Cheap Business Headshots Will Cost You

Cheap Business Headshots Will Cost You

As a small business owner, keeping the lights on, paying employees and keeping clients happy costs money. Most small businesses run on a very slim profit margin; many times between three and seven percent. As a small business owner, your natural inclination is to save money wherever possible – whether it’s buying office supplies in bulk, meeting clients online instead of long-distance traveling and cutting corners on less client-oriented items, like your headshots. But a cheap business headshot can hinder your business and drive away potential clients. Here’s why cheap headshots cost so much, even when you pay so little for them. 

Cheap business headshots look cheap

Cheap business headshots look cheap because they are usually printed on less expensive stock, resulting in a lack of color depth and detail. They don’t reproduce well on your website or in promotional materials, and a potential client holding one in their hands thinks they’ve been handed (literally) a flimsy excuse for an introduction.

They are typically reprinted in a size smaller than the standard headshot size of 8″ x 10″. The smaller size may save you money, but a client may look at it and be reminded of their kids’ school pictures instead of a working professional.

Cheap headshots feature odd backgrounds

A professional headshot normally shows a neutral background; the subject stands out better against it. A cheap headshot attempts to jazz things up with a prettier background. A busy background is not professional; it looks like a 1980s glamour or boudoir shot.

A cheap business headshot’s background not only lacks neutral color best suited to the subject, it often consists of material unsuitable for a photograph, such as poorly draped cloth, blanket material, doors, walls, and cabinets. The client understands you work in an office environment, but portions of that environment should not be seen in your headshot, unless there is a strong and direct link to your business (such as a company selling outdoor, hunting or camping gear) and in that case, a secondary headshot featuring an additional background is acceptable.

Cheap headshot subjects look cheap

Once you cut corners on the photograph, you tend to keep cutting on other aspects, such as hair and makeup. Unless you’re a professional stylist, doing your own primping leads to a less-than-professional, more-like-early-Madonna look. It’s hard to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself when you’re a cheapskate about this cheap shot. You consider it a money-saving move. A client sees the result and wants to post it on social media tagged “Holy throwback, Batman!”

And along with hair and makeup, there’s the jewelry, accessories and the outfit. A professional stylist/photographer works with you to determine the colors, styles and shapes that flatter you. Going cheap means you might thrash through your wardrobe until you find what’s clean, mostly wrinkle-free and basically fits, and not knowing when enough jewelry is enough. 

Cheap business headshots don’t aim for the right angles

Full-face on headshots, with eyes staring directly into the camera, are best reserved for that unfortunate moment when the booking officer at the police station tells you, “Look straight into the camera.” A professional headshot is not a mugshot, therefore it should not look like one or be photographed like one. An experienced photographer knows at a glance if you have a “good” side and if that side needs to be highlighted with additional exposure.

There’s an acceptable amount of head, shoulders, torso, and skin suited for a professional headshot. How much makes the photo depends on the subject’s height and proportions, but a good photographer checks sizing and ensure no undue exposure of body parts, tattoos or piercings occurs. A cheap one goes for whatever the subject has to offer that they love or might tempt/shock a client. That makes a great art house photo, but not one a client is looking at and thinking, “I want to do business with this person.”

Korey Howell Photography specializes in bringing out the best in you and ensuring that your professional headshot is the partner and advocate for your business.  Contact Korey Howell Photography for more information and appointment availability.

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 Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com. 

  • 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!”

5 Professional Development Resources to Further Your Career

5 Professional Development Resources to Further Your Career

Enhancing your professional development shouldn’t be just a priority for you, it should be a priority for women of all ages at any career stage. Not only does professional development stimulate the mind, it also boosts your confidence and marketability by learning new skills you can apply to the world around you. The competition in the workplace is stiff for women, so expanding your resume with a wealth of knowledge and skills can make you a more attractive professional employee. However, many businesses don’t provide continuing professional development opportunities. What then? In today’s world of abundant online resources, you can further your professional development even if your employer doesn’t offer it. Here are our top 5 professional development resources to further your career.

