Last night I was having some evening tea and finally getting a chance to peruse this week’s issue of Crain’s, and I happened across an ad on page 15 with a familiar face. The ad had a handful of peoples’ headshots side by side and there it was- a headshot I took for the CEO of the Northridge Group a while back when I visited their office to update headshots for their leadership team. I almost said, “Hi Therese!” out loud, but I talk out loud when no one is around enough already and I don’t want my dog to think I’m any weirder than I am.
It made me happy to see my photo in print; not just because of the warm fuzzies a person gets from seeing some of their work out in the print world, but also because that headshot is doing what it’s supposed to be doing. Every career-minded, successful professional should have a great headshot to use everywhere an image of their successful, professional face is needed.
It’s very important to have a good, updated headshot you can be proud of, so when your ad people frantically email you with, “the ad goes to print this Thursday, can you email us a headshot in the next 24 hours?” you’ve already got one ready to go and can just attach it, click “send,” and then grab some popcorn and catch up on the latest episode of Homeland. A lot of professionals come to me for headshots because they’re asked by someone else for a headshot to include in an article, marketing piece, advertisement, speaking schedule, website, etc… and they need one NOW. It can make them arrive at my studio quite frazzled.
So don’t wait until you get that frantic email from someone demanding a headshot of you to get your butt into my studio for an updated portrait. Do it now so you can always have that perfect, stunning-looking headshot of yourself in your back pocket when you need it. Not that I have my headshot on my business card and carry it around in my back pocket or anything… Okay, actually I do.
I work with lots of talented make-up and hair artists for headshot shoots, like my buddies Megg, Sara Jean, Jay, Jenn, Lisa, Alex, and Rachael… But not for every shoot. Make-up and hair is an added service that is worth every penny in my opinion because it makes for the absolute best and most natural-looking photo possible.
During my headshot sessions I not only pose people and coach them into natural looking stances and smiles, but I also do my best to make sure their hair is where it should be and not sticking straight up, there aren’t any stray dog or cat hairs on their clothes, and that their face isn’t all red and shiny. I’ll move hair out of someone’s face, sculpt it to fall casually on their shoulders, and maybe even break out a quick can of hairspray if there’s a piece being extraneously unruly. But I do NOT apply make-up to my clients. I’m not a make-up artist, I’m a photographer, and I am absolutely no good at doing what make-up artists do.
However, I will brush some rice powder on my shiny clients (which is just about everybody). When I take a few test shots I’ll see if someone is photographing with a particular type of glare on their skin and break out my only pseudo-make-up-like tool to de-shine their face.
I don’t think it’s cheating on my make-up artists because it’s kind of technically not make-up. It matches just about any skin tone and is only made up of a few ingredients designed to absorb excess oil and make a shiny skin surface matte and picture-ready. People have asked me for the product name, so here it is: I use Palladio rice powder, and their handy to-go counterpart product, rice paper sheets with rice powder on them for carrying with you in your pocket or purse.
Below is an example of the difference it can make in reducing shine- with no retouching of the skin. On the left is one of the first shots of this headshot session, and on the right is a photo taken after applying some rice powder to decrease that shine.
So the next time you’re at a wedding, event, or somewhere that you know you’ll be photographed a lot and you don’t want to look shiny, sweep some rice powder over your face. Men especially love it because it’s technically not make-up and you won’t look like a drag queen for dabbing some rice paper on your forehead in the mens room.
There was some beautiful weather this weekend and after a few headshots on Saturday I stepped outside into the courtyard garden of my building and snapped some photos of some flowers, plants, and a kitty. And my dog. Apparently living with a headshot photographer can turn a dog into a instant-headshot-poser. As soon as he sees my camera he smiles and I swear I can hear him say “cheese.” I have trained him well…