Headshots – 5 Things You Must Consider Before Getting Your Headshots Taken

If you are looking to have a great career in acting, you must first have a great photo. Use the following tips to help you get a great shot.

1. Choose A Photographer Based On Your Comfort Level With Them.Pick a photographer that makes you feel comfortable. You should feel at ease with your photographer. If you don’t, you won’t trust their expertise and directions. And your uneasiness will show up in your pictures. A good photographer will work to make sure that you shine and are comfortable throughout the entire process.

2. Get Your Shots Done By A Professional. Do not let your friends take your headshot. While your friend may mean well, unless they are an experienced photographer, they won’t understand all the factors that need to be captured to present you at your best. An experienced photographer has heard input from many actors, agents, and casting directors throughout their many years of shooting. They can use this knowledge to capture what agents and casting directors are looking for. Can the same be said of your friend?

3. Have Your Make Done. That Includes Men. Actor headshots look better in makeup including men headshots. NYC casting directors seem to prefer color photos. Photos done in color reveal more imperfections than black and white photos. It is important to make sure the makeup only enhances your natural features and does not change you into someone that represents a part that you’ll never go out for. Choose natural makeup over glamorous makeup, and you’ll go a long way in getting a great photo. Your picture must look like you.

4. Know What To Wear. Consider the parts you will be up for. Your photo should be representative of the parts you are more likely to go audition for. Your first impression is made with your picture. So make sure it represents your range accurately. Also consider doing multiple looks within one session. This will ensure that you will be well prepared to compete for a multitude of parts.

5. Know Yourself. The day of your photo shoot is not the day to test a new hair style, or skincare product. Try to keep your routine as regular as possible to avoid potential complications on the day of your shoot. If you are considering trying something different, give yourself ample time to recover just in case your experiment doesn’t go well.

There are many other factors that go into making a great picture but those are enough to get you started.

Do Business Degrees In Photography Work?

Most photography schools offer business degrees in photography but many photographers wonder whether such a course is useful or not. Photography is not just a form of art but it is a science and business at the same time. To become a successful photographer, you need to know the creative and scientific aspects of photography so that you can create wonderful photographs. However, you also need good business knowledge to sell these photographs. If you have noticed, most of the masterpiece photographs were never sold!

In photography interviews and many discussion forums, you can see many people claiming that photography is a passion for them but this passion is not enough to generate sales. Many photographers fail because they can’t distinguish their passion for photography and the need to sell those pictures.

As an amateur photographer, you probably shoot almost every subject but for professional photography this idea will not work out. You need to choose your niche because the customers come to photographers who cater some of the most specific subjects. A good photography course will help you to choose the right niche and market yourself in that niche.

For a good business photography degree, marketing techniques are the major part of its curriculum.

Market Research- Market research is something that you learn in a photography business degree. You will research and find out the niches that are currently on demand. For different photography niches, different level of investment and time is required. With market research, you can choose a niche that suits you the best.

Presentation- Stock photography and wedding photography are two famous niches in professional photography. However, the marketing and sales procedure for both is completely different. It is very hard for a stock photographer to succeed in wedding photography with the marketing techniques that he/she uses for stock.

In wedding photography, clicking photographs are just a part of the job but everything from your costumes to the presentation (photo albums) are very important. For stock photography, your personality and presentation has nothing to do with selling photographs but other elements such as key wording and various licenses do.

Marketing- Marketing tools in photography business have changed a lot in the last decade. A personal website, social media profile and a blog ensures your presence on internet. However, it is imperative to learn how to market yourself through these new media platforms. Traditional marketing tools such as business cards and gifts also work well. A good course will teach you how to use these techniques for your success.

There is no doubt that a professional photography business degree from any of the well-known photography schools can be the best resource for any photographer’s marketing success. A successful photographer should not only learn to click masterpiece pictures but also how to sell them. With the right marketing techniques, photography is one of the safest career that someone can opt and the creative side of it is fascinating.

How To Start A Photography Business – Knowing When You’re Really Ready And Knowing Other Differences

Here’s a question: How do you know when you’re ready to start a photography business? Answer: When you ‘know’ that you ‘know’ (the doublespeak is for emphasis) the difference between your artistic photography skills and your understanding of business. Knowing the difference makes the difference between success and failure when you start any type of business, for that matter.

Tip #1

Think about it, the art of taking pictures is getting easier and easier – especially with the advancement of technology. Digital technology has made photography so easy that it appears that everybody and their brothers and their sisters are photographers! Such ease makes photography a very popular attraction and very compelling to start a photo biz.