Hubspot Academy

Hubspot is a well-known developer of customer relationship management (CRM) software. To connect with their customers and audiences, Hubspot began to offer free online video courses complete with quizzes and certifications in the areas of marketing and sales. You simply create an account and then select the courses you want to take. Classes include video modules, followed by a quiz to make sure you understood the video. At the end of the course, you take a final exam and if you pass, you receive a certificate. A few of the many certifications they offer include:

  • Inbound Certification
  • Content Marketing Certification
  • Email Marketing Certification
  • Inbound Sales Certification

Saylor Academy

From business to communication to professional development, there is a wealth of courses to choose from within Saylor Academy. Within the main courses are sub-categories of specific classes you can take. For example, under the heading “Business Administration”, you may select a course entitled, “Corporate Communication.” This course includes fifteen units, course syllabus, and downloadable textbook. The course takes about 120 hours to complete. At the end of the class, you take a free final exam and receive a certificate. You can even earn college credits with this class for a proctoring fee of $25.

Harvard Academics Extension School

Need more training in computer science? Harvard offers a free course entitled, “Intensive Introduction to Computer Science.” This series of video lectures doesn’t just teach you about computer science but helps you develop your reasoning and problem-solving skills. The video lectures coincide with the actual course of the semester. So, you can do it along with the rest of the students. The teacher for this semester is a dynamic speaker that makes learning this topic interesting.

TED Talks

Rather enrich your mind than gain skills right away? If you don’t want a full-blown academic-style course but still want to advance professionally, you can always create a playlist of TED Talks. This website offers a vast library of videos on just about every subject out there. Browse by topic or select from the most popular TED talks. TED Talks can range from just a few minutes to a half-hour or more, depending on the depth of the topic, so get prepared when you find one you’d like to watch. Some of the information is academic but there are plenty of personal-growth talks, as well.

Udemy

Udemy is unique in that any professional person can create a course and promote it on the Udemy platform. Instructors may charge a fee or offer it free. The website currently boasts of over 55,000 courses with topics ranging from personal development to web development to office productivity. When you arrive at the website, create an account and then explore by category or type your own topic in the search box. Many of the classes are free or as low as ten dollars. When you select the course in which you’re interested, you’ll be taken to a page that explains what you will get with the class. For example, a class called, “How to Build an Online Business” says it will take 11.5 hours, includes two articles, certification, and lifetime access to the course.

Whether you choose to enhance your technical skills or enrich your mind with knowledge, furthering your professional development is important and necessary in any career stage. Choose something that interests you, or go outside your comfort zone and try something new. While you’re at it, you may want to update your professional photo – you know, to reflect all that developing you’ve been doing! Plus, with new skills, you might be looking for new opportunities that arise. Contact our studio today to book your professional headshot!

 

Fall Networking Events for Women in the Austin Area

Fall Networking Events for Women in the Austin Area

Austin is a city full of successful women professionals, and one of the best ways to advance your career is to network with other businesswomen. This autumn is buzzing with exciting opportunities to get to know like-minded accomplished professional women. Attend these upcoming fall networking events for women professionals in the Austin area to connect with women in various professional industries.

WE17: The World’s Largest Conference for Women Engineers

  • October 26 – 28th

WE17 is sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers and the largest conference in the world for women in the engineering and tech sectors. Women of all ages and career stages come to this event to listen to groundbreaking presentations from women around the world. There are many opportunities to develop friendships and professional connections with other women, as well as to find career support and mentorship. If you’re looking for a job or internship, don’t miss the huge career fair.

Texas Women in Business: Coffee Connection

  • October 27th, November 3rd & November 17th

The Coffee Connection events are A great place for busy professional women to meet other women over a cup of coffee. Texas Women in Business hosts regular morning coffee gatherings in cafes around Austin to connect professional women to one another. The morning get-togethers are a relaxed and low key environment to network, share advice, referrals and get to know each other.

Women Helping Women 2 Network: Luncheon 

  • November 14th 

Women Helping Women 2 Network holds an empowering and supportive monthly networking luncheon for businesswomen in all sectors to build and deepen their relationships. Women are encouraged to bring business cards and get to know other each other to strengthen the community’s referral network. Every month there is a monthly drawing with an opportunity to enter and win products and services from women-owned businesses.

