The 4 Best Ways to Prepare for a Photoshoot

The 4 Best Ways to Prepare for a Photoshoot

When you have an upcoming photo session, you definitely want to be ready for it. While it’s important to choose a qualified photographer, you also want to do your part so your photos look as great as possible. Here are the 4 best ways you can prepare for a photoshoot. These tips apply to most photo sessions, but you especially want to be prepared for corporate headshots, because you want these to reflect well on you professionally.

Select a killer wardrobe

Choose a few of your favorite outfits that you love and feel like you look great in. Make sure they are appropriate for the look you want to convey. It’s better to have some options so you can get your photographer’s opinion on what will look the best. Try to avoid clothes that cater too much to the season, as you want your photos to fit in year-round. Additionally, avoid outfits with crazy patterns, because you want your wardrobe to complement your overall appearance, and not be distracting. When it comes to colors, try to go with ones that suit your skin tone, and don’t wash you out.

Along with any clothing you bring, don’t forget any jewelry or accessories you plan to wear. Prepare for a photoshoot by making sure you have items that will match each of your outfits, so your look will be complete. 

Choose your makeup wisely

Cosmetics are an important component to prepare for a photoshoot session. It’s best to keep it simple and highlight your best facial features. You don’t want to choose colors that are too extreme or overdo it because that could detract from your appearance.

At Korey Howell Photography, we do offer makeup sessions with some of our packages. This option is also open to men, because properly applied makeup can even out a man’s skin tone, and conceal imperfections, without it being known that he is wearing anything at all. And ladies, we’ll do the same for you, but in addition, we can apply a modest amount of cosmetics to beautify you as well. We want you to look your absolute best for your session!

Get your hair done

Ladies, when it comes to your hair, consider giving yourself the option of doing a few different styles during the shoot, so you have a variety of looks in your photos. You’ll want to be prepared with any tools or accessories you need to do so.

Men, it’s good to make sure any facial hair is clean-shaven or properly trimmed, for a professional look. Additionally, it’s good for men to have a haircut soon before the session- perhaps a few days to a week prior.

Prepare for a photoshoot with a practice run

To fully prepare for a photoshoot, you’ll want to do a test run before your shoot. Take some time in front of the mirror, and try on those outfits you picked out. Make sure they still look nice and fit you well. Even if you wore them earlier in the month, your weight might have fluctuated, or the fabric may be stretched out or bunching awkwardly in certain areas. Make sure the clothes fully flatter you and are properly fitted- not too loose or too tight. Put on any accessories or jewelry that you planned with your wardrobe.

If you’re doing your own makeup, put this on as well, and check how it looks in good lighting. Make sure it doesn’t contrast with your skin tone or the colors you’re wearing. Try out any hairstyles you plan on using, then practice smiling and try out different poses. Your goal in practicing is to make sure everything flows together, make any needed adjustments necessary, and get yourself feeling comfortable, relaxed, confident, and ready for the real session.

So, there you have it – the 4 best ways you can prepare for a photoshoot! At Korey Howell Photography, our specialty is giving you the perfect professional headshot. Please contact us, so we can make you look fantastic, incorporate your personality, and complement the business you’re in!

Boost Your Business with Stunning Photos and Videos

Boost Your Business with Stunning Photos and Videos

You’ve taken the plunge and started your own business! You have a great product to sell or service to provide. The location is fabulous. You are motivated. However, getting an established customer base and then expanding it is challenging – to say the least. Competition can be fierce, especially when you are new to the industry. Since giving up isn’t in your vocabulary, you seek solutions! One effective way to ramp up business is to use photos and videos. We remember visuals better than we remember any words we might see on the page. So, now is the time to get those beautiful headshots and videos done! Let’s look at the 4 ways photos and videos benefit your business.

Introduce Yourself

Chances are if you’re just starting out or even if you have been in business a while, not everyone knows where you are, who you are, or what you do. You need a way to say, “Hi, this is me!” You need more than a website with all your products or services. People really like to put a face with a name. Think about the last time you looked something up online. When you see a friendly, smiling person looking back at you, it feels more “real.” Photos give your prospective customers a feel for who you are, and makes them like you more! Videos give people a peek at your sparkling personality!

Boost Your Online Presence

If you are new to the business world, you may underestimate the power of your online presence. Your online presence is a sum of everything you’ve created. All the conversations, postings, pictures, or videos you have engaged in with these identities. Getting an online presence started is the first step to connecting with the huge audience you have out there. So, maybe you already have a social media presence started through a few platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Now, it’s time to maximize your presence with great photos and fantastic videos. Even just a one-minute video is more valuable than more than a million words of text. That’s not to say you should eliminate all your text, it has its place, but the video should not be neglected.

