Baubles, Bangles, Beads, Bling: Taking Your Best Holiday Photos

Baubles, Bangles, Beads, Bling: Taking Your Best Holiday Photos

Hurrying through the mall and seeing the hordes of restless kids and anxious parents waiting for seat time on Santa’s lap reminds us that an important part of the holidays is creating memorable moments and recording them to look at (and laugh about) later. Whether you’re part of the photograph or the head rustler charged with getting people together for the big happy holiday portrait, here are 10 tips for getting your best holiday photos. 

If you’re in the photograph…

Think blend before bling:

Choose a classy and bright accessory or two and an overall outfit that’s neutral. The holidays do not call for a red and green plaid blazer or jolly Santa Claus tie with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer tie clip.

You don’t need every holiday symbol:

You don’t want to be seated in front of a fully decorated Christmas tree, lighting a menorah, wearing a star around your neck and rocking baby Jesus in a manger with your winter-booted foot. The photo is seen during the holidays, either in a card or on your social media postings. People will understand the significance.

Forget holiday lights; that’s the photographer’s job:

Don’t wear them around your neck, on a sweater or insist the photographer add them digitally. The professional can add appropriate background lighting or soften and blur the photo to create a gentle glow. Bright lights out, strive for subtle effects and taking a perfect picture.

Avoid big, shiny jewelry:

It gives off a glare that interferes with the photography. And if your glasses cause reflective glare, consider removing them for the shoot.

Don’t experiment with a new beauty routine:

The night before: You show up with orange hair, blotchy skin, lips on the verge of exploding or botched eyebrows, and you’ll wish you’d changed your plans. Stick with your regular routine, have your hair done at least a few days before the shoot, and if you color your hair, do so at least a week ahead. This gives the color time to mellow and appears less harsh in photographs.

If you’re in charge of organizing everyone:

Let everyone know well ahead of time:

Get to the photography studio early, and keep up with everyone via phone and text. The photographer’s time is money and during the holiday, they are usually tightly booked with appointments.

Coordinate outfits:

To avoid “matching syndrome,” ugly sweater disease and other extremes, discuss appropriate clothing. Otherwise, teenagers tend towards the rebellious, and show up in board shorts, busted flip flops, and ban-worthy T-shirts, claiming “It’s cool; they have the holiday colors in them!” Grandpa arrives wearing his Santa sneakers (the ones that go “Ho Ho Ho!” when he bends over to touch his toes) and your mom insists on wearing her hair band with the three-foot reindeer antlers. Clearly, these probably shouldn’t be in your best holiday photos. 

Have someone available for hair and makeup:

The professional pampering will please your Auntie Gert, and it’s nice to have someone unrelated to you tell her that her blue sparkly eyeshadow is a questionable choice, given this photo will be in everyone’s home for the foreseeable future.

Make sure children are welcome and happy:

A group photo session is tiring for the little ones. Have a separate play area (minus any messy art-type toys and crafts) for them.

Let the photographer know you’re the group coordinator:

The photographer cannot accept special requests from everyone, continuously rearrange the seating and take pictures simultaneously. One person in the group is responsible for requests and issues and funnels these concerns to the photographer or their assistant.

Korey Howell understands the importance of class and style in any professional photo, holiday or year-round. Whether done in her studio or your office, you’ll look your best because she sees the best in everyone in front of her camera. Contact the studio for your professional headshot appointment today! 

Avoid These Red Flags During Your Job Search

Avoid These Red Flags During Your Job Search

When it comes to looking for a job, Americans are working it, working it hard and doing a lot of both preliminary research and direct applying online: Fifty-four percent of Americans are going online seeking job information, and nearly half of job applicants have applied for work online. On average, every corporate job attracts 250 resumes, and four to six of those job seekers will get the call for an interview. Fifteen percent of millennials ages 18 to 24 are employment scam victims, and 30% of those ages 25 to 34 have fallen prey to these scams.

With so much on the line, whether it’s your first job or latest big career move, the era of the paper application and long periods of time required for background checks and verification is changing. Hiring decisions come faster, based on precise information from applicants. Here are eight job search red flags for applicants as they read through the want ads and go to interviews:

  • Personal information pitfalls

Is the job ad more interested in your looks than your job skills? Asking for your height, weight, or measurements? Is the employer specifically asking for “attractive” or “young” people to apply? This is possibly a front for a less-than-legitimate business, or a lonely owner looking for an employee competent in something besides standard office procedures.

  • Age discrimination

Certain government positions require applicants fall into particular age ranges (special agent positions with the U.S. Marshalls and the FBI) because of the jobs’ physical requirements. But most potential employers cannot even ask about your age on the application. If the ad specifies an age range, especially a young range, it’s possibly less than legitimate work or an owner looking for arm candy. 

  • The business does not provide a name in the ad

Sometimes “blind” ads are blind for a reason: it’s a means to control excess direct contact from recruiters or vendors. But without a human contact person, address or phone number, there’s no way to find out if anyone who matters sees your resume or application.

  • What’s it all about?

Little or no job information in the ad, or during the interview. It makes you wonder what the employer is hiding from you and why. This is a major job search red flag and you’ll want to do your best to avoid applying for a job such as this. 

  • It’s an unhappy workplace

You notice it right away during the interview: You don’t walk in expecting people dancing on the desks and quaffing adult beverages midday. But sad faces, angry and loud voices, swearing and shouting, slamming doors and people giving you the stink eye as you walk in and out of the interview room are not a good sign.

  • They like you so much, they want to hire you NOW

Without a background check or reference calls. And they put pressure on you to accept NOW. Again, what’s going on here? How many people accepted the job under the same pressure before you, only to walk out a week (or less) later? And once you accept, what else will the boss pressure you to do?

  • Online reviews that are one-star worthy

People are mean online when it comes to companies they’ve left or employers who have done them wrong, especially when they can get away with it anonymously. But a pattern of poor reviews, referencing specific on-the-job incidents, is worth a look. You can find reviews of companies and more information about them through sites such as and 

  • The employer needs financial information from you before hiring

A credit report check is a common part of pre-employment screening. A prospective employer is looking at your past insurance, legal, credit and employment history when they pull this report. They do not need your bank information to retrieve it. This is a big job search red flag you want to avoid at all cost. 

Korey Howell Photography helps you look your best for your first job or biggest career move. A professional headshot, combined with a sharp resume, is the difference between an application hitting the rejection pile and hearing the words, “You’re hired!”