Women in Tech Dinner 

  • November 15th 

The Austin Technology Council is sponsoring a special evening that includes networking, industry discussion, and dinner at Z’Tejas for women who work in the technology sector. The evening starts off with networking over cocktails, segues into a professional panel discussion with an opportunity to ask questions, share experiences, and discuss ideas.

4th Annual Black Women in Business Extravaganza 

  • November 17th 

Women and men of all backgrounds are invited to attend this huge event (they’re expecting this year to the biggest yet) with a number of opportunities to meet and greet, network, and buy from black women-owned businesses. Events include a huge vendor exhibit where you can meet and learn about black women businesses throughout Texas and get an opportunity to network, listen to guest speakers and win prizes. Additional fun events to see here include a brunch and fashion show!

One of the best ways to shine when you’re building connections and growing a business network is having a great professional headshot. The team at Korey Howell Photography specializes in creating beautiful, professional headshots that help successful professional women take their careers to the next level. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

12 Pieces of Life Advice Young Professional Women Need to Know

12 Pieces of Life Advice Young Professional Women Need to Know

A letter to the young and budding woman professional or entrepreneur, 

This is your “mature” and wiser-self speaking. I know you consider yourself sufficiently educated and energetic to take on whatever the world hurls at you, but you have a long way to go before you learn what I know. Here are 12 tips to save you from the missteps and misadventures you may come across during your early years. Here are 12 pieces of life advice young professional women should know early in their career and life. 

1. Start young and save early

Retirement comes sooner than you think (and so you’ll wish). Years and decades pass quickly, and what happens if you decide to trade in the work week early for a life of leisure, or part-time work, or days spent volunteering? Stash cash now, avoid digging money pits like bar crawls, expensive cars and a new smartphone every year.

2. Never depend on a man for love or money

Take care of yourself, and forget the classic Prince Charming galloping in on the white horse. Chances are the “prince” is a financial pauper with student loan debt, a beater car and a better habit of spending rather than saving. When you have your own money, you pick the man because you love him, not because you need his bank account. 

3. Mentoring is an equal opportunity effort

 Seek advice from men and women you like, trust and admire. Take them out for lunch or coffee and ask a lot of questions about their business success and failures because you want to learn from them, not steal ideas to make your own. And return the favor: mentor newcomers in your business.

4. Find work you love

You’d do it for free: You may get lucky and find that perfect job and stay with it for life. Be willing to do something else if you don’t, and work at what you love as a side hustle. That part-time position could be full-time someday.

5. Connect with people

On a personal and business level: Networking is work, and it pays off. The friends and associates you establish now are often helpful in later life as well.

6. Make time to travel

Whether it’s cross-country or foreign travel, plan and save for trips to anywhere else. Eat differently, discover hidden destinations and come home with a different outlook.

7. Give of yourself to others who have less

Volunteering for charity builds confidence and self-esteem, offers a sense of your place in a bigger world and provides the opportunity to build new skills and expand your contacts. 

8. Dreaming, thinking and planning is part of living

Before you can take the big step, whether it’s buying a house, starting your own business or having a child, you have to plan for these major life changes. Don’t let circumstances just happen to you and then blame outside forces or people for the results. Move life forward on your own terms.

9. When you face rejection, just know it’s going to be okay

You might get fired or lose something important. It’s not OK to accept that negative result as the end of the journey. See roadblocks as a challenge to move in another direction. Or just leap over them and keep going as if nothing happened.

10. Keep that resume honest and updated

Never lie on a resume; it represents your personal history. And keep it up-to-date, because even the best jobs go away very suddenly.

11. I would present my best self to the world

To go along with the standout resume and cover letter, a professional headshot from Korey Howell adds another level of polish to your performance history.

12. Mostly, live life without fear

Live without fear of impact from the things that happen around you and around the world.

By following these crucial pieces of life advice, young professional women can navigate the early years of their professional and personal lives while also developing their careers. Starting off on the right foot is important, which is why you should make a great first impression before you even meet potential employers and other professionals. The key to a great first impression? A great professional headshot. At Korey Howell Photography, we aim to help you look your best while making picture day the BEST day of your week. Contact our studio or book online with us today to schedule your headshot session!

 

11 Ways to Display Bad Photoshoot Etiquette

11 Ways to Display Bad Photoshoot Etiquette

The beauty of the truly professional headshot is the story it tells. The picture explains who you are, what you expect and how you feel about yourself and the successful, confident image the world sees is the honest image you’ve created and cultivated.

