Here are a few tips to best achieve that goal:
When styling a photo session, I like to start with solid colors and neutrals, and go from there. It is fun to try a softer palette that has different tonal ranges of the same shades and see what looks best on camera.
THE TWO BEST COLORS TO WEAR
1) Your eye color – The most important thing about a photograph is connection. And that is done through the eyes. When you wear your eye color, it accents your eyes; all the viewer sees is your eyes and that makes a connection with you.
2) Hair color- Just like your eye color, if you are wearing your hair color, it will lead the viewer’s gaze right into your eyes. The viewer will notice you!!
Wear FORM fitting clothing. This is the most flattering thing you can do to look thin in a photograph! It’s counterintuitive, I know, but the more definition we create with your body (i.e. the more we see your curves) the thinner you look. If you are wearing a boxy shirt you will look wider than you actually are. This goes for men too! Tailored jackets and form fitting sweaters!! I love men in button down shirts, and since they usually don’t come tailored, I often just clip them in the back for your shoot
A few things NOT to do: (Many of them obvious no-no’s but important to include again as a refresher.)
• Avoid anything with bold patterns, logos, graphics, characters, labels, etc. These can be distracting and draw the attention away from you and instead to your outfit! (Who wants people to first notice the Nike or Gap logo before they notice you?) Note: There are instances where patterns and texture look amazing if it fits the vibe of a photo; for instance, if your brand is bright, bubbly, fun, vibrant, flirty, lots of color and polka dots or fun patterns would rock it.
• No BLACK and no WHITE. I know you might hate this one, but this will help you so much in creating images that radiate you! You might even have a wardrobe full of black, but I am not telling you to get rid of it! It just doesn’t look good in a photograph.
Why? The color black is absent of light, and in a photograph that is created by light, this empty space can be a barrier between you and the viewer. White is the exact opposite; it has all the light, and it is so bright that it catches the eye first directing the attention away from you! There are times when black is OK, and that is if you have back hair; then the color black will accentuate what your natural palette is, and therefore look fabulous in a photograph.
Don’t worry if this is confusing! We will have time before the shoot starts to go through what you have, and I will be able to assist you in making the final decisions.
This is a great time to go shopping and get some new pieces! Then bring them to the shoot to check them out!
You can also email me a few quick iPhone shots of the outfits you are considering so I can lend a little guidance.
Visibility gets you seen, being seen gets you clients! Every time you get new photographs, you get seen in a larger way by more people, and your existing clients see that you are up to something new!
Are you just starting out?
If you are just starting out it is so important that you position yourself as an expert. A professional photograph SAYS you are a professional. A high quality photograph says you are of high quality.
Do you already have a successful company?
If you are taking your existing business to the next level--up-leveling by speaking, teaching, creating new online courses, or even writing a new book--you do not need to have everything figured out, like knowing what your brand is, or your launch strategy. During the process of creating your visual brand and understanding your essence, everything else will fall into place. If you wait until it’s figured out, you will call me saying you need photographs by yesterday, and we will be scrambling to get you anything by your deadlines. This doesn’t allow for the creative process to unfold. Don’t wait to have all your ducks in a row.
Is it just time?
Has it been over 2 years since you’ve last gotten new photographs? It's time! Every time you get a new image, it says you are up to something new. A new image keeps your existing clients engaged, letting them see more of you and keeping them curious about what you are up to next! You change, so your image needs to change too! Plus you HAVE changed! You are not the same person you were two years ago, and that means your marketing doesn't reflect who you are now or who you are becoming. And that is not congruent or authentic! It's time!
My purpose, as a photographer, is to create images that evoke feelings in the viewer. Why, you might ask? Because when someone feels something, it creates connection. If a potential client feels something when they are looking at your images, they are now connected to you. It's this connection that creates a bond; or as markets call this, creates a BRAND. Each image that someone sees of you (and they should see more than one), allows them to know you more, feel bonded to you, remember you, like you, and then trust you!
My experience has been that the more you are authentic with expressing and sharing who you are, the more the viewer is able to create that emotional connection with you.
So how do we do that? That is what my brilliance is! I have the gift of sight, I see your essence, your brilliance, your power. I see how your essence sets you apart from everyone else.
Before I ever take a photograph, I need to understand who you are, whom you work with, and what results you provide. Once I have this understanding, I will create the words or "Visual Essences" that describe what I see and how to create the most connection. These visual essences are what I call your Visual Brand.
Creating amazing images starts with creating your Visual Brand.
Your Visual Brand is a blue print, a road map, to guide us. It will guide you in choosing your outfits for your photo-shoot. (Please see post “What to Wear.”) Not only will we be drawing out the energy of each outfit, we want the outfit and the location to match what essence we are trying to capture.
We can photograph in my studio in Oakland, California (click here to see my natural light studio in Oakland, California),
I will start scouting locations to match your Visual Brand. (Click here to see locations that I have photographed at previously)
The day of your shoot:
Your day will start with you in makeup, with my talented makeup artist. And yes, this is true for the men as well as the women. Makeup is very important; so important that I include it in every package I offer! (Please click here to read my article on makeup to understand why it's so important.)
Then the rest of the shoot will take three to four hours, breaking for lunch or dinner. If we are shooting at a second location, it can run even longer. Please schedule the whole day for your shoot. Having to stop our shoot at an exact time doesn't allow for the creativity I like to invite into our session.
This is no ordinary shoot!
You will walk away knowing you look great. You will have had the time of your life, you will not want it to end, and you will actually enjoy yourself. If you have had any resistance, it will have melted away. You now will have confidence that you can go anywhere and take a good photograph.
"This last photo-shoot (cuz you know I've done several shoots with you), was epic for me. It felt sacred every step of the way and helped draw out another level of my authentic self." - Kendra E. Thornbury
"What a powerful day.. you held the space and it became a beautiful transformation in unveiling .. and know I do feel totally safe to be seen in all my raw beauty , my vulnerability and all." - Emunah Malinovitz
My philosophy: I cannot force you to take a good photograph. I can only create a safe environment in which you reveal your true essence to me and to the camera. But don't worry! I will guide you all the way. We will laugh, dance, be goofy, be serious. We will make mistakes; we will take bad photographs and laugh at them. And then I will get silent and look at the back of the camera and start hooting and hollering, because we will have gotten it: there you will be, in your full radiance, captured on film. And that will be the beginning.