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Month: May 2017

A Great Headshot is a great lead for you and your brand. Why you need to read my 2018 headshot checklist!

 ZACK

ZACK’S HEADSHOTS OVER THE YEARS….Yes I had a mustache once and I liked it so much it was my professional head shot. Lesson learned!

Headshots, why Headshots?

New Orleans is STILL growing, and fast. As a photographer and a small business owner as well, I always have my ear to the ground on new business opportunities. Seeing that the housing market is still steadily growing in the Greater New Orleans area and even beyond to St. Bernard Parish, there is still an even steadier stream of new realtors and realty companies popping up everywhere. When I make my way around the city I see new homes for sale with fresh yard signs signifying the sale, and what do you know, a photograph of a realtor. I have to say, some of these photographs are taken by a pro, and some are not. So, as a small business owner that works in the visual medium I know the importance of how great photography can help a business and how poorly thought out photography can hurt!

A professional headshot by a professional headshot photographer

For me, getting a great photograph means to make real the content and photographic vision of my client. When the client is happy with the images, they can use the images to promote their business and brand in the best possible way. Let’s think about the images YOU are putting out there in social media, your website, and even on your business card: Does your current professional profile photograph or headshot show you in your BEST light? Do you feel confident that your image is cohesive to your brand? Maybe you recently updated your website and social media, but not your photo? This happens alot and we forget to update our own photo!

I have enjoyed working with the local New Orleans business community in providing a convenient, creative, and painless head shot technique and workflow. If you want to know more about this you can always contact me or visit my New Orleans Professional Head Shot web page here!

I have helped entire offices redo their head shots in their workplace and this is a great way for larger businesses to make sure their staff is projecting the aesthetic of the company in various professional trade publications and social media. Whatever the reason is, showing the world what you look like NOW is very important when we represent our business and brand online and in person!

 Grab a coffee and let

A Professional headshot taken by a professional photograph can boost your brand to new levels.

Head shots are important for many reasons. You can use them on your website, marketing materials, to bring to audition, to submit to agents and managers for representation, and so much more. The head shot is important because it puts a face to the name and makes it easier for people who you met for a brief moment to identify you.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your head shot and a checklist to help you decide if it is time for a new one:

first question: do you like your current headshot?

As a small business owner that works in the visual medium, I know how important it is to get a good photograph. For me, getting a good photograph means bringing the photographic vision of my client to reality. When the client is happy with the images, they can use them to promote their business and brand in the best possible way.

Now take a moment to think about the images you are putting out there on social media, your website and even on your business card. Does your current professional profile photograph show you in your best light? Do you feel confident that your image is cohesive to your brand? Maybe you recently updated your website and social media sites but not your photo. This happens a lot. We forget to update our own photo.

Do you want your brand or business to have a certain look or aesthetic?

I have personally enjoyed working with the local New Orleans business community to provide a convenient, creative, and painless head shot technique and workflow. If you’d like more information about this technique, you can always contact me or visit my New Orleans Professional Headshot web page here!

In the last several years, I have helped entire offices take new head shots in their workplaces. This is a great way for larger businesses to make sure their staff is projecting the aesthetic of the company in various professional trade publications and social media networks. Whatever the reason, showing the world what you look like now is very important when representing your business and brand both online and in person.

 Peter Mayer Advertising hired me to do business portraits of their staff in 2016! ©Zack Smith

Peter Mayer Advertising hired me to do business portraits of their staff in 2016! ©Zack Smith

I’ve seen tons of businesses with online profiles on their employees who have taken photos in various locations around the office (um, or even at the bar!) The head shots don’t match and can make your business seem unprofessional to your clients. I can work with these businesses to stage headshots in front of a set background, color roll, or open environment so everything is uniform and professional.

 The Witry Collective photographed in New Orleans, 2018. ©Zack Smith Photography

The Witry Collective photographed in New Orleans, 2018. ©Zack Smith Photography

Do You believe your headshot is hurting you or your business?

According to an article by Martin Yate for CareerCast.com, “in recent studies, up to 90 percent of human resource people say they check out social media profiles, especially LinkedIn and Facebook, before inviting a candidate in for an interview. This means the wrong head shot can kill your chances of even talking on the phone … Is your head shot killing your opportunities for job offers before you even get the opportunity to interview?” (SEE THE FULL ARTICLE HERE)

Odds are, if your profile picture, especially on professionally-based websites like LinkedIn, is unprofessional, you could be passed up for a job or internship. A good head shot isn’t difficult to achieve. The headshot should be taken so that the area just below your shoulders to the top of your head is in the frame. You should always be professionally dressed and wear more natural makeup. These are not set rules, however. For actors, you will want to have a natural shot as well as a few character head shots to show your agent or a show’s director what you can look like as different characters.

