Categories for Chicago Photographer

Is a headshot tax deductible?

March 2, 2020 Published by . Leave your thoughts

Learn the situations where you can write off photography on your tax return

Professional headshots are an important part of your career, whether you’re searching for a job, starting out or promoting yourself as an established freelancer, or putting together marketing materials for your business. But when are headshots a business expense? Being able to deduct expenses on your taxes is a great perk for some situations, and an absolute must for others.

So we asked Illinois and Indiana licensed CPA Michael Tunney everything you need to know about deducting the cost of headshots and photography services, and man did we learn a lot! Check out his answers to our burning tax questions:

Is my headshot for LinkedIn tax deductible if I am searching for a new job?

Not anymore. In December of 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law. This new tax law completely eliminated the Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses deduction for 2018 through 2025. This deduction was included as part of the Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions section of the 1040, and job search related costs were recorded on this schedule. However, there are a handful of states that still include this break, including Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and New York.

If my employer asks for a headshot but does not pay for it, can I deduct my headshot on my income tax return?

Just like the above scenario, no.  If a taxpayer is an employee the Unreimbursed Employee Business Expense section of the 1040 has been eliminated and is only included on certain states income tax returns.

Is a headshot or any marketing photos I have taken of me tax deductible if I am a self-employed freelancer and do not have an LLC or Corporation?

Yes! If a tax payer is self-employed and not an LLC, LLP, Partnership or Corporation, the individual would complete a Schedule C Form-Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship).  On this form, the taxpayer would be able to include headshots (photographers fees and duplication costs) and marketing photos on the “Other Expenses” section of the Schedule C of the 1040 form.

Is a makeup artist or a haircut tax deductible for my headshot session?

Yes, if the taxpayer is self-employed and not an employee of a company.  Expenses directly related to the headshot session, such as makeup and a haircut are deductible as a business expense.  If clothing is purchased or rented for a special shoot, a tax payer can also deduct those “props” as a business expense.

I own a business– can my business deduct the cost of a photographer’s services?

Yes, if a tax payer is a partner of a partnership or a shareholder/owner of a corporation and the photographer’s services are used by the business for marketing purposes, headshots (photographer’s fees and duplication costs) can be deducted as a business expense.

Book your Chicago headshot session with Organic Headshots here, or reach out to Michael Tunney’s office for your tax questions!

Favorite shots of 2019

January 5, 2020 Published by . Leave your thoughts

Can we talk about how hard it was to choose only a handful of photos for our annual “favorite shots” collection of 2019?  Because it literally took hours to widdle it down from hundreds to just about 30.  HUNDREDS.

We met SO many awesome people and got so many awesome portrait and event shots of them looking awesome and doing awesome things.  Check out some of our favorite photos from last year as we polish our lenses and hit the ground running in 2020!

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If you’re ready to start 2020 with an awesome new headshot, check out our rates and book a session online!

We’re adding to our team!

December 17, 2019 Published by . Leave your thoughts

Organic Headshots is growing and we’re looking to add to our team! We’re a headshot and corporate event studio, and most of our clients are organizations big and small needing executive portraits, and individuals and entrepreneurs needing awesome headshots of their awesome faces.

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WHO WE ARE: We are highly organized and efficient, but pride ourselves in not being a robotic volume studio. Everyone who steps in front of our camera is treated like a superstar and gets an individualized experience, so we need people who will honor our attention to detail, our desire to please our awesome clients, and our commitment to teamwork.

Organic Headshots has been in business for 14 years and is proudly certified as a woman-owned business, and is a non-discriminatory workplace. We are LGBTQ+ friendly and do not tolerate sexism, racism, or bigotry of any kind from each other or from our clients.

WHO WE NEED: A studio manager, a photo assistant, and a photographer. This could be 1, 2, or 3 people total, depending on the opportunity and your skill set. Maybe you’re exclusively the studio manager. Maybe you start assisting and learn the ropes to become a photographer. Maybe you wear all three hats and they all look SO fetch on you.

Organic Headshots teamThe studio manager serves as the face of the studio for new and prospective clients. You are a warm, inviting soul who talks new clients through the booking and shooting process, manages the schedules of the photographers and makeup artists, and answers phone calls and emails related to scheduling, pricing, and what we do and do not photograph. Must love organization and spreadsheets. You can work remotely, and although client phone calls, emails, and messages must be answered and returned in a timely fashion, the hours are flexible.

The photo assistant assists on larger shoots where an extra set of hands are needed to set up and break down gear, and to be a friendly and welcoming face for shoots with large numbers of people being photographed: keeping people and paperwork organized, and is always smiling.