Leave it to some folks who want to bring the “go big or go home” attitude to the photoshoot session and turn a career-building experience into the picture of disappointment with bad photoshoot etiquette. 

Here are 11 surefire ways to wreak havoc during your professional photo session and display bad photoshoot etiquette.

1. Arrive late without calling ahead

Always keep the photographer’s contact information on hand in case an emergency arises. It’s common courtesy to call ahead when you’re late to meetings or appointments and a booked photography session just for you is no exception to that courtesy. Find out driving directions and plan ahead for unpredictable factors such as traffic, wardrobe malfunctions, etc. Don’t make a photographer wait – it only cuts into your own photoshoot time!

2. Bring at least a half-dozen changes of clothes

A professional headshot is not a fashion runway shoot. Choose one outfit, bring one extra shirt or blouse and jacket, and an additional tie or scarf. The photographer has other bookings and cannot wait for your half-dozen wardrobe changes. Depending on which package you choose, you may be able to bring more than one outfit. If you’ve selected the photo package with only one outfit, make sure you decide on the outfit you’ll wear before your photoshoot begins. Bringing more than one and expecting others to wait while you change is indicative of bad photoshoot etiquette.

3. Wear all your jewelry at once

A professional photo session is not the time or place to see if you can wear every piece of jewelry you own. The appearance of all that bling does nothing for the final photo product and can leave you looking less than professional. Speaking of body bling, depending on your employer’s rules about body tattoos and piercings, it might be best to cover your tattoos and jewelry in places other than your ears for the professional headshot. Be proud of your ink, but unless your employer embraces body art, it might be best to stick to conservative appearances for now.

4. Insist on extra shots (without the extra fee)

At our studio, we offer the option to add additional images for a certain fee – which you let us know you want at the time you book. Don’t expect any photographer to include additional photos at no extra cost. Learn about our add-on options like additional photos and adding a stylist to your session.

5. Turn it into a “Glamour Shots” session

Chill out on the duck face poses and cheeky facial expressions during your professional photoshoot. Unless you’re really off-the-wall and you own your own brand, your “fun” facial expressions won’t be appreciated by many. Keep your appearance tight and neat and ensure your image appears as professional as it needs to be.

6. Paint your nails to include them in the photos

No matter how expensive the weekly mani-pedi, it does not belong in a professional headshot unless it so happens to land in the photo that looks best. Don’t count on including them – poses and positions where you’re purposefully showing off your newly manicured hands and feet will most likely turn out to be awkward-looking photos in the end. The best advice for this situation is to keep your shoes on and your hands to yourself.

7. Eat, drink or chew gum

Food and drink mishaps cause stains on your work clothes, spills in the studio and make everyone else hungry and thirsty if you are the only one indulging. Chewing gum during the shoot is unsightly, is incredibly bad photoshoot etiquette, and losing it on the floors or furniture is beyond embarrassing. 

8. Use your phone excessively

Photographer’s time is money, too. Don’t waste the professional’s time playing games or gabbing on your phone. Turn it off, or at least turn the ringer down or put it on vibrate. Business and personal calls need attention, but this photoshoot complements and completes your resume, and the time spent in the studio is an important investment.

9. Touch the studio equipment or photographer’s cameras

Unless you brought your own equipment, refrain from touching any of the studio equipment unless exclusively asked to. None of it belongs to you, and it’s expensive, sometimes fragile equipment. Don’t play around and move any of the lights or camera to get the “better” shot. That’s why you hired the photographer in the first place.

10. Bring your small children

Children are wonderful, but in a studio setting, they become curious. They touch things, interrupt, ask questions. And with none of their toys to keep them interested, they become a distraction. Leave them home with a friend, relative or sitter, and do not consider turning your professional headshot sitting into a family portrait.

11. Talking and texting during your photoshoot 

We’re all busy, so we get it, but to ensure we help you get that fabulous shot, we insist you put the phone away while we’re shooting in the studio. Plus, if you’re distracted from your photo session, chances are you won’t get the best shot!

Capturing you at your professional best is what we at Korey Howell Photography does best. Contact us today to book a photoshoot session at our studio!