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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Contemporary Professional Head Shots and Portraits | Maris Ehlers Photography

Do you use a social media site for professional purposes?  Some examples would be Linkedin, Facebook, or Twitter, just to name a few.

If you do, what kind of profile picture do you use?

Do you use an image that reflects you, your style and maybe even connects you to your business in some way, or are you using a picture that your best friend took of you on vacation last year with her cell phone with sunglasses on top of your head and the margarita on the table cropped out?

If you are using something similar to the latter, you aren't alone.  Many people grab the nearest cell phone picture of themselves for their business page and post it without much thought.  Or, God forbid, they do the "hold-the-phone-in-front-of-themselves-while-sitting-in-the-driver's-seat-of-their-car-and-say-cheese" pose.

And then there is the "realtor" business headshot that we've all seen, yet no one really likes.  You know which one I mean... the one where everyone in the company looks exactly the same.  In an uncomfortable suit ("picture" day is the only day they actually wear one), and a blue background that closely resembles their second grader's school picture.

Kim was looking for a laid-back, casual and "current" set of images to represent her as a trustworthy realtor. 
There's a new option for professional head shots.  Well, it's not new, but it is gaining in popularity, mostly because of people are realizing the benefit of professional images of themselves not just for business cards and directories these days, but for websites, social media sites and internet profiles.  Professionals are starting to see the value in investing in imagery that helps showcase who they are, shows a connection to what it is that they do or specialize in.  Most of all, these images even show some personality!  Something that while forbidden in the past, today it can set you apart from your competitors.

If you use a "professional" image to support your efforts in various social media and marketing platforms, consider having MEP create imagery for you that can separate you from your competition.  

Cynthia needed images that conveyed to her audience that she is dynamic, trustworthy and a seasoned leader.  

Bill is a photographer AND an attorney.  We did some basic casual head shots for his LinkedIn profile, and then had some fun with some images connecting him to his passion, his camera. 

Heidi is a business coach and wanted to communicate that she is personable, competent and understands busy entrepreneurs on the go. 

With a few fashion minded shots thrown in.  

Dawn is an exceptional fashion stylist, and needed glamorous images to match her style. 

Jill speaks on faith and fashion.  What better scene than this (for the fashion part, anyway). 

Lindsay is an amazing singer with a local band called "Shelby's Voyage". This was a super fun session!

Tips for a successful "contemporary" professional session: 

1.  Male or female, consider using a fashion stylist to help you pull together your wardrobe for your shoot.  Julie and Dawn, both excellent at what they do, understand what types of clothing and looks work for photographs, and have made every single client look amazing.  Julie has a wealth of experience on the tailored corporate side, and Dawn has a fun and lighthearted approach to fashion that is always fun.  Typical cost:  $75/hour (typically takes about 1.5 to 2 hours). 

2.  If you are going to invest in a professional session, a makeup artist is a must for women.  Simply a must.  Typical cost:  Approximately $100.  

3.  Choosing a photographer:  Be sure to work with someone who understands the importance of helping your personality shine through and who understands enough about social media and corporate marketing so that when it comes time to follow their creative lead, you can relax and trust that you'll end up with the right images.   Session rates:  $150 - $200

4.  Images on disk:  I have found that offering images on a disk meet the needs of most professional clients.  Typical cost is around $200 for a series of images to meet your needs with full copyright release.  

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