Also, Google ranks pages with videos higher than those without videos. So, you will bring more traffic to your website just by simply having a video!

Connect with More People

Making connections with others is the key factor in expanding your base. When you introduce yourself with a professional photo and a video that says “this is me,” people begin to get to know you and connect with you. The great thing about connections is people often refer their friends when they are happy with your work. So, it’s crucial to take that first step and connect with people in a personable way. Photos and videos allow you to do just that!

Stand Out in Your Industry

Whatever your industry is, you probably have some competition. Every industry does, after all! So, you need a plan to stand out from the others. Slapping a selfie of yourself on your website just isn’t going to cut it. It’s just not professional. You need a high-quality photo that shows your best side. Lighting, background, and angle of the photo are all qualities that matter, because this is you making your first impression.

At Korey Howell Photography, we specialize in professional headshots for your business. Whether you need a single person shot or group picture, Korey Howell captures the best picture. Using state-of-the-art equipment and studio and natural lighting, you will be delighted with the results. We are also now offering “This is Me” videos, promoting who you are for your prospective clients. Get a video by itself or include it in a package with a headshot. Let the world get to know you! Contact us today for more information or to set up an appointment.

Best Places Around Austin to Take Stunning Photos

Best Places Around Austin to Take Stunning Photos

Austin is a vibrant city surrounded by a beautiful countryside. There are many beautiful, quirky, and visually stunning places to visit. It is nearly impossible to write about all the best places to take stunning photos. We can, however, offer some of our favorites. The Capital City’s diversity provides everything from modern, downtown buildings beautiful botanical gardens. Korey Howell Photography is available to do on-site photo shoots at your desired location, simply let us know what your ideas and plans are, and we’ll get back to you with more information. This list of great locations is by no means all-encompassing but will give you some ideas of what’s available.

Zilker Botanical Gardens

If you’re looking for something outdoors, beautiful, varied and budget-friendly then Zilker Botanical Gardens is the place for you. Located 10 minutes outside of downtown Austin, they only charge $2 entry per adult! If you are planning a company shoot, you can probably get it done in a half day because of the convenient location. If you are looking for a great place to take some nice photos of you and your significant other, then the beauty of Zilker will enhance those shots.

The garden has an incredible variety of flora. From cactus and succulent gardens to a Japanese garden. the “Isamu Taniguchi Garden.” Built by Mr. Taniguchi in 1969 when he was 70 years old, it covers 3 acres and took him 18 months to finish. Complete with a pond and footbridge named the Togetsu-Kyo bridge (“Bridge to Walk Over the Moon”), it has remarkable backdrops and scenery for your photos. There is even a waterfall in the park!

Lake Travis

Make the short trip to Lake Travis and your inner sailor will be thrilled. Schedule your photo session on a private yacht and take advantage of some of the most beautiful natural light available as you sail off into the sunset. Most tours get under way about 90 minutes before sunset. While the cost is not as low as Zilker Gardens, it is still reasonable considering that you’re getting quality time on a private yacht.

Bull Creek Park

This is another idyllic setting for your photo shoots. This park has a more natural look, not manicured like Zilker. Surrounded by the beautiful Greenbelt, you’ll have the backdrop of nature to make your photos stand out. The abundant rock formations and water features in the park are also perfect to use. The creek is at its best after a good rainfall, so plan your shoot accordingly if you want to use it in your shots. While it’s not a leash-free park, it is dog-friendly, providing stations with clean up bags. Perfect for bringing your furry friend along!

Here are some more beautiful outdoor areas to consider for your photo shoots:

  • Mayfield Park
  • Wells Branch Park
  • Hamilton Pool – a bit of a trip, but definitely worth it.
  • McKinney Falls State Park

 

The Amtrak Station

Yes, the Amtrak Station. If you want to go in a different direction from a nature photo shoot, then the urban landscape of Austin will provide something that will excite you. The Amtrak Station offers a fairly diverse assortment of backdrop options. There are decaying brick buildings, some decorated with the requisite graffiti. There is a fair amount of greenery on location and the urban/greenery contrast is always interesting.

University of Texas

In 1883 the university opened with just one building, eight professors and 221 students, today, there are over 51,000 students using the university system. The UT campus is huge and offers some fantastic photography options. Incorporating the striking architectural designs and unique character of some of the buildings will make for distinctive shots. 

Graffiti Walls

Austin loves to keep things weird in all kinds of ways! One of those ways is its expressive graffiti walls scattered throughout the city. One of the largest, most vibrant, and ever-changing walls is the Austin Graffiti wall located off Lamar Blvd., near 11th and 12th St. If you are looking to make a statement with your photos, these walls will do just that!