But, what many budding photographers fail to realize and take seriously is that: Business is Business. Whether selling teddy bears, cell phones or photography, the business principles are the same. And they are basic and simple (not easy – simple). Successful photographers aren’t necessarily the most skilled. They understand and practice the basic and simple principles of running a photography business. They also don’t confuse the quality of their photography with the need to plan, market and operate their photography business.

Don’t be confused! You must consistently produce top-notch quality products and photographic services. Constantly improving your skills is critical. So is the learning and consistent practice of business principles. If you don’t consistently practice the necessary business principles, budding photographers that do know the difference and practice the principles will get the customers and the business that should be yours. If you fail to practice the principles you will fail at your photography business attempts. Period. You will be another charter member of the ‘starving artist’ club! There’s a reason why they’re ‘starving!’

Once you do start a picture-taking business, every day that you’re in business there’s opportunity to grow and prosper, and the chance to stagnate and fail. Your being clear on the difference between photography practices and business practices determine the success of your photography business more than your photographic skills and talents. Be sure to spend as much time developing your photography skills as you do your business (marketing, self-promotion activities, for example) skills and you will find success.

Compliment vs Reality – Tip #2

Most budding photographers have this experience: a good friend, family member or neighbor sees a photograph and ‘raves’ how good it looks and how ‘valuable’ it ‘should’ be! Somewhere in their raving they proclaim, “you should sell that, you’ll probably make a lot of money!” Red flag warning! What is given as a compliment of your photograph is instantly translated to your having a “diamond” that you can sell and that will change your ‘status’ in life. Here’s a test: the next time you receive such a ‘compliment,’ do this: thank them and then ask them how much are they willing to pay you for the photo? I promise you that the same ‘expert’ that just raved about your valuable artwork will pass on the ‘opportunity’ to grab up your ‘valuable’ artistic photo. In the photography business value is determined by other criteria than a compliment or two. Knowing the difference contributes to your success in business.

Develop your knowledge and skill and your confidence as a photographer will dramatically increase. Likewise with business: develop and practice basic business principles and your confidence as a successful professional photographer will dramatically increase. I promise.

Research Builds Confidence – Tip #3

Do your research. Go online and read the available research on the business of photography. Read before you buy. Online research is just a click away. Take your time. Take advantage of free and easily available information online. If you choose to buy something offered, determine what goals you want to accomplish and ask yourself will what you’re buying help you to really meet your goals. Avoid the resources that promise and guarantee you that you can make $200 – $300 a day overnight – for obvious reasons. Also, there are no “secrets that the pros don’t want you to know!” There is information that you do not know now. But, isn’t information that is unknowable or impossible to find out – they’re just unknown to you at this time. Do your research. Besides, if they’re for sale, how “secret” can they be? Do your research

In the business of photography, it is more profitable to specialize. Specialization (also referred to as your “photography niche”) is how your customers will find you. Another development of technology is how customers – those who can afford and are willing to spend money for photography – find the photography that they buy. They look for something specific (in photographer speak that means “photography niche”). Go online and do a search on “photography niche” and take advantage of the information available. Remember, read before you buy; there are no “secrets that the pros don’t want you to know;” and great photography does not sell itself. In the world of business, nothing does.

For business purposes, go online and do a search on different business topics that you want more information about. For example, do a search for “photography marketing” or “marketing for photographers” or “amateur photography tips” or “how to sell photos online” or “how to start a photography business” etc. etc. Read before you buy.

Know And Start Where You Are And Be ‘Sincere’ – Tip #4

Start where you are with the equipment that you have. If you don’t have a photography studio don’t take on photography jobs that require a studio. Don’t be all things to all people – remember, specialize (research “photography niche” – you’ll be head and shoulders above the majority of your competition). If you feel that you have to purchase equipment to take on a job – that’s a red flag that you’re not ready, yet. In successful photography, the profit is in the “photography niche” and your understanding of that simple difference.

Doing your research will prepare you for one of the biggest challenges most photographers have – pricing. The challenge of knowing exactly what to charge stops most of us in our tracks. It shouldn’t! Do your research. Search “photography pricing,” for example. The information is available and most of it is free. Remember, read before you buy.

In my opinion, there really is no one criteria needed to start a profitable photo business. However, my experience has convinced me that self-confidence is the most significant asset a photographer in business can possess. You develop that self-confidence by knowing what you know and knowing what you don’t know – and being crystal clear on the difference. Confidence is gained by knowing the necessary criteria needed and knowing that you possess the knowledge and skills to consistently accomplish tasks in a satisfactory manner.

Research, develop and practice both your photography knowledge and skills as well as your photography business knowledge and skills.

