Category Archives: Headshot

Our Oliphant custom background is coming

Our Oliphant custom background is coming!  For years I have wanted one of these gorgeous backgrounds.  I have placed my order for one.  We are eagerly awaiting its arrival.

Many of the most famous portrait photographers in the world use them.   These artisan backdrops appear to come to life differently for each session.

Being hand painted just for Louise Michaud Photographer.

Look at our custom background under construction at the Oliphant studio in New York City.

Custom hand painted background for portraits under construction at Oliphant Studios in New Your City.

 

Look at an Oliphant custom background in some of our work.

I did this portrait  in a colleague’s studio using a very similar background.   This image  convinced me that I had to invest in one.

Equestrian senior portrait demonstrating the dramatic effects of an Oliphant background. Louise Michaud Photographer

 

There’s another view of an Oliphant in my Portraits page HERE.

Why are these Oliphant backgrounds amazing?

Our Oliphant custom background is coming.  If you’re curious to learn more about Oliphants,  here is a story about their creator and her history.

The Artist Behind Some of the World’s Most Famous Images Isn’t A Photographer, It’s Top Backdrop Painter Sarah Oliphant

From Vanity Fair covers to designer fashion shows and theater stages, artist Sarah Oliphant has painted her way into the fabric of fashion by creating beautiful canvases worthy of framing on a scale large enough to become the industry’s leading backdrop painter. Oliphant Studio has been creating scenic backdrops for photographers, film producers, fashion designers, architects, and interior designers since 1978. Along the way, Oliphant has collaborated with the top level of fashion and editorial portrait photographers including Annie Leibovitz, Steven Meisel, Patrick Demarchelier, Albert Watson, Mark Seliger, Norman Jean Roy, and Sue Bryce while also providing an inventory of backdrops available for rent to photographers beginning and advanced.

Oliphant Studio’s work can be see behind some of the most famous faces and top-flight models on magazine covers for Vogue, Rolling Stone, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, GQ, Newsweek, and The New York Times, in advertising for Victoria’s Secret, Anthropologie, The Gap, Aveda, Lancome, J Crew, and Guess, and painted backdrops and runways for designers like Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger. The studio has an inventory of about 2,000 canvases as large as 12′ x 24′ and muslin backdrops even larger available for rental from their Brooklyn, NY studio.

To read more about them fstoppers

5 Considerations when hiring a photographer for your corporate headshots.

 

Do you have a clear idea about what to look for when hiring a professional photographer for corporate or business headshots? Here are 5 important points to look for when hiring a photographer for corporate headshots.

Having been a professional photographer for over 30 years, I would like to share some valuable tips that we have learned and what to look for when hiring a professional photographer or when doing it yourself.

 

Group of business headshots.
Business team
  1. MAKE HEAD SIZES ALL THE SAME – Some people are a lot taller than others. The top of their head should all be equal distance from the top of the crop so no one dominates their headshot because of their height. Heads should then be made so they are pretty much the same size. Even though some people have much larger or smaller heads.

 

  1. CONSISTENT BACKGROUND – The background is consistently the exact same color.  This creates a unified presentation that everyone is on the same team. This is especially important if some of your designs may be grid based.

 

  1. ADDING NEW EMPLOYEES – Subsequent new-hires will match with the previous themes that you have established.

 

  1. TIME AND MONEY – Most professional photographers will bring background and studio lighting to photograph headshots at your business location. Once this is set up it is very efficient for photographing many people.

 

  1. IMMEDIATELY MAKE YOUR SELECTION – Professionals will have their equipment tethered to viewing hardware (like an iPad) so that you can immediately make your selection.  This makes sure that every portrait will be one that you love.

 

 

If you want to lean more about what we can do for you or your business feel free to call our studio to learn more about what we can do for you.  978-375-5507

 

 

Taking a Corporate Headshot

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.

Storyteller Pete Early Joins 99 Faces Project

While working on photographing portraits for the 99 Faces Project,  I’ve had the opportunity to have some fascinating people join me in my Salem portrait studio for a  session. This blog is about one of them.

Pete Earley has been writing for years. A famous storyteller and author of 14 books, Pete has made a name for himself in the world of journalism. With 14 years of experience Pete has mastered the craft of word and it has made him very successful. In his book titled, Crazy, Pete Talks about how his life was changed forever when his son was diagnosed with a mental illness. This changed Pete’s view on not only the subject but his outlook on life as well. He began touring the world delivering speeches for mental illness and advocating to raise awareness about the topic. Pete was introduced to 99 Faces Project when he was speaking to the NAMI Cambridge group. The founder of 99 Faces, Lynda Cutrell reached out to Pete and actually had him pose for a portrait in my studio. Pete was all about it and was eager to learn more. We decided it would be a good idea to ask Pete some questions regarding 99 Faces and his involvement in the project.

Pete was so fascinated and excited about the 99 Faces Project he decided to blog about it to his 70,000 followers. The 99 Faces projects means more to Pete than your average Joe. Pete believes that there is no, “Us and Them” and the 99 Faces exhibit that is going to be displayed at the Boston awareness of Science in May 2017. This exhibit is going to portray the idea of mental Museum to the public in a new light in a way that has never been done before. When asked about one thing Pete wants everyone to know about mental illness his response made me take a step back and illnesses life is good. “Most people learn to control their illnesses, rather than having there diagnosis control them. There are everyday heroes that deserve our everyday and admiration. They are people such as my son.” With a writer as good as Pete, he is the perfect edition to the 99 Faces Project Team.

99 Faces photo by Louise Michaud

Creative Headshot and Portrait Photography

With all of the weddings I do and post about, it may come as a surprise to know that I love shooting headshot and portrait photography. I recently had the opportunity to photograph a stunning model and actress, Erica Snow, for a headshot session in my studio. As you can see below, she is a natural in front of the camera, which made the shoot all the more enjoyable.

Louise Michaud Photographer, Salem MA Headshot and Portrait Photography, Boston Portrait and Headshot Photography

Louise Michaud Photographer, Salem MA Headshot and Portrait Photography, Boston Portrait and Headshot Photography

 

Louise Michaud Photographer, Salem MA Headshot and Portrait Photography, Boston Portrait and Headshot Photography

Louise Michaud Photographer, Salem MA Headshot and Portrait Photography, Boston Portrait and Headshot Photography

Louise Michaud Photographer, Salem MA Headshot and Portrait Photography, Boston Portrait and Headshot Photography

Makeup Eden and Salon Sage are to thank for the great job on her hair and makeup.