There are numerous other options for your shoot, depending on your needs and goals for the photographs. At Korey Howell Photography, we work very closely with all our clients to ensure that they are satisfied with the finished photos. Please contact us and let us help you make that perfect shot!

5 Benefits of a Corporate Headshot

5 Benefits of a Corporate Headshot

Have you ever wondered why real estate agents always feature a photo of themselves on their ads and promotional campaigns? It’s not because they are seeking celebrity status! They simply understand the potential of their name as their brand and connect it with their image. Those headshots are branding their business. The realtor is the business, so to speak. Real estate agents are a dime a dozen, so it is the personality that becomes the brand. And every business professional should tap into this brand power. Here’s what a professional headshot can do for your career.

Introduction

Potential clients know you before they even meet you. Recruiters form a first impression without even shaking your hand. A headshot is the first introduction. Employers recognize the effort of a professional headshot as a savvy move. It’s a way of setting yourself apart from the competition. Potential clients experience a tiny step toward trust, connecting with a real person through imagery. For everyone, a lasting impression is created even after the image is no longer before them. It is less likely you will be forgotten.

Branding

A professional headshot is not a selfie. This is not a self-indulgent, casual pic of an individual “doing what is that they do”. That means no duck face, bedroom eyes or salutes with a champagne flute! Headshots are a professional tool designed to help you brand your own style of professionalism. Hairstyle, cosmetic application, jewelry, accessories and apparel are just as important as facial expression. It all works together to create the impression that you are qualified and capable.

Background Story

Although the focus of a headshot is the person being photographed, the background is equally important. In a sense, it tells a story of its own. Keep it too plain and the subject of the headshot may appear aloof as if you couldn’t be bothered with the details. It could also have viewers wondering if the photo was taken in a brightly lit bathroom as you stood in front of your shower curtain. Fill it with distracting patterns or bits and bobs and attention is diverted from branding yourself. A muted background that ties in with your industry, whether through color, lighting or props, sends a clear message that you belong in that environment.

Maintaining Relevance

More and more professionals are taking advantage of networking opportunities online. Platforms like LinkedIn are venues of professional potential. The best profiles feature professional, polished headshots. A blank box sends a message that you either don’t pay attention to detail, are not staying current with professional trends, or may not be active on the platform. Having a corporate headshot that can be quickly uploaded and shared online means that you are a professional who is maintaining relevance in the corporate community.

Making Things Happen

When a professional features a corporate headshot, they are sending a message that they know how to make things happen. A headshot is by no means a requirement on any resume. Foregoing the upload of a headshot to online professional networks is equally not a deal breaker. However, to have one sends a clear signal to talent recruiters and human resource professionals. It tells them that you are willing to make the effort to put your best foot forward. A headshot communicates commitment to the most successful corporate practices. This is a confidence builder in a person who is considering you for a position of responsibility within their company.

Success doesn’t just happen. The most successful people leave as little as possible to chance. They trust the proven methods of those who have gone before them, modeling their path of achievement along similar lines. If headshots were not a tried and true part of a winning brand strategy, real estate agents would have discontinued them long ago. Other professionals would not have adopted the practice. But the truth is, use of corporate headshots is only increasing and becoming more widespread. Austin professionals place their heads in the hands of photographers who excel in their craft. Please contact us today and schedule your studio session!

Social Media 101: How Your LinkedIn Photo Can Make or Break You

Social Media 101: How Your LinkedIn Photo Can Make or Break You

Remember the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”?  Forget you ever heard it because in today’s society, the “cover” is the first thing that is judged.  This especially holds true for your LinkedIn photo.  Get rid of that duck face and party picture and watch the leads start rolling in!  Here are a few ways your LinkedIn photo can make or break your profile:

 

Right Picture, Right Job

 

Trying to land that dream job?  Then you need the right profile picture!  Social media culture is obsessed with pictures.  People on Instagram build their reputation off their pictures.  The same goes for your business profile on LinkedIn.  Recruiters see your picture first and decide whether to scroll further.  In fact, a study has been done that found that recruiters spend 19 percent of the time viewing your profile on your picture alone!  Think that’s unfair?  Go flip through social media profiles and see what you notice first!  

 

Now that you know the secret to more profile views, remember these tips before you pick out the next photo.  

