All about first impressions

We’re built to size each other up quickly. Even if we’re presented with lots of evidence to the contrary, we’re attached to our initial impressions of people — which is why you should be aware of the impression you make on others.
 
How long does it take to make a first impression? Is it the length of your elevator pitch? Actually forget all you have heard, because it is in the blink of an eye that it happens.
 

A series of experiments by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov reveal that all it takes is a 1/10th of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposures don’t significantly alter those impressions (although they might boost your confidence in your judgments).

Kalyn Wood [Nikon D4, 85mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 400, ƒ/1.4, 1/125] 
Here are just a few headshots which show you how easy it is with just a photo to say something different about yourself.
Kalyn Wood [Nikon D4, 85mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 200, ƒ/8, 1/200]
You need to control the message of your brand.
Kalyn Wood [Nikon D4, 85mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 400, ƒ/1.4, 1/80]
Your expression, clothes and makeup for instance can change your appearance and how you are perceived.
Kalyn Wood [Nikon D4, 85mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 800, ƒ/1.4, 1/160]

Now this is an actress photo shoot for her to use in her portfolio. She needs to show people the looks that she can portray and understands they need to see it to understand what she can become.
When it comes to your company headshots do they look uniform?
When people go to your website and click on your team, do you have headshots?  If not you need to seriously consider adding these in today’s “Social Media” environment.  Just ask your kids what they call a person who doesn’t have a headshot with their profile – “Creeper”
Notice the difference the white modern look verses the dark traditional background can change the mood of the portraits. Both work and you need to decide which is best for your brand.
While having a headshot will help you not look like a “Creeper.” having all different types of headshots can look quite unprofessional.  Are you saving any real money by taking your own snapshot of your team to put on the website or your blog?
Remember you only have about 1/10th of a second to make a first impression.
They are not reading your bio to make that decision–they are looking at your photo!
What does your “About Us” page have for your potential clients to learn about you?  Are you a “Creeper” with no headshots?  Do you look like you cut corners and try to save money and take your own headshots?  Do all your headshots match or does it look like someone missed picture day at the high school and had a snapshot sent in for their senior year yearbook photo?
Give me a call if you want all your company headshot to look similar and help “brand” your company.

What clothing works best for a portrait?

Pick your clothing carefully

There are two types of photos when it comes to clothing: 1) For Portraits and 2) For Fashion.

If the photo shoot is for portrait you need to be sure that the clothing doesn’t distract, but rather compliments the person’s face. The fashion photo shoot is all about the clothing and the model is just there to make the clothing look good.

Look at these three examples of tops for a typical head shot.

Photo #1

Photo #2

Photo #3

To be sure we are concentrating on how clothing can add or distract from a portrait I shot these all the same so that the only difference is really the clothing.

First of all all three outfits look good on the model and the point isn’t about which one you like the most. The point in a portrait photo is which one makes you look more at the model’s face and less about the clothing?

Simple Tips:

  1. Avoid busy patterns as in Photo #1
  2. Choose a solid as in Photo #2
  3. Avoid Stripes as in Photo #3

Each person will look best in one of the following necklines: v-neck, oval or round.

Color choices can be tricky as well. Everyone will look good in Aqua. The reason for this is this is the closest to the complementary color for the skin.

While different ethnic groups have different skin, the general rule is it is more about how light or dark the skin is more than color differences.

However the other factor is our eyes and hair color. Complimentary and the same color are generally good on a person. Complimentary colors tend to make you pop more than the same colors.

The general rule which is often the most difficult to follow is always keeping it simple.


Lighting diagram used for examples

Items:
(2) Alienbees B1600
1-stop brighter on background than lights on subject

White backdrop
I recommend not having it perpendicular to the camera. Slight angle will help avoid light flare caused by light bouncing off background

(2) Alienbees B1600 with bounce white umbrellas

Nikon D4 with 28-300mm
No description for this item.

Tips for better profile photos

1
Clean and simple background inside.

All it takes is a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposures don’t significantly alter those impressions.  This is how I started my blog about Skype Interview Tips.  http://blog.stanleylearystoryteller.com/2011/07/skype-interview-tips.html

Today if you do not have a profile photo you might look like a creeper on facebook.  There are 30 different types of profile photos according to Facebook http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-photo-styles-2009-03

The discussion on LinkedIn is to have a profile photo. http://www.linkedin.com/groups/IS-GOOD-PROFILE-PIC-IMPORTANT-1800872.S.45637410

I want to show you the variety of headshots you can have that are all similar except for one thing—the background.

2
Nice outdoor look for a background

As you look through these photos of my daughter Chelle, you may like one photo more than another, but notice how the background can set a mood, compliment or distract your attention.  Remember pretty much all the rest of the photo looks the same in all the photos.

I recommend a simple and clean background.  Next I recommend if your background has patterns or texture get as far away from the background so it is not so sharp and distracting.

3
The garage door is plain but the patterns are a little distracting
4
Background is simple and works OK

If want to make the photo outside go to the shade side of the house and have your subject face away from the house.  The open sky will light them and not direct sunlight.  This makes for softer light on the face.  Also, you can turn on your flash to add a catch light in the eye and give more life to the eyes.

To make your photo inside find a plain wall rather than a busy wallpaper or busy background objects.  Keep the light simple and soft, maybe a window for the light on the face.

If this is for something professional like for LinkedIn to find jobs, blog or website, get a professional to help you.  Remember you only have tenth of a second to make a good impression.

5
Background is OK, but is dark
6
Even tho subject isn’t next to background–it is still distracting
7
Background is distracting