It’s that time of year again. As the days get shorter, the holidays draw nearer and nearer. And this means several family gatherings, whether it’s a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa party, or a party to ring in the New Year, there are many occasions to celebrate with loved ones. And who could forget the holiday cards? This is where you get to show off your beautiful family, pets included of course! Let’s take a look at why family is so important during the holiday season, and what you can do to document the growth of your own:
- Family is always there for you – The great thing about family is that they’re blood. Friends may come and go, but family is forever. You may not get to see them every day, so cherish the time you do spend together. You also have the chance to catch up with each other, to talk about what you’re studying in school, a new job opportunity, or even to formally announce an engagement or pregnancy to all your loved ones.
- Family Portraits – Louise Michaud Photographer takes family portraits year ’round. Arguably the most important part of any family portrait is, of course, the family, so get the family together, dress to impress, and don’t forget to smile. Family portraits let you document your lives and the seemingly endless growth of your family. What’s more, you get to show off your beautiful family in their best dressed when you have friends or extended family over to visit. You’ll be sure to get a few compliments about how beautifully your family is growing, especially the kids, and even the family pet(s). Be sure to hang or place the masterpiece somewhere where it will be the center of attention so you can see it every day and remember the importance of family.
If ever there is a time for family, it’s during the holiday season. Gathering family members is what makes the holidays so enjoyable. It’s not everyday you get to see each other, so make lasting memories together. Happy holidays from Louise Michaud Photographer!
You might be questioning the importance of, or the reason for having a corporate headshot. It is generally a good idea to have corporate headshot of yourself as well as employees. You can upload them to the staff page of your company’s website. This is particularly advantageous if yours is the kind of business which deals heavily in client relations, as the headshots and accompanying, written staff profiles give personality and identity to your staff and company as a whole. Incorporating headshots may help clients engage and interact with your staff, as the headshots act as a friendly “hello”. However attractive the final product may be, headshots can be rather costly, which is why some businesses opt to do it themselves. But before you take out the camera and start shooting, read our tips and tricks for taking the best headshots of you and your team:
- Getting started – Let’s begin with outfit choice. A headshot should be, you guessed it, shot from the chest up! Having said that, choose a few nice shirts to wear. It is best practice to wear something comfortable and in which you look and feel good – fashion with a function. When you feel good in the clothes you wear, it shows through a bright, smiling face. Sometimes, you’ll even get a good day out of it. You know how that song goes, “It’s a good day to have a good day.”
- Putting on your face – You’ll want to look your sharpest, not only in the clothes you wear, but more importantly, the point of the headshot, the face. Don’t go overboard on the makeup though, as you could end up looking nothing like yourself on a normal day. The point of a headshot is to provide a clear, attractive, and friendly picture of yourself. Women should lean more toward neutral colors or a light application of makeup. Men should be either clean-shaven or well-trimmed, depending on if you usually sport a beard or mustache, or not. You should also take the time to style your hair for some added flare and personality.
- Lighting and backdrop – These will change depending on if you’re either inside or outside. If you’re inside, you’ll have to set up artificial lights and maybe even a background if the walls are unflattering. Stick with a solid color background, and make sure the lights aren’t too bright and in your face. The lights should complement the face, but not be so intense that they project shadows on your face or give your skin a different color. Two lights on either side of you should do the trick, with one closer to your face to create a soft shadow. If you’re outside, you’ll have to play with angles for a bit, depending on where in the sky the sun is. You don’t want to be in the deep shadows, as it may be too dark to see the image clearly, but you also don’t want to be in direct sunlight, as it will bother the subject’s eyes and the excessive light may be unflattering as it falls on the face. You’ll want to be in the “open shade”, or the spot in which you’re not directly in the sun, yet you’re still lit up. Choosing the background will depend on the angle you previously chose, as it would be harder to fight with the angle and sunlight if you were to choose the background first. Pay close attention to make sure the angle, light, and background complement the subject’s features, including face and hair.
- Selecting and editing for the perfect headshot – You should take several photos with different poses and degrees of smile, so you have a selection from which to choose. Once you’ve chosen the best, most attractive picture, it’s time to do some last minute touch-ups and editing. You can either do this through a program like Photoshop or with a simple camera app. You should first crop and straighten, then adjust the brightness, improve the color and lighting, and sharpen or soften the image as needed. And finally you can save it once you’re happy with the finished product.
- Profile write-up – Underneath each headshot on your website should be a proper description of the employee, including their skills, talents, specific role(s) within the company, and special interests or activities outside of work for added personality. You can even include something quirky, like a favorite food, tv show or movie, sport, if they met a celebrity and how or what the interaction was like. Be sure to include their education background as well to attribute where they learned their specific skills. The write-up itself should only be about 4-5 sentences long and really showcase who the employee is as a person and why they’re a valued member of the team.
While having corporate headshots aren’t necessary for every company, it will provide your clients with a view of your team and how their respective talents, skills, and roles culminate to make up your adroit and dexterous company. As with any photoshoot, the subjects should be well-rested, well-fed, hydrated, and eager to get their picture taken. Be sure to have fun with it, too, so the personality can really shine through, making for an even better headshot. Choose the most professional yet attractive photo for each employee and write a dazzling description.