Did you know your headshot can be done at your office, studio, or outdoors?

Most people think of the professional business headshot only being against a colored background with studio lighting. Well I tend to disagree! Yes, most headshots for certain industries (law, realty, medical) need to fit a certain aesthetic that fits within their genre to provide visual consistency and brand recognition, but I am here to say “let’s get creative”! I have musicians, authors, entrepreneurs, and chefs come to me wanting a professional headshot that matches their brand aesthetic that requires us to think “outside the box” and sometimes shoot outside the studio! 

 New headshot and promotional image for Janine Gilbert. ©Zack Smith 2017

New headshot and promotional image for Janine Gilbert. ©Zack Smith 2017

 Author Meredith Wild photographed in New Orleans ©Zack Smith Photography 2018

Author Meredith Wild photographed in New Orleans ©Zack Smith Photography 2018

THE 2018 HEADSHOT CHECKLIST. How do you know when you need a New Headshot?

I have setup a simple checklist for you to do on your own to find out if it’s time for you to take a new headshot!

—      DO ALL OF YOUR PROFILE PHOTOS AND HEADSHOT MATCH YOUR BRAND?: To check and see if all of your profile photos match, clear your internet browser history and pull up any site and pull out any documents you have your headshot on. Now, visit each page and view each document to see if your headshots match your brand identity. You don’t need the same one on ever platform but they need to be congruent with your brand and the message you bring. If you notice some profiles have older head shots, no photo at all, or a photo you really don’t like, it’s time for a new head shot.

—      DOES YOUR HEADSHOT HAVE ANY NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCES TO WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE NOW?: Did you cut your hair or grow it out? Did you just change careers and your work attire and vibe has changed? When moving to higher-level jobs, you need to look more professional than you did. If you think too much has changed since your last head shot, you should get a new one. I, for example, used to have a mustache and used it in my professional shot. I don’t have one now. Things like facial hair and changing your hair color can make a person look very different than they used to. If you have photos like these, take my advice and get a new one. Lesson learned!—  

—      DO YOU HAVE A QUALITY HEADSHOT THAT REPRESENTS YOU?: Is your headshot grainy? Are you over or underexposed in your shot? Did your former photographer take the photo in front of a green screen? Did they edit your picture badly? If you said yes to any of these, or many of them, you really need a new head shot. Take a look at headshots in your market (or even on this page!), do you like some and not all? Why do you like the one’s you like? You know you can always email and consult me anytime with these questions!

—      DOES YOUR HEADSHOT MATCHES YOUR COMPANY’S AESTHETIC?: Companies often rebrand and even more often change their website and content to match a new visual direction. If your company has taken on a more professional look, or if your company is trying to stay in tune with the latest trends, you may need a new headshot. Aesthetic is important in selling a product or service and in showing a possible employer that you’re the right person for the job. Be sure your photo matches your aesthetic to reduce confusion and to make your brand powerful.

—      IS YOUR ENVIRONMENT OR BACKGROUND IS DISTRACTING?: If your headshot was taken in front of a distracting background, you may need a new headshot. Don’t take photos in front of areas that distract from the main event – you! Take a look at your current headshot, does it have any telephone poles, trees, cars or someone’s arm or hand connected to you? Is the lighting behind your head brighter than the light on your face? These could all be distracting to the viewer and lead their eye AWAY from your face!

OK, So You’re Saying I Need A New Headshot? Are You In Or Near New Orleans? Call Me!

If you check one or more of these items, it is officially time to get a new head shot by a professional photographer. I could go on and on about this subject, but why do this here? Give me a call or email me to setup a FREE consultation about how to get the best professional head shot for your business or brand.

