Why You Won't Accomplish Your Goals

Nothing like a good dose of negativity to start off your year, right! 


Well, did you know that according to research by the University of Scranton, 92 percent of people that begin the New Year with a set of goals never accomplish them?  With such a high percentage of unfulfilled goals, what is the point, right?  

Before you take off running with that thought in mind and decide to quit, we need to find out what makes us not follow through.  And, we need to learn what the other 8 percent are doing to be successful in accomplishing their goals.  

Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year 42.4%

Percent of people in their twenties who achieve their resolution each year 37.8%

Percent of people over 50 who achieve their resolution each year 16.3%

One of the top New Years resolutions every year is losing weight and healthier eating.  Some others are self and life improvements, changes in financial spending habits, prioritizing family and friends, exercise, doing good deeds for others, find a better job, quit smoking etc.  

Any ONE of those things would be a positive life change, but less than half of people who make resolutions are successful.  There is absolutely nothing negative that would come out of pursuing one of the resolutions above so what makes us unable to make that permanent and lasting change? If our goals are meant to improve our lives then it wouldn’t make sense to quit.

Research by Edwin Locke and Gary Latham show that:

Results from a review of laboratory and field studies on the effects of goal setting on performance show that in 90% of the studies, specific and challenging goals led to higher performance than easy goals, "do your best" goals, or no goals. 

 David P. Swain & Brian C. Leutholtz in their book Exercise Prescription suggest that:

1. Goals should be challenging but attainable.

2. Clients should set long-term and short-term goals.

3. Goals should be highly specific and practical.

4. Clients should enlist social support to help them reach their goals.

So if your goal is to gain 50 new clients in 2018 for example, what is your plan?  Ask yourself, "is that goal challenging yet attainable?"  If it is, then how will you get there?  Instead of looking at a 12 month goal, break it down into 3 month goal segments so you gain about 16 new clients the first quarter and so on.  

Write out a plan for how you are going to reach out to prospective new clients.  As stated above, be specific and practical.  And finally, don't do this alone.  Rely on your team members, your  family or friends for support and accountability.  When you know someone is going to follow-up with you on a regular basis, or work alongside you, then you will be more likely to make it happen.

So don't throw out that Vision Board you spent time creating, or the Goal List you wrote out. Just make sure you are following the 4 steps above because they are applicable to any goal you set for yourself.  It will make a dramatic difference in the way you think about your resolutions  and you WILL be the percentage that succeeds!   









Client of the Month


Happy New Year from all of us here at Alimond Studio to all of you.

We are going to begin 2018 with our first special “Client Highlight.”  We are so grateful for the amazing people we get to work with throughout the year, so we wanted to give them the opportunity to share a few things about themselves.

We’d like to introduce you to our wonderful client, Nan Long

Tell us about yourself?: I am a sex, sex addiction, and relationship therapist in Reston. I moved to Northern Virginia from Kansas City, Missouri for a fresh start, and I love it here!

What did you do before your current career?: Before I was a therapist, I was a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist and helped people become tobacco free. Before that, I was a Registered Dental Hygienist.

And how do you feel you will use your talents to help create change?: I am lucky to be an expert in a field that is a small niche, which makes my services in high  demand. I am proud that I am successful in my work, and help clients to realize great change in themselves. I consider myself an honored sherpa in each person's journey.

What's the one thing that's pretty interesting about you that not too many people know?: Hmmm, that's tough, as I am pretty transparent. Maybe that I can only see out of one eye.

What's one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their life?: Move a long distance with only a handful of possessions and start from scratch. What a powerful refresher to my life that was!

What are you looking forward to in the new few months?: After working at an agency for several years, I have recently opened my own private practice in Reston called RelationSkills. I am excited to be on my own, and help people realize change for themselves with my help. The best is yet to come!

If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?: I wish I had become a therapist earlier in my journey. It was my destiny, and the more people I  can help, the more fulfilled I become. It is my greatest gift.