 

  • Make it a head-shot only going down to waist level
  • Don’t post a picture of you with other people
  • Make sure the colors you wear are flattering
  • Lean towards natural makeup
  • Pick a picture with an inviting smile, laugh, or expression
  • Avoid pictures with too much skin showing 
  • Attract clients by looking the part

 

The secret to drawing in clients on LinkedIn is really understanding your target market.  What are you saying about yourself to others with your photo?  If you are a marriage and family therapist, you need to have an inviting picture that makes your clients feel comfortable.  A soft smile and professional attire will go a long way in attracting clients.  Accomplishing the right look for the job is not easy and often requires a skilled photographer that understands lighting, facial expressions, artistic approaches, and more.  They can capture personality in a professional way unlike your cheesy selfie!

 

Be the Connection Others Want

 

Make your brand something others want to connect with on LinkedIn.  People like to be friends with those that offer value.  This starts with your picture.  Professionals like to brag about their business connections, and well, if your photo is you jumping into a pool, you’re not going to be worthy of a mention or showing.  This also means that Dr. Doe is not going to refer you to his CEO friend for a job.  Appearance is everything.  LinkedIn isn’t the place for your cute Facebook photo or a picture of your adorable family.  Keep your personal brand separate from your business identity.

 

Increase Influence with One Look

 

Your LinkedIn photo does so much more than you realize.  The right photo with the perfect lighting, background color, and expression can not only increase your following, but it can boost the influence you have on others.  If you have a great picture, your connections will feel more inclined to be a part of what you are posting.  They’ll read more of your posts, like your articles more, and comment more.  This gives you increased visibility for recruiters, potential business connections, and leadership opportunities.

 

The same goes for your other business accounts.  Once you find the LinkedIn photo that is “the one”, make it your Gmail and work messenger picture.  Keep your professional brand unified through that one photo.  

 

Now that you understand all the benefits of having the right profile photo, consider getting a professional headshot done. The price for a professional photographer is definitely worth the outcome!  So, if you’re ready to boost your professional life, contact us today!

7 Apps Every Professional Woman Needs in Her Life Right Now!

7 Apps Every Professional Woman Needs in Her Life Right Now!

Most everyone has a smartphone or tablet at their side 24/7. There are many apps that provide ways to entertain and kill time, and we see ads for them all the time. But there are also numerous apps that help with managing your work life and productivity. With thousands of apps out there, how do you choose? Here is a list of 7 apps that every professional woman needs in her life right now! Even better, these apps are all free!

Dropbox or Google Drive

Depending on your preference, Dropbox or Google Drive will become indispensable for keeping the items and documents you need at your side. These file storage services store your documents in the Cloud, making it easy to back up or access documents anywhere at any time! Next time you need to get to that presentation or form, it will be right at your fingertips.

Google or Apple Calendar

Managing your calendar on your smart device is essential. Both calendars perform the same essential functions: helping you stay organized, and acting as a personal assistant. These apps are easy to use, simple to share and play a key role in helping you be in the right place and on time! They can also be used to schedule out tasks that you need to complete.

Hootsuite 

Since social media presence is essential to your business, Hootsuite helps you keep it all under control. This app links all your social media accounts so you can post simultaneously, allowing you to do more in less time. Hootsuite also gives you real-time analytics and can help you protect your reputation by tracking messages and mentions. This app also allows you to sync your calendar and you can create and pre-set dates for messages.

Expensify

Expensify is a highly-rated app for tracking expense reports. When you need to track expenses, this is the right app for you. Simply photograph receipts and upload them. Expensify scans the receipt and captures important details like the amount and date. Use it to record mileage, as well as create, print or save reports. Similar apps such as Quickbooks, Smart Receipts or Concur are also out there to try, but with over 4 million users, Expensify seems to be a favorite.

Freshbooks

Freshbooks is an easy-to-use invoicing app for managing accounts and tracking time. Use Freshbooks can also be used for invoicing clients and simple bookkeeping. While it lacks some of the major accounting features offered by Quickbooks or GoDaddy Accounting, it has a simple to use interface and keeps you on the go creating invoices, capturing expenses, and tracking your time.

Cisco WebEx Meetings

For the on-the-go professional woman, hosting or attending meetings anywhere is a must. Cisco WebEx lets you join meetings or conferences from your tablet or smartphone at any time, with anyone. You get high-quality 2-way video, web conferencing and screen sharing with a host of other options.

Awesome Note

Awesome Note is an innovative note-taking software you can use to jot down ideas, write journals or record meeting notes and follow-up to-do items. Attach voice memos, photos, drawings or maps, then organize into folders or add themes to help keep different sets of notes separate. Share, print or save the notes and access them easily as needed. Internet access is not required to use this app, so it works great for note taking offline and saving later.

This is just a snapshot of the many apps available for busy, professional women. What are some of your favorites? Comment here and let us know what you use! At Korey Howell Photography, we are invested in making your business shine. Contact us to find out what we can do for you!