sometimes speaking up for yourself is hard - especially when you might already be nervous about getting your photo taken. And I know that it might feel whiny or combative to speak up against someone who is supposed to be the “expert.” Trust me, it’s not pushy or argumentative, or anywhere in between. Photographers adore input. 

I love when customers communicate during their headshot. Just because I have an idea of how my clients want to brand themselves, it doesn’t mean that I know everything going on inside of their heads. If someone wants to stand instead of sit, I’m cool with that! If they only want photos from their “best side,” I’m fine with that, too. Sometimes, my clients just want to see what i'm seeing so they can say "wow!! I do look really amazing like that!".  

I’m not saying that you need to go in and start barking orders at your photographer. That probably won’t go over very well. I’m just saying that you should feel comfortable giving input into how you’re going to be portrayed. Headshots are an essential part of branding yourself. Make sure you are getting a photo that meets your goals. 

Headshot photography in Leesburg, Virginia

Alimond Photography Studio specializes in creating strategic corporate headshot portraits for not only the individual small business entrepreneur, but also the Fortune 500 Company.  Alimond Photography Studio is located in downtown Leesburg, Virginia, where they will create the perfect look for you in their 1300 square foot photo studio.  If you have a large team or you have a specific vision you want to create, we can also come out to you on location of your choice.  Please go HERE to get more info and set up your session.