The photographer takes awesome photos of our awesome clients. Some portrait experience is preferred, but we’re a teaching studio and we can Yoda you into our Jedi knight if you have a sharp eye and a willingness to learn and grow. We shoot with both studio strobes and natural light so you must be comfortable with both and with mixing them. You’ll need your own camera and lenses, but we have plenty of lighting and everything else. Preferred camera package is either Canon or Nikon (Canon 5D Mark IV / Nikon D750/D850 or equivalent), with lens lengths in zooms or primes ranging from 70mm to 200mm. You must LOVE people and working closely with our clients to get great photos that they will love. Every time you raise your camera to photograph someone, it must be a personal goal to do your best to get great photos of them. If you get a rush of endorphins when someone says “I look good in that photo!” then you’re our person.

WHAT WE PAY: Well. We pay well. Everyone who works here stays here because we take pride in paying everyone as highly as the business can afford, because we believe your skills have value and you deserve compensation reflective of that value. You would be a 1099 contractor and do your own taxes.  All of these positions are part time and flexible, with the potential to move to full or nearly full time as we keep growing.

If this sounds like a team you want to join, email michelle@organicheadshots.com with a resume, link to a portfolio (if applicable), and a little bit about yourself.

LOOK HOW COOL WE ARE YOU SHOULD JOIN US:

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Happy Holidays from everyone at Organic Headshots!

December 9, 2019 Published by . Leave your thoughts

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2019 has been a great year for our photo studio. We’ve had the privilege of photographing amazingly beautiful, talented, gracious, fantastic superstars, including you.

Thank you for continuing to choose us to create photos for you, and the whole team at Organic Headshots wishes you the happiest holiday season!

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Personal branding photography: SO hot right now

May 9, 2019 Published by . Leave your thoughts

You may have heard the phrase, “personal branding photography” whispered between marketers, publicists, or influencers lately.  Or maybe you’ve seen photos on Instagram or company websites and thought, “how do they get so many great, magazine-worthy shots for their social media pages?  That was so NOT taken with an iPhone.”  Welcome to the newest photography trend: Personal Branding Photography.

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What is Personal Branding Photography?

Simply put: Personal Branding shots are lifestyle images, creative portraiture, and in-action shots of you looking awesome.  A Personal Branding Photography shoot is for professionals utilizing photography to create and build their brand.  We all know that having images to support your online presence is a key factor in your business’s growth: don’t just tell potential clients who you are and what you do, show them.  Personal Branding Photos depict you in your element.  If you’re a personal stylist, you need photos of you wearing the latest fashion and looking fabulous, action shots of you shopping for your clients, or images of you consulting with a client on their own style.  A great Personal Branding Photo tells the story of your strengths and sells a potential client on why they need you, better than a thousand words ever could.

Why is Personal Branding Photography so hot right now?

With so much content online and in print today, we are all looking for images that perfectly reflect and summarize our message and grab attention quickly, and it’s now easier, more fun, and gaining in popularity to use custom professional photos to do so.  And everyone is getting much less humble in how they depict themselves in images.  With so many people competing for space and attention, you have to be less humble: you have to flaunt who you are and your pride in what you do in order for others to share that same excitement.  If you see two listings in Google for personal trainers, and one is a standard headshot, while the other is a photo of Buff McBuffCakes flexing his muscles while spotting Strong McFlexHot while she deadlifts 250lbs, which listing are you likely to click on?

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How can a marketer apply Personal Branding Photography to their company?

Personal Branding Photography, for good reason, has been starting its reign of popularity among entrepreneurs and small business owners, because they are usually the face of their business and need to sell themselves as the product.  Realtors, consultants, financial advisers, lifestyle bloggers, artists, event planners, writers, interior designers, life coaches, and so forth.

But a larger business often must showcase its people to show the world who they are too.  After all, your staff and your leadership are the backbone of your organization and the real value you bring to clients.  How often does the CFO perform speaking engagements representing your company and she’s scrambling for a photo to send to the organizers the day before the event?  How often do you need action shots of the CEO for internal newsletters, marketing materials, or something more interesting to hand a journalist when they ask for some photos to accompany a story about your company?

Or worse yet, how many times has a story run in a magazine and the CEO absolutely HATES their cover photo the publication-sent journalism student has taken?  A Personal Branding Photography shoot is an important investment in the marketing materials you use every day.  Having a stockpile of great photos of your important people on hand for publications, social media, your website, internal communications, and reports not only saves a lot of headache when you’re on a deadline, but gives you great creative control over your company’s brand.

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Where do I go for Personal Branding Photography?

Personal Branding Photos are a growing trend in the photography industry, so make sure you find a professional photographer with experience in marketing and branding photography, as well as portraiture.  Make sure their portfolio reflects skill not only in their subjects looking their best (everyone’s hair looks good, posing is flattering, and smiles are natural), but that they demonstrate an understanding of capturing images that tell a story.

Work with your photographer to organize a shoot that meets your needs.  Tell him or her what kind of images you need and share ideas with them on how to get those photos.  A good Personal Branding Photographer will be able to take a list of must-have photos and/or a brain dump of the uses you need the photos for and a description of your company and design a shoot that captures what you need.

Find more information on our Personal Branding Photography packages here!