Saturday, September 01, 2018

The List: Preparing for your Professional Portrait

Staff Portraits: The Optical Society

Preparing for Your Portrait Session

Small details matter when planning your portrait photography session.  Below are a few hits experience has shown contribute to the best possible results


Keep clothing simple. Clothing should highlight your face and personality without being distractive.  Your mode of dress should make you feel good.  It should be representative of your professional environment. 
For Success Magazine
  • Solid color clothes are often better for your photo.
  • Designs, patterns, and bright colors can distract unless your business is fashion, then all bets are off. 
  • Dark clothing minimizes body size.  Light colored clothing accentuates body size
  • Most people wear long sleeves in photos unless they are athletes.  Athletes might consider more form-fitting clothing that highlights their physique.
  • Subjects with short necks and a fuller face may discover V-neck styles flatter them.  Conversely, subjects with longer necks and slender faces should consider a higher neck shirt or top or scarf.
  • Full length portraits require clothing coordination from head to toe.  The tonal range of your clothing should be consistent. 
  • It is wise to alway bring additional clothing items in the case something happens, you spot it or your first choice doesn't look right photographed. 
  • Avoid shiny clothing that can reflect back into the photograph. 
  • Avoid clothes with padded shoulders. 
  • If you wear glasses, they should have non-reflective lenses.  It not possible, reflections can be minimized or eliminated by the photographer through the use of changing angles that eliminate the catch light.
  • Group shots should keep all these items in consideration.  Coordinate clothing style, (casual or formal) tonal range consistent (dark or light), and solids.


For Indiana University
Alumni Magazine
A few days before your shoot, drink plenty of water. Properly hydrated skin photographs better.  Get a good night's sleep; Photoshop adjustments can only do so much!  Practice facial expressions in the mirror.  Be aware how your smile appears.  Too many teeth? Eyes squinting? What is your "best" side.  Your best side should be closer to the camera.  Do you have a favored hairline?  Stand straight or sit straight, it elongates you.  Slouchers look heavier on camera.  Put your hands where they are comfortable, the photographer will help you.

  Moments before the First Shot

2017 Miss USA Kara McCullough 
Check your look.  Clothes straight? Take a breath to relax.  Look in the mirror.  Hair in place? Makeup applied correctly? Tie straight?  Scarf in place? Clothes wrinkle free? Lint rolled?  Be confident, YOU ARE READY!

Your photographer will help you look your best.  Relax and have fun.  Preparation gives you the assurance and self confidence that you will radiate in your finished portrait

For more information, contact Larry Levin.
Click on images to see larger.  
Larry Levin works as freelance as a photographer, photographing portraits and events, conferences and meetings for for corporate, association, and NGO clients in Washington, DC. (and wherever people send him.)  

Why You Need a Professional Portrait

Shot for The Optical Society 
In a time not so long ago, but somehow eons away, control of personal images and of positive impressions that reflect your personal brand was easy.  It was a time “Before Social Media.”  Today, all kinds of casual images can emerge from almost anywhere “on the Internet.” 

These new technological developments demand you take action to assure that the dominant images of the professional person you are reflect a brand you feel comfortable broadcasting to the world.  You need to control your professional images (as much as possible) whenever a potential new business partner searches your name on the web.

Shot for Success Magazine
Top-quality professional portraits are critical investments that help define your professional uniqueness and career status. Think about the internet and about other locations your image will likely appear.   You should control “first impressions” that brand you as trustworthy, capable and personable. The images should make you feel confident.  A professionally produced image can silently proclaim your best personal brand and your company’s embrace of great customer service.  

Professional images allow the caring, trusting, friendly, professional person you are to shine through. These can be used with publications, in marketing materials, on professional websites, while using social media, and as part of professional profiles. 

Clients and employers, today, are visually literate. They absorb good photography.  Random, low-quality images shot without care, translate to impressions that shout a lack of detail awareness, unprofessionalism, and careless definition of your professional brand.  Potential new employers or possible new business partners can be needlessly frightened away.  

Shot for
German American Business Council
Your quality portrait (at least every other year) underscores your up-to-date approach to your brand.  It is recommended you locate a top professional photographer. Examine their catalog of work. Interview them to assure they are friendly, flexible, professional, and fun to be around.  

Flexibility is especially vital. Arranging photo shoot(s) can be logistically challenging. Do they listen to your needs?  Do they make suggestions about how to achieve your goals? 

Having your photo made can be stressful, but working with a photographer who displays a fun personality and shows necessary patience can make the experience a positive one.  

Negotiate a fair price for your images.  Avoid unpleasant surprises, but always remember you get what you pay for.   The price you pay is for the experience, expertise and specialized equipment of your chosen photographic artist.  He or she shapes how the world sees your “best first impression.” 

'LinkedIn'  portraits made at a conference
For more information, contact Larry Levin.
Click on images to see larger.  
Larry Levin works as freelance as a photographer, photographing portraits and events, conferences and meetings for for corporate, association, and NGO clients in Washington, DC. (and wherever people send him.)