So, you’ve decided it’s time to take that family photo you’ve been talking about for so long. You’ve scheduled an appointment with a photographer and your family has set aside time to participate. Now it’s time to start planning what you and your family will wear. Take a look at some of our suggestions on what to do and what to avoid doing when it comes to clothing choices for your family portrait:
- Dress yourself first – If you’re the one who planned the whole family photo session, you should choose your outfit first. That is, choose something you look and feel good in, and have your family dress themselves accordingly.
- Create a Color Scheme – Select a couple colors you like or that look good on you and create a color scheme based on your choices. The accent color, or the brightest, should not be overused.
- Add some personality – You and your family should not all be wearing matching outfits. This idea is outdated and it looks more creepy than welcoming. As previously stated, whoever organized the photo session should dress himself or herself first. The rest of the family should then make their own outfit choices based on what you’ve chosen first to wear. All the outfits should complement each other, while allowing each family member’s unique personality to show. Wearing the same matching clothes takes away from this effect.
- Location – It is important when considering the colors your family is going to wear to also consider where in the house the family photo will be prominently displayed. Typically, family portraits go somewhere in the living room, either hanging on a wall or on the mantel for everyone to see. It is good practice to coordinate the colors you and your family choose to wear with the color(s) of the room.
- Accessorize – Accessories help complement outfits, just be sure that the colors of the accessories match with those of your clothes.
- Layers: Fashion with a Function – Layers are both functional as well as fashionable; they keep you warm and also help you make clothing combinations that look great.
What you wear in the family portrait makes quite the impression on your house guests. You want people to easily recognize your beautiful family, and wearing color-coordinated outfits does the trick. Choose your outfit first, something from which everyone else can build their own outfits.
Family photo day is right around the corner . Are you and the rest of your family prepared? Have you picked your outfits? Is everyone excited, or do you get annoyed, unenthused groans? Will you have enough time before the session starts to get dolled up, so that the beauty and confidence you exude will reflect upon the rest of your family? There are many factors that go into taking the perfect family portrait. Here are just a few:
- Full, Fat, & Happy – One of the most important things to remember is to make sure everyone, especially the kids, have been fed before you even leave the house. Nobody is comfortable on an empty stomach, and this will show through the strained, lethargic, and frankly lackadaisical poses and smiles on the faces of your otherwise beautiful family.
- Outfit Choice is Key – A beautiful smile is not the only factor in your family’s outward appearance. Choosing the right outfits, ones that go well together, but which allow each member of your family’s personality to shine through, is of utmost importance. Everyone should look comfortable and, more importantly, attractive. Your outfits should not match, but the colors should go well together. This allows for both accessorizing and adding some personal flair, whatever that may be, so that the different styles of your family members come together to show that your family has some personality.
- Make Dad the Mascot – Assuming yours is the stereotypical family, – a mother, a father, kids, and maybe even pets – then I’m going to take a wild guess and say that Mom did most of the work in organizing the family photo shoot. Now it’s your turn, Dad. Take the initiative. This is your time to shine. Fathers, try to make the photo session exciting for everyone involved. Be a little goofy and get everyone in a good mood. The honest smiles from laughter and fun will make for a better family portrait.
- Make the Most of the Session – As previously mentioned, genuine smiles are a product of a good time. Make sure everyone is having fun and being themselves. Crack a joke, tell your husband you love him for all his valiant efforts, admire the beauty of your family. Doing these things and more will help the photographer snap some awesome pics from which to choose the perfect family photo.
- Don’t say “Cheese!” – In the wise words of Krista Campbell, “Cheese is for crackers.” There is a noticeable difference between smiles that are forced and those which are genuine, and people will be able to tell the difference. Smiling faces caught in the moment make for a happier-looking family.
By following these tips and many others, your family photo shoot should go pretty smoothly, and you’ll get a great family photo with which everyone is happy and of which everyone is proud. This should be an exciting time for your family, and the photo(s) you select should reflect that excitement.
At Salem State University, the Expect Program is one of the University’s newest and most beneficial courses for students that are studying communications. The course was created a couple years ago by Robert Brown and Rebecca Hains to help students who are nearing graduation and preparing to enter the real world. At the beginning of the semester, students are separated into groups and are assigned a client. They work and communicate with their client on different tasks in order to market their client’s brand or business. Ultimately, their work leads up to a final presentation of their work with their client throughout the semester.
I have been working closely with the team assigned to my photography business. This team includes Joe Kasper, Danielle Pieroni, Nikki Vergakes, and David Lebrassuer. At the beginning of their semester, I explained how I was in need of something new. Since my focus has been wedding photography for years, it was time for something new. Now, I am mostly focusing on fashion-inspired contemporary portraits. I also showed my team the work I have done with the 99 Faces Project, which will be on exhibit this May at the Museum of Science. This project is a great way to raise awareness of mental disorders by portraying individuals who suffer from them by photographing them and their loved ones.
My team has used social media, blog posts, promotions, and different types of media relations to get my business shared with the public. They shaped each post with a contemporary portrait angle to re-brand my name. Since the start of the semester, my Instagram page has gained many new followers and has opened a new window of communication for me. The blog posts have focused on the people I am teaming up with and include specific work I have done. Also, they are currently in communication with local newspapers and magazines on my behalf.
It is safe to say that my Expect Team has made steady progress obtaining the goals that we set together. Luckily, they have a great team chemistry and work well with each other and with myself. It has been a pleasure working with this team! I am glad these students have had a chance to experience working in the real world. They have done so much for me and my business. I also am grateful for the progress we have made together!