If you had to describe yourself to someone based on your values, traits and personality, how would you do so?: People describe me as direct, warm, funny, and real. My laugh is frequent and genuine. I have a few years on me, but I am young at heart. I am empathetic and kind, but frank and clear. I value relationships above all else, and have also come to place a very high value on honesty and integrity.

How can others connect with you?: 

Website: www.relationskills.com 

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nan-long-lpc-csat-a08a6276/

Email: nanlong@relationskills.com





Six Looks, One Location in 20 minutes

Click Play to watch the video

The best way to get the most out of your headshot session is to get plenty of variety. 

So how do you get all those different looks within your one hour session? Let me tell you about my 6 favorite locations to shoot within the studio. 

The Bright White Couch

The beauty of this couch is that it's placed right by the windows, giving this look the bright and beautiful natural light look we all love! It's something a little different that still feels natural and personable. 


The Desk

Another option that will set you apart while setting you up to look professional and personable at the same time. I love this desk for all the different ways you can use it, that way you can choose what message you want to convey!


The Gray Chair

I love our gray chair! It adds contrast to your photo while creating an engaging shot for you to put out there to draw your clients in.


The Portable Corner

This corner offers an awesome gray background, and no matter the time of day, we can move it around to get the perfect lighting. Tall and wide, we can also use this as an awesome option for team photos, family photos, and full body shots. 

Gray portable background for headshot photography
headshot sessions

The Colorful Option

Adding a splash of color into your headshot is one of the best ways to stand out and show off your personality. Our backgrounds give a variety of colors like blue, peach, the green screen, and my personal favorite.. the pink!

pink headshot photography

The Classic

And all in all, you can never go wrong having that classic headshot. Our lighting creates interesting variety, and gives you that bright headshot that lets your personality shine through. 

gray background headshot photography leesburg va
white background headshot photography leesburg, virginia

The Importance of Having Options

The one thing that gives people a lot of anxiety about having their picture taken is posing.  The awkwardness of being in front of the camera will often keep people from coming in to have their photos done.  

Here at Alimond Studio we understand how you feel.  Our studio team have all been in your shoes whether we are taking pictures for our studio business cards, marketing materials or even video.  I can honestly say that none of us always feels 100% confident behind the camera.    It has helped each one of us though,  because we can better relate to how our client is feeling during their photo session.

When it comes to posing, it may feel awkward at times, but we will make sure you are laughing or smiling through it all!  You may even doubt that you're "doing it right", but we are here to take you through every step of the posing process so you will feel comfortable and at ease.

So what kind of poses can you expect?  That depends on a few things.  What kind of look are you hoping to achieve?  Business or casual?  What profession are you in?  Will it be a headshot for a business card, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, letterhead, an email signature?  Or will you need a full body image on a pure white background for other purposes where you can add extra elements or text to your photo?  Those are just a few of the many ideas you have to consider when getting your photos done. 

Oftentimes you will need images for many uses that you may not even realize until days or even weeks following your session.   Our job at Alimond Studio is to make sure you have a variety of options to choose from.  We alternate poses, change background colors, lighting, and sometimes go outside for more of an environmental feel. 

Our clients are wonderful about giving us the creative freedom to photograph them in many different ways.  Oftentimes it's the one pose or background they didn't expect, that they end up loving the most!


Need some extra laughs? You can check out OUR little sessions we had here at the studio to remember what it feels like to be on the otherside of the camera.  

See...we can be awkward too..

How Much is Too Much for Retouching?

One of the most common questions we get asked from our clients is, "Can you retouch my photo?"  It is very rare that anyone tells us to leave the photo as is without some type of retouching, even if it's very minimal.  

So what types of retouching are we talking about?  It can be just about anything but most often it will be;  flyaway hair, wrinkles in clothing, covering a blemish or a scar, and smoothing out facial lines.  Sometimes we are asked to widen or narrow a face shape, whiten teeth, or make improvements in their overall physical shape.  Can these "improvements" be taken too far?  At Alimond Studio we would say yes. 

