What I learned from my Headshots

Ok, ya’ll… every few years I get on the other side of the camera because I need my own photos! And I always learn an ton experiencing what you experience. This time around, I focused on my headshots with my photographer friend, Alex Alberg and here are some things I “learned”:

It’s ALLLLL I thought about for a month! Of course, I wanted to loose weight and got hyper focused on that… with very little success since Christmas was a few weeks prior to my headshot. I did try really hard to eat well the week before, drink lots of water and work out, but I still didn’t feel great.

What I tell my clients: We all want to loose weight. My job is to make you look fabulous and direct your clothing, lighting and poses to flatter your stunning features. I do always like to incorporate some dancing, so I might lead with this from now on, since it helped loosen me up! And of course, I can also do some reshaping in post production. I also recommend adding on professional hair and make-up as it definitely takes stress off preparation. LeeAnne Blair is one of the consistent stylists I work with. She’s awesome!

Fun stuff about my photos: I always LOVE outdoor textures. We scheduled this shoot in the middle of Jan and it was literally snowing when we arrive at the shoot. But the sun came out later in the afternoon and we decided to brave the cold. I’m super pumped that we did! I love, love the textures and lighting with this dress. And this is exactly how I envisioned using this dress…. although I didn’t know so much of my legs would be featured. However, I freaking LOVE it! And legs ALWAYS look gorgeous in heels! I love asking clients to move the fabric of their clothes around, it’s so fun to capture the movement. In the first photo, you can see the concentration on my face; being a model is tough work!!

I stressed about what to wear!! I already had two dresses that I knew that I wanted to include, but I didn’t have a clue on a few other outfits. In the end, I piled up my car and dragged my wrinkled clothes to the shoot for us to decided together. I also bought a few new things that I didn’t try on before the session. ( I hate it when clients do this, but I totally did!!) Ha! I ended up taking it back because it didn’t fit well.

What I tell my clients: Spend some time narrowing down your selection to twice as many outfits that we are going to do. Bring all necessary items to go with the outfit from undergarments to accessories. Iron your clothes and hang them up. We CAN decide together what to focus on, but it’s some much easier if it’s not the whole closet. So, do spend some time organizing this. I promise it will make you less stressed (or at least I think it will).

Also, I give some guidelines on choosing outfits. People always ask for input, so the guideline can be helpful. HOWEVER, not everyone is going to fit into these guidelines. Bring what you love to wear and we will work with it.

Fun stuff about my photos: I love the grey wall in the studio! The majority of the time, I prefer to shoot outdoors, but the studio provides a lot of background options for standard headshots and textures for more creative photos.

I was tired! I scheduled my session first thing in the morning right after a really long work day. It’s the only time I could squeeze it in! I looked horribly tired… yes, dark baggy circles under my eyes. My eyes are so sensitive and were in pain from the eye make-up and they kept watering up. I personally think I’m the worst at getting my eyes done. Fortunately, after I got my make-up completed, we decided to push my session to after some other sessions so that it would give my eyes time time to wake up.

What I tell my clients: Typically I schedule sessions at the end of the day, however, this isn’t always the case. So try to get to bed early the night prior and drink lots of water. I’ve also discover the Collagen Crystal under eye patches. So pick up a few of those and wear them to the session. AND if all else fails, I’ll work my magic in post production. (Don’t worry, we all need a little post production magic.)

Fun stuff about my photos: Yah, I like my hair. We all have a feature or two that we actually LOVE. So I typically ask you about that and try to make it a feature. My hair was actually NOT cooperating prior to the shoot so I decided to mainly go “natural” with a little fluff and it turned out amazing. So here are my magazine hair photos…

Trust your photographer. AHHHH…. it was so hard not to tell Alex what to do. I mean, I am bossy, but I also have some ideas. However, I really did want her to direct and get excited about her own ideas and feel confident in her work. She did do a wonderful job! She’s calming and creative and gave great direction. I’m pumped about the experience and my photos!!

What I tell my clients: I equate my posing a lot of times with yoga. The poses may seem a tad weird (and although I won’t make you get into an Eagle pose). Trust that the twisting and leaning helps slim everything down to create a flattering photos! I’ll try to make you feel as comfortable as possible. However, if you need to take a shot of rum before the shoot, it won’t hurt! And I love ideas, so we will definitely talk about your ideas. I will direct you and we will have a wonderful time.

Fun stuff about my photos: In addition to the creative photos, I needed some standard “Hi! I’m smiling” photos, so we captured some basic shots that I love as well. The sun was out in the full glory by late afternoon and I always love the golden light of the late afternoon sun. We also got a few photos in the studio of me with my camera. I wanted this one of my laying down with my hair (yah) and the camera… it took us a big to figure this one out, but we did it!

I’m so happy with my photos! Now what!? Thank you to the fabulous Alex Alberg for these amazing photos. I had a blast with you and can’t wait to work together again! Alex and I have been working together for five years. She’s located in DC, so we’ve worked together in VA and Paris (yes, she photographed THE PARIS wedding with me!). 

So, now what do I do with these awesome photos! I will be using them to update my profile photo on all social media and my website. Headshots are a MUST in growing a solid business these days. (Check out my post about the importance of headshots here). I’ll also use a photo on my emails when someone make an initial inquiry to give them a face with my name. I will also be making myself a 5×7 Folio Collection featuring 15 photographs. It seems kinda weird to print photos of yourself. But, I am proud of these and I know that I’ll love, love looking back on these in years to come. A set of 15 matted prints seems like a nice collection to feature a variety. Plus, I can use it as a sample! I’ll also use the photos throughout the year on Instagram, my monthly newsletters and more!!

Photographer: Alex Alberg
Make-Up: LeeAnne Blair
Hair: Rebekah Hall & LeeAnne Blair
Location: Westlight Studio, Franklin, TN
Dresses: Philanthropy, Franklin, TN




Stay up to date with the latest news and projects in the studio like upcoming mini-session dates, photo tips and more!