January 2, 2019
Happy New Year! 2018 was a great year for Organic Headshots– thank you to all of our amazing clients over the years, who continue to choose us as their photography studio. We’re so honored to photograph everyone who comes through our doors and happy to keep shooting up a photo storm in 2019!
Let’s look back at some of our favorite shots from 2018:
If you’re ready to book your headshot session for 2019, do it today!
April 20, 2018
There’s nothing that keeps a person away from a photo studio better than a past photo that didn’t turn out so well. Such was the case with our friend, Jon. His partner was a past client of ours for his (dare we say awesome) professional headshots, and every month like clockwork they would have some iteration of this conversation:
“You need a headshot!”
“I have a headshot.”
“Where is it? You don’t have it on LinkedIn or anywhere!”
“Well I don’t like it.”
He finally dragged him to our studio to take an updated headshot and Jon showed us the photo he had taken in the past:
“I don’t like this photo for two main reasons,” he said, “it was taken from below, which makes me look like a towering, tall giant, and I feel like it looks like I have about a thousand extra chins. It’s just not flattering.”
One of our favorite things to do is to beat old headshots with better ones. And the best way to do that is to identify what it is about the old photos that aren’t up to snuff, and then do the opposite. For Jon, that meant two things: 1. Don’t take the photo from below (easy), and 2. Make sure you can see his jawline in the photo (also easy). Then we did what we always do: coach our subject into several different poses, smiles, and angles so there are plenty of options to choose from.
Here’s the result:
We crafted the lighting to form some strategic shadows that did a better job of hugging the features of his face to form some shape, without making it look like he’s hiding behind any shadows. We also posed him into more relaxed poses, to get rid of that “welcome to the DMV” straight-forward effect of the old photo, which helped bring out more of his personality.
If you’ve got an old headshot you don’t like, don’t let it scare you into running away from all professional photographers! Book a headshot session with a photographer who has a strong portfolio of natural-looking headshots you like, and bring your crummy photo to the session. Talk to the photographer about what you don’t like about it, what you’re looking for in a new headshot, and work together to take new photos you can be proud of.
If you’re ready for your close-up, book your Chicago headshot online with Organic Headshots today! It’s not as painful as you think. We promise.
March 11, 2018
So many folks swing by our studio for professional headshots to update their LinkedIn profile, so we chatted with our friend Susie to get some job search tips. Susie Grant is a Human Resources Business Partner. With an extensive background in human resources and recruiting, Grant has experience in HR advisory, employee relations, developing sourcing strategies, and staff forecasting. She sat down to offer some insight into what HR professionals look for in job candidates and how your professional presence (both in person and online) can impact your ability to land your next gig.
Q: What are your top tips for job searchers?
It is certainly an industry cliché, but getting noticed is the first—and arguably most important—step. I think what is most important to remember here is while your resume plays a big role, social media is becoming increasingly more important. Recruiters and HR professionals are continuing to rely on networks like LinkedIn, Indeed and Glass Door when vetting candidates for interviews. We’ll go into some of that more in a bit.
Outside of polishing up your professional presence online, I also love the following tips:
- Keep it concise: Different industries have different standards, but most of the time you want to stick to a one or two-page resume.
- Tailor your story: Don’t just toss your name into the hat and hope it sticks. Review and revise your resume for each application and tell the most thorough story about why you are right for the job.
- Do your homework: Study the job board and find a position that really speaks to your interest. Before you apply, consider if you really want this job, and what you can do to convey that in your application. The more strategic you are about where you apply, the less often you’ll have to do it!
- Bring your ideas: Talk about what kind of impact you’ve made in your current role. Whether this is process change, innovative ideas or creative solutions to challenges, telling that story (with numbers, if you can!) makes a huge impact on future employers.
- Make a list, check it twice: Nothing is more important than proofing. It sounds obvious, but having an error-free resume and application goes a long way!
Q: Anything job candidates should make sure not to do?
A little common sense in an interview is a must! Of course, interviewers understand this is a stressful situation, but this is also your time to shine. Present with confidence when talking about your skills, why you want this new position and why you would be a good fit. Think about how to convey that you either (1) know you are going to be good at this role or (2) what about you indicates you can be easily trained for this position.
Q: What kind of role does a headshot play when you’re looking at job candidates?
This is where social media has made a huge impact on the recruiting field. How you present yourself with a headshot online is more important than ever, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. With the rise of networks like LinkedIn, it’s pretty easy to be a passive jobseeker online. If you’re connected to the right people and are actively updating your profile, recruiters will start coming to you.
That said, consider the fact that (not to sound too creepy here) someone is always watching! Make sure your headshot is up-to-date and that your profile online is complete. It makes you seem more polished and approachable.
While there’s nothing wrong with a traditional, shoulders-up headshot think about ways you can get creative, if it works for your industry. If you’re in a field like banking, sales, or law, you may not want to stray too far from the traditional look, but if you’re in a creative field, think about ways you can change up your wardrobe or let your personality shine through.
