If you check out my Eat The Lens logo, my website or my social media profiles, you will see my professional headshots. They were all taken by the wonderfully talented photographer, Paul Audia.
They are great pictures of me and I am often asked about them on twitter. Who took them? How did you find your photographer? How much did you pay?
People also ask me for advice about their headshots. What should I wear? How do I know which side is my good side? Should I airbrush my pictures?
Here are your answers:
1. How do I find a photographer? Find someone whose headshot you like. Ask who shot it. Check out the photographer’s website. Ask whether the photographer has experience working with non-models. This is critically important because some excellent photographers don’t have the patience or the personality to work with amateurs. You want someone who does great work AND likes working with real people.
2. How much should I pay? If you’re lucky, you can find someone good for under $300.00. If you’re on a budget, ask friends if they know anyone with a great camera, who would be willing to take a shot of you. (Read below for details about special pricing for a session with Paul Audia through my friend, Sima Dahl.)
3. What should I wear? Wear bold, solid colors. Steer clear of prints or patterns. Choose a color that looks good on you. AND if this is a professional picture, make sure what you’re wearing is appropriate for your business. For example, my brother is an attorney and I would tell him to wear a suit for his picture. You can also change it up. I wore my sapphire blue top for a creative business look and my purple jacket for more of a corporate look. I consult with both groups of people.
4. How do I know which side is my good side? Ask a friend to take pictures of you while you’re looking to the right, left and straight ahead. For most people it is obvious which side is best. Some people are lucky and they have options. For me, straight on is best.
5. Should I airbrush my pictures? That’s entirely up to you. Personally, I only want a little airbrushing. I don’t want my pictures to look like someone else. I subscribe to the L’Oreal tagline when it comes to airbrushing…”You, only better.”
Normally I hate sitting through photo sessions. I know that’s an odd thing for a former TV news reporter to say, but it’s true. I can talk on-camera all day long in front of thousands of people. (And I have.) But when it comes to photo sessions, I am just never really comfortable. I hate sitting still and holding poses. BUT finally I found someone I loved. Paul Audia.
Audia truly is one of the most gifted, nicest photographers that I have ever worked with. Not only is he a brilliant photographer, but he’s a lighting genius. As such, your photos won’t need much airbrushing. Best of all, he put me at ease right away. He quickly assessed what angles were best for me and he gently directed me throughout the shoot. It only took him 30 minutes to take more than 100 shots. Of those– I probably loved at least 30 of them.
Finding a great photographer, whom you really like, is the best advice I can give you in terms of taking a great headshot.
And if you’re in Chicago, I recommend that you take advantage of special sessions that my friend, Sima Dahl, offers a few times a year for headshots with Paul Audia. In a nutshell, normally it costs almost $500 for a session with Audia. (He has taken pictures of President Obama and other celebrities.) Through Sima, you can get one photo (with minimal airbrushing) for less than $200.00. Check in with Sima on twitter, @simasays, to find out when she’s offering the next Headshot Days with Audia.