My client was kind enough to allow me to use her old headshot for this before and after. She has a beautiful smile in both photos but she needed an update. In her former headshot she is wearing a winter coat, although stylish, it's best to wear clothing that is season neutral.
If you think your business portrait is no big deal, think again.
This is Tom, a physical trainer. My initial impression when I saw his "before" photo was that Tom worked behind a desk all day. His expression didn't say anything about his personality, his Oxford shirt did not shout fitness and his skin seemed pale, not healthy (sorry Tom!). As a fitness professional, his business portrait should exude health and vitality, and show he can be an example to his prospective clients. When I met Tom in person for the first time, I was shocked. I had no idea he was so handsome and fit. He looked like he walked out of a surfer shop, ready to jump on his board. For his photo shoot with me, I asked Tom to wear clothing that was body conscious. I made sure he posed to show off his physique and encouraged him to smile. Shooting on location at his gym not only adds more visual interest to the background, it also tells more of Tom's story, adding authenticity to his brand.
Small tweaks matter.
Of course she's beautiful in both portraits. But, she has those very special eyes where you can see part of her eyelids when her eyes are open, this gives them a stunning shape and structure. I had to have one shot that made them the star. I felt that her gorgeous blonde hair needed to be featured as well but should frame her face more. In the before photo, too much of her hair is in front, making it more of a distraction. So, I had her take her hair down and move it away from the front of her shoulders to her back. I loved her full smile, but again, I wanted one shot to be all about those huge blue eyes. With a smaller, closed-lip smile her eyes capture our attention immediately. I also placed her in a softer light with a soft fill reflector to eliminate the large shadow near her nose that you can see in the first shot.
What is Styling?
Clothing, make-up, hair and accessories are the first things that come to mind when we think of styling. A location, in someone's home for example, can also be styled by moving a few things around or adding new items. Styling can be done in a matter of degrees as well. I like to use small tweeks that fit a person's identity, but also allows them the opportunity to see themselves in a new light. This beautiful young woman met me on-location wearing that bright blue top and a headband. She looked really cute and pretty. But, I wanted her style to reflect her new life; leaving high school and stepping into adulthood. I felt that her blue top was competing with her skin color. Fortunately, she wore a black tank top on underneath. I decided to remove her headband because I wanted to feature her hair in a more dramatic way. As you can see by the second photo, her hair also framed her neck and made it look much longer. By using a few simple styling techniques I was able to dramatically change her portrait.