Now that 2018 is underway and we’ve all returned from our holiday-cookie-induced-end-of-year comas, we figured we would look through the files at our 2017 memories and choose our favorite shots of the year. After some intensive file sorting we grabbed our favorite photos and BOOM! over 100 photos made our list. It was a good year.
But we figured that would be an awful lot of photos to post, so we did our best to narrow it down to 25. And here they are: 25 of our favorite photos of 2017. Thanks for a great 2017, and we’re looking forward to an awesome 2018!
2017, our 12th year in business, has been an absolute blast: thank you to all of our awesome clients for choosing us, trusting us, and supporting us as we grow. We’ve met and photographed hundreds of people this year alone, and have enjoyed every minute behind our cameras. Thank you, again, and we’re looking forward to a successful 2018!
Happy Holidays from everyone at Organic Headshots!
As headshot photographers we’ve taken photos of thousands of people over the last 12 years, and there’s one common theme we can’t seem to get away from: most people don’t like having their photo taken. They get uncomfortable. They get nervous. Some have even panicked or cried in the studio. Did I mention we photograph adults?
Therefore our job as photographers isn’t just to set up lights, backdrops, and push buttons on a camera, it’s now to make someone relaxed enough that they look natural, calm, confident, and at the very least not like they’re having a root canal done in their headshots.
After over a decade of getting people to chill in the studio, these are the most common tips we’ve relied on in order to get our clients to open up and reveal their true selves. And to prove they work, here’s a naked photo of Michelle. There is NO WAY she would have been able to take this photo without these tips.
Don’t pose. Models pose and there’s a reason they make as much money as they do if they’re good at it: it’s hard. Trying to find your “perfect” angle on your own is nearly impossible and just looks forced and stiff. Work with a photographer who helps you look natural in front of the camera and gives you direction while looking through the lens to find the best angles and most natural stances and tilts.
Don’t focus on or try to correct the things you hate about photos of you in the past. We can’t tell you how many people will start bugging their eyes out when we lift our camera because “my eyes get squinty when I smile.” If you try to keep your eyes wide open or tilt your head in exactly the same position that made that one photo of you on vacation in 2005 look so fabulous, it will just look fake and forced and like you’re trying to hold in a fart or something. Again, trust your photographer to help you get a natural look. Tell them the things you didn’t like in past photos so they can look out for them and correct things if they see it pop up, but then relax, act natural, and don’t try to over-engineer your facial expression or pose. Every time we get someone to successfully let everything go (usually by saying that if the photo looks like crap it gets deleted), we get the best photos and they stop looking at those individual features we all have and occasionally hate about our faces.
Remember headshot truth #1: know the purpose of the photo. A professional headshot should show you looking friendly, confident, and approachable. Not that you have really skinny arms. If you get too caught up in trying to look “perfect,” you’ll lose sight of the real reason you need this photo, whether it’s a bio photo for your website to attract new clients, or a LinkedIn profile photo for your job search.
Remember headshot truth #2: no one looks at photos of you the way you look at photos of you. A good headshot should have people thinking “man, he looks friendly,” FULL STOP. Nine times out of ten when someone in our studio has said, “oh man my eye/ear/hair/nostril/mouth/cheek/shoulder/top button of my shirt looks weird, we didn’t see it at all. It’s perfectly understandable to have eagle eyes for our photos: we’ve all seen hundreds of photos of ourselves over our lifetime and as soon as we see even just one where our nose looks weird or our eyes look puffy, it’s the first thing we check to make sure isn’t happening with this new photo. But NO ONE ELSE DOES THIS when they see a photo of you. So just make sure you look happy, confident, and friendly, and as long as your photographer is checking for hair sticking up or anything weird enough on your shirt to be distracting, you’re good.
If you’re still struggling with feeling like you look natural in your photos, pretend to be more confident than you are. Do something before the shoot or during the shoot that gives you fake-it-until-you-make-it confidence. There’s science behind forcing yourself to smile when you’re sad: it actually makes you feel happier. So apply that idea to confidence. Stand up taller. Wear that pair of shoes that makes you feel fancy. Get your nails done or put on cologne even those things aren’t in the photo—you’ll feel more put together and camera ready.
In another way to help answer the question, “should I add a hair and makeup artist to my headshot session?” we’ve put together some comparison images. Our hair and makeup artists are trained specifically in makeup for photography, and this will demonstrate how professional makeup looks on camera when compared to how we apply our everyday makeup. Pro makeup for photography is designed to look natural, while enhancing our natural features and pulling focus away from blemishes and irregularities in our skin tone.
In these photos we had two brave volunteers (thank you again, ladies!) start with no makeup, then makeup they applied themselves as they usually do and placed their hair how they normally wear it every day; and then finally, a professional makeup artist applied their makeup and styled their hair for camera. There was no retouching done on these images:
Everyone stop what you’re doing and look at some before and after photos of our studio bathroom! I know it doesn’t sound terribly exciting to most people; but we’re really excited about it.
We wanted the new bathroom to have a vintage feel with a modern twist, to match the look and feel of the studio itself, with its modern conveniences, cool style, and original timber beams.
The vintage door comes from a salvage supply, while the vanity and shelving alcove were custom built using reclaimed wood from our friends at The Square Nail down the street. And a special thanks to our awesome illustrator friend Natalie Nguyen, who designed our custom “how to tie a tie” poster, and our pals at Chicago Sign Systems for printing it!