Finally, when vaudevillian, George Burns, was asked what was the secret to his successful career, he responded – “sincerity, be sincere – even if you have to fake it!”

Overconfidence in Online Dating, Yikes!

Confidence in dating is good. However, when it comes to online dating, being overly confident can be deadly. As a NYC matchmaker, I discourage my clients from believing that people have to accept them as they are. That is just plain cocky. If you have a face and body like Angelina Joie or Brad Pitt, you can probably prove me wrong. But everyone else, those of us who are mere mortals, can probably do a few things to bring out our inner “hotties.” After all, why should a perfect stranger be expected to accept you as you are if you are not presenting yourself at your best? The fact is, in the world of online matchmaking you’ re not giving anyone the benefit of getting to know you or accepting you unless they can first be attracted or intrigued by you.

Many Hollywood celebrities are basically just “us” with a bit of polish added. Without mentioning names, there are those that would go unnoticed without a bit of hair, makeup, clothes, and lighting. Lighting is especially important for mere mortals. It brings out charms that we never thought we had. In New York City you can find photographers who do headshots for about $100. If you want to know where they are, ask any struggling actor or actress. OK, so here is where being confident is important in online dating. One has to go for it. If you are looking for a prince or princess, then have the courage to dress like one. Take a risk, stand out. Find a stylish look and bring it with you to your photo shoot. The law of attraction basically says that like attracts like. That is, tasteful will usually attract tasteful, sporty will attract sporty and so on.

Trust me, the “you” with a bit of polish is still you. It is the you that is shrewd. We all have flaws and insecurities, but they don’t fully tell our whole story. Some may want to broadcast them upfront so that they might not be rejected later. That idea sounds good on paper, but in real life, “it isn’t necessarily so!” The same singles who send me pictures of themselves with comb-overs and dumpy outfits are the ones who chose attractive singles who took the time to present themselves in the best light. They seldom pick their dumpy unkempt counterpart. When I email their photos to these well-put-together singles, some politely decline while others emphatically refuse as if insulted. So take a solemn vow to never present anyone with less than you desire for yourself when online dating. Overconfidence without true merit! Yikes.

Choosing a Wedding Photographer – 5 Tips to Help You Make a Good Choice

Choosing a wedding photographer or a family portrait photographer can be a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. Here we offer some valuable advice about what you should consider when making that choice.

Tip #1 Why can’t we all just get along!

All good photographers will try and capture the natural, real you in their images so it is important that you develop a natural affinity with your wedding or portrait photographer. You know fairly quickly on first impressions with people whether you are going to get along so go with your gut instinct – “am I going to have fun with this person?” is a question you should be asking yourself.

Tip #2 You get what you pay for

A truism very common in life and even more so in photography. Price should be ONE of the factors in your decision but not the over riding one. There are a lot of ‘amateur professional’s’ out there who will charge you next to nothing and deliver even less. Remember – you are stuck with the end results of your day so choose wisely.

Tip #3 But I want the deluxe package!

If you are on a budget you can always upgrade later – the key thing is to get the source images taken in the first place. Weddings are expensive things at the best of times so a good idea is to keep the end print & album quantities on the low side initially and then come back to the photographer when the wedding and honeymoon bills have been taken care of. I have often suggested this to clients who you can see are wrestling with the financial strain and the look of relief on their faces is often worth a picture in itself. A lot of people are unaware of this option. Be wary of any wedding photographer that tries to sell you into a package you cannot afford.

Tip #4 Plan Plan Plan…. then plan some more

Sitting down with your wedding or portrait photographer months before the event is an excellent idea as you will be surprised at what advice the seasoned professional can offer. Remember – these guys have been a major part of often hundreds of weddings and can give you invaluable tips on planning the day, timing various parts of the day and getting you more relaxed about the whole event. Forward planning also gives you time to work through those contingency plans that absolutely require forethought.

Tip #5 Think outside the box

We’ve all seen gazillions of pre-posed wedding photos that seem to simply document the day and record who turned up and what they were wearing, but you should be looking to capture those candid heartfelt moments where Dad slyly wipes a tear as his little girl gets given away, or the glance Grandma gives Grandpa as the vows take place and they move to hold hands remembering their special day all those years ago. Our desire as photographers is to capture your personality in the few hours we have with you so it is important to express yourself clearly to your photographer – tell them what you want and what your goals are. 

In closing, I would say that it has been a real privilege to be part of so many couples special day, sure there is the stress of making sure you deliver given that you’ve only got one shot at it, but often taking that moment to reflect on why all the people are there in the first place is a humbling experience.