It doesn’t need to be the best photo you’ve ever taken, but putting a little thought into your photo selection is important! No matter what, I don’t suggest cropping yourself out of a photo from a night out with your friends…no matter how good the lighting is. J
Q: How can someone be sure they are memorable? Anything that makes them memorable in a bad way?
If you’re using a professional photographer for your headshot, which I would highly recommend, make sure you come prepared to communicate exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re willing to step outside the box a little, give them an example or tell them what you’re hoping to achieve with your photo. Taking a moment to brainstorm will ensure you’re comfortable with the photo you get and that it really captures the personality you’d like to display on your professional profile.
Think about it this way: you want convey relevant parts of your personality. Relaying things like creativity, confidence and an outgoing personality are a plus. Things like your love of reptiles, your massive action figure collection and your dirt bike skills…maybe not relevant. Be you, be confident, but do it in a way that makes sense for the job you want!
Whether it’s a more traditional headshot or something on the creative side, if I see a qualified candidate has taken the time to create a complete online profile, I can usually be confident they are a dedicated candidate and are serious about their career.
If you’re in a job search and need a professional LinkedIn profile photo, book your headshot session today!
July 31, 2014
Jeanne Kalinowski dropped by for headshots early this month and mentioned a website called Photofeeler.com, where you can have other people rate the profile photos you plan to use for LinkedIn or other places. It works as a tool to choose a photo: other people who have never met you or seen either you or your photo before rate your photo on how competent, likable, and influential you appear to be.
WHY HAVE I NOT HEARD OF THIS WEBSITE BEFORE? THIS IS AWESOME.
“We created PhotoFeeler so that a misleading or unflattering photo never comes between good people and opportunity,” as their website says. The site goes on to describe the importance of a first impression and how people make their decisions and draw conclusions about you instantaneously, based on the first photo they see of you on social media.
THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING FOR YEARS! Sorry for shouting- I’m just so excited. I take a lot of headshots for professionals who are in transition and searching for their new job or entrepreneurs searching for their own clients, and I tell them that more often than not, the first time someone “meets” them it’s online through their LinkedIn
profile, Facebook photos, bio page of your website, Google+ profile, or even a Google search. So the first time they see you they’re actually seeing your photo. So it’s important to have a good headshot. Duh.
You’ve heard it a million times that “you only have one chance to make a good first impression” and nowadays that first impression isn’t actually you, but a photo of you on the internet. Our lives are so intertwined with working and communicating virtually (through email, online research, social media profiles), that psychologically we’re actually believing we’ve “met” someone when we read their bio and see their photo on their website. It’s important to have a good headshot of you that does two things: 1. looks a hell of a lot like you (so when they meet you in person they know it’s you); and 2. gives people a good first impression of you.
If you’ve got a crummy group photo on the beach that you cropped everything out but your sunburned face and using it as your LinkedIn profile, it’s going to give the first impression of, “I’m on the beach. This is me on the beach… if you can see my face through the sunglasses, that is.” But if you have a professional headshot with perfect lighting, flattering poses, an approachable, confident smile, and polished attire, it gives the first impression of, “I’m put together, friendly, confident, know what I’m talking about, and am important enough to have a professional photo taken of me.
But don’t just listen to me… the proof is in the PhotoFeeler pudding. Check out the ratings Jeanne got on the snapshot she was using on LinkedIn before her Organic Headshots session, and then the professional headshots she walked away with earlier this month. There’s no question which photos give complete strangers a better first impression. Thanks Jeanne for sharing the results of your experiment!
July 1, 2014
Sometimes I get a strange look when I ask people I’m about to photograph what line of work they’re in and what they plan to use the headshot for. I think they’re thinking, “what does it matter? Just take my photo so I can get out of here and get a doughnut.” At least that’s what I’m thinking when I have my photo taken…
But there is method to my madness, I promise. It’s important for me to know what you plan to use the photo for, to help me choose the best backdrop, lighting, and posing. A litigation attorney’s headshot should look much different from an addiction counselor’s headshot, for example. Even for actors- if you’re auditioning for more comedies than dramas, a headshot with you smiling and laughing will go further in communicating that than a Steppenwolf-style brooding photo.
Yesterday I took Amanda’s headshot and asked her where she plans to use the photo. She mentioned it would be for a new website she’s designing for her law office, so I asked to see what it looks like so I can choose a backdrop color that will go with the color scheme of the website. And I’m glad I did! There is a lot of gray in the website and if I went with a standard gray backdrop for her photo, the grays might be different tones and clash with each other. And it would be an awful lot of gray on one website.
So I grabbed some yellow and amber gels, put them on the backlight for a white backdrop, and VIOLA! A yellow/orange gradient that matches the yellow/orange gradient in the navigation bar of the website. The result is an awesome headshot (she just happens to look great with warm tones), that looks like it was tailor-made for the website.