All Content in this newsletter is ©Zack Smith Photography and my not be used or manipulated in any way – BUT it maybe shared from this link! https://www.zacksmith.com/blog/2017/5/25/a-great-head-shot-is-a-great-lead-for-you-and-your-brand-do-you-like-yours?rq=headshot

The Energy and the Images that are Jazz Fest and Beyond - Photo Gallery

May 11, 2017
 Amidst the crowds and logos and branding there is magic, mystery and tons of moments during Jazz Fest in New Orleans, Louisiana. ©Zack Smith Photography 2017

Amidst the crowds and logos and branding there is magic, mystery and tons of moments during Jazz Fest in New Orleans, Louisiana. ©Zack Smith Photography 2017

Jazz Fest means so much to so many people and I hope you enjoy this photo gallery of what it means to me as an observer of the inside scoop and witness to the tantalizing fringe.The name “Jazz Fest” (all caps of course, Amen.) in New Orleans is now synonymous with an over reaching 24 hour a day, 10 day work week of music, moments, and more music. During the fairgrounds portion of this music marathon, the Mid City/Bayou St. John neighborhood gets over run with daytime wafting decibels. At night, the countless clubs, bars, and faubourg haunts carry multiple musical acts and sunrise shows to be remembered and soon dubbed “legendary”. But what happens during these watershed moments are the hours spent in recording studios, rehearsal halls, and off the beaten path venues that makes Jazz Fest legendary. Musicians flock to New Orleans to play a gig or two, or ten but you can find them recording in local studios and taking part in very non-traditional music happenings around town.

During the course of this years Jazz Fest Season I had the pleasure of photographing for a different department at Jazz Fest thus finding new moments and new angles for what I thought was an overshot fest. I was wrong. There are so many undiscovered views that uncover themselves when looked at with new eyes. Photographing the world around us with a fresh set of eyes, a new perspective, can often lead to new discoveries. 

As part of my ongoing portrait series at The New Orleans Airlift Music Box, I was able to photograph Mike Dillon’s New Orleans Punk Rock Percussion Consortium and Dustan Louque’s Dub Down Babylon, all with amazing performers and special guests. During this festival season I was also asked to document an epic recording session from local transplant blues man, Seth Walker. The session was done at The Music Shed and featured the legendary New Orleans drummer Johnny Vidacovich, New York jazz organist John Medeski, and bassist Myles Weeks.

I hope you enjoy this gallery from 10 days of festival life, love, and magic moments!

ALL IMAGES ©Zack Smith Photography and may not be used outside of this gallery. If you like the images, share the gallery! If you’re in the image, send me an email! zack@zacksmith.com

 At the ceremonial sound of the bell, the Fairgrounds opens at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival as crowds race to claim their coveted spot on the lawn.

At the ceremonial sound of the bell, the Fairgrounds opens at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival as crowds race to claim their coveted spot on the lawn.

 Yvonne Grant dances to Jonathan Batiste and Stay Human at her first Jazz Fest

Yvonne Grant dances to Jonathan Batiste and Stay Human at her first Jazz Fest

 Visiting country Cuba brought many musicians to Jazz Fest, Conga Los Hoyos was an amazing percussion group that played and marched many times.

Visiting country Cuba brought many musicians to Jazz Fest, Conga Los Hoyos was an amazing percussion group that played and marched many times.

 Visiting country Cuba brought many musicians to Jazz Fest, Conga Los Hoyos was an amazing percussion group that played and marched many times.

Visiting country Cuba brought many musicians to Jazz Fest, Conga Los Hoyos was an amazing percussion group that played and marched many times.

 Big Chief Juan Pardo and the Golden Comanche Indians backstage at the Jazz and Heritage Stage on Friday, April 28th

Big Chief Juan Pardo and the Golden Comanche Indians backstage at the Jazz and Heritage Stage on Friday, April 28th

 I documented the progression of muralist Roberto Guerra Hechaverria as he painted in a mural near the Cuba Pavillion.

I documented the progression of muralist Roberto Guerra Hechaverria as he painted in a mural near the Cuba Pavillion.

 Muralist Roberto Guerra Hechaverria painting at Jazz Fest 2017.

Muralist Roberto Guerra Hechaverria painting at Jazz Fest 2017.

 New Orleans muralist and poster artist BMike, Brandon Odums,  poses in front of his original painting of New Orleans musician Jonathan Batiste.

New Orleans muralist and poster artist BMike, Brandon Odums,  poses in front of his original painting of New Orleans musician Jonathan Batiste.

 Decisions, decisions, decisions. The Cubes tell all...

Decisions, decisions, decisions. The Cubes tell all…

 Dance where you can, under the stars or under the trees. 

Dance where you can, under the stars or under the trees. 

 The Original Big 9 Social Aid and Pleasure Club march with The Chosen Ones Brass Band through the pathways of Jazz Fest.

The Original Big 9 Social Aid and Pleasure Club march with The Chosen Ones Brass Band through the pathways of Jazz Fest.

 The Original Big 9 Social Aid and Pleasure Club march with The Chosen Ones Brass Band through the pathways of Jazz Fest.

The Original Big 9 Social Aid and Pleasure Club march with The Chosen Ones Brass Band through the pathways of Jazz Fest.

