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Don’t look shiny in your photos.

August 21, 2013 Published by . Leave your thoughts

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.


Headshots of flowers. And a kitty. And a dog.

August 5, 2013 Published by . Leave your thoughts

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…

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207 Headshots in 12 hours

July 29, 2013 Published by . Leave your thoughts



Last week PepsiCo was in town for a series of annual sales meetings and marketing sessions with employees representing many of their different brands from across the country.  What does this have to do with me?  I took their photos.  As part of the event a headshot station was offered, where people could have their headshot quickly taken and sent to them later.  After 12 hours of nearly non-stop shutter-clicking, I had taken 207 people’s photos and pushed that shutter button 2,568 times.


peps3When I was done I took one hell of a nap.  But the result is spectacular: 207 matching headshots done at break-neck speed, and a new personal record for number of headshots taken in one day!


I get a lot of requests for matching staff photos and I usually head to a client’s office and take their headshots over the course of a few days, depending on the size of the firm.  But occasionally a company has all of their members from different national offices in one place and needs their headshots taken all at once and as quickly as possible.


I’ve created a workflow that’s scalable for every situation which varies from 20-minutes per person and viewing their photos to choose one during the session itself (which clients love, since they don’t have to chase down dozens of people to choose their photos later), all the way to about 1.5 minutes per person, while still keeping track of who’s who and organizing their photos later into galleries or individually marked folders.


I had a great time at the PepsiCo event and met at least 207 amazing people.  Sometimes I just absolutely LOVE my job.  And I may or may not be calling Guinness to see if I happened to set an actual record…


Photos in a hospital

May 24, 2013 Published by . 1 Comment

Yesterday I visited my Friend Richard in the hospital.  He was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma, and although he’s going to be a-okay, he started a pretty unappetizing smorgasbord of tests and treatment.  Yesterday was his first day of chemotherapy, and he took it like a champ!  He joked around with his friend Nelson and I, and scarfed down a plate of Chinese food between drug treatments.  At the risk of sounding like a hippie, Richard has an amazing spirit.  With his wonderful attitude he’s going to be back on his feet in no time.  Good luck, Richard, and we all hope you’re feeling better soon!


An amazing event this week!

May 16, 2013 Published by . Leave your thoughts

This week I dropped by a private corporate event for Hutchison Global Communications, a Hong Kong telecommunications group, which they were hosting during a large telecommunications event in the Loop.  I was asked to photograph the event which had some amazing musical entertainment, an incredible traditional mask-changing performance, and some great people!