Our goal is to "make you look like you on your very best day."  Most of our clients that come in to the studio have the same goal in mind and want to have a beautiful photo, a little retouching,  and still look like themselves.  No one wants to show off their photo and have people think, "Wow, they had so much retouching done they don't even look real anymore."  Our retouching style is natural and complimentary to you as an individual.  

Most of us know that the images we see everyday in magazines and on social media are oftentimes so over retouched that even the models or actors themselves are not satisfied.  In an Instagram post last year,  Kerry Washington responded to her cover of AdWeek Magazine.  She was quoted as saying, "Look, I'm no stranger to Photoshopping.  It happens a lot."  Kerry continued, "Yesterday, however, I just felt weary.  It felt strange to look at a picture of myself that is so different from what I look like when I look in the mirror.  It's an unfortunate feeling."

We all have imperfections, at the same time we want to have that amazing photograph of ourselves.  Our photographers and retouchers at Alimond studio are here to work with you so that you leave here feeling confident and completely satisfied with your experience. 

Our goal is for you to have images that will be stunning.  Whether it's a family portrait that will be hung on your wall for years to come, or a headshot that will be used on social media and other business purposes.  Either way, you are guaranteed to look like you on your very best day!

While the "overly retouched" photo might look good.  It's not me.  So when I show up looking like the "before" versus the overly retouched "after" version of me, it gives my clients a fake version of who I am and ends up being a disservice to our relationship.  

Discovering a local female artisan craftswoman - Ginny Bins

There's something special about admiring something that is handmade.  

I remember the feeling of leaving my 7th grade woodworking class holding a frame in my hands that I had designed and finished all by myself.  I created the dimensions and cut the wood.  I sanded and finished the edges so that it was smooth. I stained it a pretty deep mahogany color and attached a photo in it that would sit by my bedside through the time I graduated from high school.

This frame meant a lot to me because I made it myself.  It wasn't mass produced.  I put lots of love and attention into every detail.  Every little nook and cut was purposefully and lovingly created.

You can imagine my excitement, twenty years later when I discovered a local craftswoman business owner that designs beautiful handcrafted furniture pieces locally in Ashburn, VA.  

Want to know what's even more awesome?  These furniture pieces ALSO double as a comfy and safe space for your dog(s) no matter how big or small!

I was SO amazed and inspired by her work that I reached out to her and asked to check out where she makes these beautiful pieces of art.   She invited me over and I was able to take a little tour and check out her power tools and her wooden slabs and antique decorative pieces she uses to handcraft each piece of furniture.

Her story is exciting.  She believes in following your passion.  She wants to empower girls and women to show up to whatever you want to do in life, even if that includes power tools.  She believes that girls can play more than just dress up.  

Here's to supporting our local artisans pursuing their passions and producing some of the most unique and fun custom made furniture and handcrafted pieces.

Be sure to share this blog with anyone that LOVES their pets and let them know about Ginny Bins!


Check out our tour with Virginia at her home studio.

**Side note, I just purchased my own custom piece for my house.  I'll be sure to post photos of it once it arrives**

Contact Virginia at https://www.ginnybins.com/ to find out more and to order your own custom made piece!



Keepin' it fresh! How to keep viewers engaged...

Even though I AM a headshot photographer, I think it's easy to understand how easy it is to use interesting headshots to keep people engaged with you as well as keep top of mind awareness.

On social media, whether it's Facebook or LinkedIn, anytime you change your profile image, it will notify your contacts of the change and encourage others to engage with you by showing you the image in your notifications.  They are more inclined to engage with you, even if it's to tell you how amazing you look! ;)

At Alimond Studio we like to continuously work on our craft, as well as solve challenges whenever we run into one.

Recently with the humidity and the rain, sometimes we can't go outdoors for the outdoor Cinematic Session look.

So we decided we wanted to ensure our clients will always have that outdoor headshot option even if weather conditions aren't ideal.  

After doing some experimentation, we found a setup and look that works perfectly for our studio and the look/style that is Alimond Studio worthy ;)

Check out the headshot below and our behind the scenes pull back image.  