 The Original Big 9 Social Aid and Pleasure Club march with The Chosen Ones Brass Band through the pathways of Jazz Fest.

The Original Big 9 Social Aid and Pleasure Club march with The Chosen Ones Brass Band through the pathways of Jazz Fest.

 Muralist Roberto Guerra Hechaverria continues his mural at Jazz Fest 2017.

Muralist Roberto Guerra Hechaverria continues his mural at Jazz Fest 2017.

 Roberto Guerra Hechaverria continues his mural...

Roberto Guerra Hechaverria continues his mural…

 Members of the Uptown Swingers SAPC prepare backstage at the Economy Hall tent on Saturday, April 29th.

Members of the Uptown Swingers SAPC prepare backstage at the Economy Hall tent on Saturday, April 29th.

 Jonathan Batiste and Stay Human perform on the Acura Stage.

Jonathan Batiste and Stay Human perform on the Acura Stage.

 Participants rush into the Gentilly entrance of Jazz Fest on Saturday, April 29th. I achieved this effect by using a 4 stop neutral density filter which allowed me to choose a longer shutter speed but not overexpose the images. I used a tripod as well.

Participants rush into the Gentilly entrance of Jazz Fest on Saturday, April 29th. I achieved this effect by using a 4 stop neutral density filter which allowed me to choose a longer shutter speed but not overexpose the images. I used a tripod as well.

MUSIC BOX PORTRAITS: An ongoing Story

Take a short break from Jazz Fest and enjoy some Portraits from the Music Box. I have been documenting every artist that has been featured at the New Orleans Airlift’s new home in the 9th Ward. Each group that comes through, I coordinate with them to create unique portraits which feature the amazing artistry of Music Box Village and the personalities of the musicians. The goal is to create a unique document of the special collaborations of music, sculpture, and moments.

 Tiff Lamson of GIVERS performs with Mike Dillon

Tiff Lamson of GIVERS performs with Mike Dillon’s New Orleans Punk Rock Percussion Consortium (MDsNOPRPC)  at The New Orleans Airlift’s Music Box Village.

 Band leader MIke Dillon directs and plays w/ the NOPRPC at The Music Box

Band leader MIke Dillon directs and plays w/ the NOPRPC at The Music Box

 Mark Southerland at The Music Box playing the telephone...yes, it plays.

Mark Southerland at The Music Box playing the telephone…yes, it plays.

 Clint Maedgen sings as Mike D shows his famous evil face on vibes...

Clint Maedgen sings as Mike D shows his famous evil face on vibes…

Behold: The musicians of Mike Dillon’s New Orleans Punk Rock Percussion Consortium: Tiff Lamson, Brian Haas, Simon Berz, Paul Thibodeaux, Mark Southerland, Mike Dillon, Andre Bohren, Clint Maedgen, Steven Montalvo, Otto Schrang and much much more!

 

Dustan Louque’s DUB DOWN BABYLON featuring Nels Cline

 The Dub Down Babylon musicians at the Music Box

The Dub Down Babylon musicians at the Music Box

 Dustan is an old friend, and when asked if he could do a portrait with a gas mask, i said yes before he finished his sentence!

Dustan is an old friend, and when asked if he could do a portrait with a gas mask, i said yes before he finished his sentence!

 I had never met or photographed Nels Cline of Wilco, and it was an honor to meet and shoot this gentle soul!

I had never met or photographed Nels Cline of Wilco, and it was an honor to meet and shoot this gentle soul!

 I have enjoyed Leyla McCalla

I have enjoyed Leyla McCalla’s voice and music for so long, thank you AGAIN to the Music Box for bringing this portrait of a wonderful human together…

Blato Zlato, Margaret Hebert, Rob Cambre, Eric Heigle, Josh Werner, and Simon Berz round out the Dub Down Babylon set!

seth Walker Recording Session feat: John Medeski, Johnny Vidacovich and Myles Weeks at The music Shed Studios!

 Engineer and producer Ben Lorio with John Medeski, Myles Weeks, Seth Walker and Johnny Vidacovich

Engineer and producer Ben Lorio with John Medeski, Myles Weeks, Seth Walker and Johnny Vidacovich

 Seth Walker and John Medeski

Seth Walker and John Medeski

 Johnny Vidacovich and Seth Walker

Johnny Vidacovich and Seth Walker

 John Medeski - I had never photographed Mr. Medeski outside of a live show setting, and this was a truly unique moment to watch this master at work!