We love creating custom looks for companies that have hundreds of staff to photograph or individual clients that come in looking for something a bit different that no one else has. 

What do you think of our new Studio "Outdoor" Style?  Be sure to ask for it next time you're in the studio! Perfect for when it's a rainy day/windy day/hot day but you still want that fresh fun outdoor look!

Sandrine with Alimond Photography poses indoors for our signature Cinematic Look indoors.

Sandrine with Alimond Photography poses indoors for our signature Cinematic Look indoors.

Alimond Studio's Pull Back Shot of our Indoor Signature Cinematic Look

Alimond Studio's Pull Back Shot of our Indoor Signature Cinematic Look

Personal Branding Week 8 - Don't overlook your vanity metrics


It’s science that human beings judge people based on first impressions. We judge people on the way they look, what they wear, and how they talk- down to the car they drive. 

The car you drive can say a lot about what stage of life you are in and the level of success you are at. Sometimes it means that you value other things way more than the car you drive. Does this mean you have to invest in another vehicle today?  Not really.  It just means that you have to be conscious of these judgements and decide if you care enough to make it a part of your personal brand.

Personally, I'm going to be rocking my mommy van for a little while longer until the kids get a  bit older. 

These vanity metrics do affect your personal brand whether you like it or not.


Thank you for tuning in this week for our personal branding series.  Today we are going to talk about some vanity metrics.  I’m not talking about the online vanity metrics like how many likes we have on your facebook page.  But rather things that people associate with your personal brand whether you like it or not. 


Yes, these things are super vain.  But just because they are vain, doesn’t mean they don’t occur.  Here is the number one thing people want to figure out about you as a person. 


Whether or not you are successful.  Success can be measured in so many different ways to different people.  However some of these factors are more vain than others…I’ll let you decide.  First successful metric is Money.  What kind of car do you drive?  What does your car say about you?  If you drive a motorcycle, that has a badass feel to it, versus a Honday Odyssey Minivan.  What house do you live in?  Living out on a farm in a simple two bedroom farmhouse versus an extravagant, beautifully decorated mini mansion have completely different feels to what type of person would live in each type of house.   


How about your family? Are you a 28 year old with 4 young kids?  Are you a 50 year old with no children?  Please realize, I’m not saying you need to plaster these on your website or on your social media platforms, but these are things people that know you and that follow you on social media will probably know about you.  One is not better than the other, just realize it helps you connect with certain people and push away other people. 


Are you in shape? Are you overweight?  Your physique is part of your brand, like it or not.  Yes, please are judging you based on your weight.  Would you trust a 23 year old fit women that has had no kids to help you lose weight if you are a 48 year old mother of 4 that has 40 pounds to loose?  Or would you trust that 55 year old fitness coach that has lost 60 pounds after her 5 child and has helped keep it off despite menopause kicking in.   


I know for me, when I see female entreprenuers  that have kids AND are super fit I think instant super woman.  Why? Because I personally know the struggle and think wow, how do they do it?  To me, that is success.  EVEN THOUGH I know there are SOOOOO many factors that can affect all three of those criteria.   


So while I’m not saying you need to go and buy a little farm if you want to be seen as more low key and modest or you need to go and find that mansion to be seen as super successful, I AM saying know that there are many things that are part of your personal brand whether you like it or not.  I call these the vanity metrics that people use to figure out if you are a successful person or not.  While there IS so much more to success than those factors, it’s nice to be aware. 


Homework for this week:  Think about ways you can incorporate your successful attributes into your personal branding story that you can use on your website and the story you tell to others.

As most of you know, Alimond Studio has always offered strategy within our headshot sessions as well as within our video shoots.  However, we are stepping it up with now offering Personal Branding Strategies for professional that are trying to revamp their online presence.  We are doing it for individuals that want to not just look good online, but want to truly show others why they are different than the rest. 

Now this isn’t Branding for your Business.  We have wonderful relationships with full Marketing agencies that we’d be happy to refer you to that are amazing at helping you in that arena.  However, this is for YOUR PERSONAL BRAND.