John Medeski – I had never photographed Mr. Medeski outside of a live show setting, and this was a truly unique moment to watch this master at work!

 Watching another master at work - Mr. Johnny Vidacovich. Here Seth and Myles listen as Johnny explains the difference between horizontal and vertical rhythm. Yes, we went there.

Watching another master at work – Mr. Johnny Vidacovich. Here Seth and Myles listen as Johnny explains the difference between horizontal and vertical rhythm. Yes, we went there.

 Myles Weeks

Myles Weeks

Back to Jazz Fest! Images from Friday, May 5th

 FINISHED!

FINISHED!

 Musician Jason Marsalis sits out on stage right during a solo by his keyboard player at the Jazz Tent.

Musician Jason Marsalis sits out on stage right during a solo by his keyboard player at the Jazz Tent.

 Dancers do their thing, all day long, at the Fais Do Do stage at Jazz Fest. 

Dancers do their thing, all day long, at the Fais Do Do stage at Jazz Fest. 

 Musicians Tiffany Lamson and Kelli Jones-Savoy step out at the Fais Do Do stage for some Cajun and Zydeco good times.

Musicians Tiffany Lamson and Kelli Jones-Savoy step out at the Fais Do Do stage for some Cajun and Zydeco good times.

 Musician Jon Gross post show at Economy Hall!

Musician Jon Gross post show at Economy Hall!

 Nathan Williams of Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas GET DOWN all the way down at the Fais Do Do stage!

Nathan Williams of Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas GET DOWN all the way down at the Fais Do Do stage!

 New Generation Brass Band with Lady and Men Rollers and Scene Boosters SAPC

New Generation Brass Band with Lady and Men Rollers and Scene Boosters SAPC

 New Generation Brass Band with Lady and Men Rollers and Scene Boosters SAPC

New Generation Brass Band with Lady and Men Rollers and Scene Boosters SAPC

 The Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club at Jazz Fest 2017

The Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club at Jazz Fest 2017

 The Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club at Jazz Fest 2017

The Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club at Jazz Fest 2017

 Trumpet and Keyboard player Michael Girardot performs over a sea of people at the Acura Stage of Jazz Fest 2017

Trumpet and Keyboard player Michael Girardot performs over a sea of people at the Acura Stage of Jazz Fest 2017

 Trap and net maker Kernis Huval from Sunset, LA

Trap and net maker Kernis Huval from Sunset, LA

 Big Chief Juan Pardo and Big Queen Anndrea Y. Pardo of the Golden Comanches march on Jazz Fest

Big Chief Juan Pardo and Big Queen Anndrea Y. Pardo of the Golden Comanches march on Jazz Fest

"Build Your Brand" Content Creation, SEO Marketing, and Finding Your Philosophy as an Entrepreneur

May 3, 2017
 Thank you to the

Thank you to the “Grow St. Bernard” class at the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundations series. I enjoyed talking about “Build Your Brand” using high quality content and SEO marketing! PHOTO: SBEDF/Grow St. Bernard

I was recently honored with the opportunity to talk to a wonderful group of St. Bernard Parish business owners and entrepreneurs as part of the Grow St. Bernard initiative. 

Grow St. Bernard, a new seminar series, is from the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation and the St. Bernard Chamber, and it offers professional insight on a variety of topics important to emerging and growing businesses.  The educational series encourages business owners and professionals to turn information into action; and participants will benefit from learning and sharing with the cohort of small businesses.  The 2017 series includes presentations, panels, and workshops from notable guest speakers on everything from business planning to marketing and beyond. 

I was so happy when they asked me to present on “Build Your Brand” and talk about the ways I have incorporated my brand and marketing philosophy into how I use social media and my website to drive traffic and generate leads and followers.

Did you know St. Bernard Parish is home to one of the highest percentage of locally owned businesses in the Greater New Orleans region? Another reason why I love living in Louisiana! Grow St. Bernard is an effort developed to provide business owners and professionals with the practical skills necessary to grow their company with limited resources and staffing.  Participants who complete the program will gain valuable knowledge of current trends and best practices for operating a business successfully.  Participation is open to all individuals regardless of location or occupation.  Love this, and I loved every minute of talking with business owners about why quality content is essential in promoting and marketing their businesses brand, products, and services.

If you or your business would like One on One Consulting, Visual Content Strategy Development, or specific Photographic needs – CLICK HERE!

 The May 2nd group from Grow St. Bernard! PHOTO SBDEF/Grow St. Bernard

The May 2nd group from Grow St. Bernard! PHOTO SBDEF/Grow St. Bernard

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