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Category: Photography Presentation

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

Feb 2nd - "The Frame: A Louisiana Photography Podcast" presented by Louisiana cultural Vistas moderated by photographer Zack Smith.

January 24, 2017
 Alphonse DooWee Robair, Gang Flag Hard Head Hunters 2014 - Image by our first guest - photographer Pableaux Johnson.

Alphonse DooWee Robair, Gang Flag Hard Head Hunters 2014 – Image by our first guest – photographer Pableaux Johnson.

Finally, A Louisiana Photography Podcast!

I am honored to be interviewing a wonderful group of Louisiana photographers for the brand new bi-monthly series “The Frame: A Louisiana Photography Podcast”

Hosted by Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine, these hourlong events will take place at the Louisiana Humanities Center in New Orleans. I will interview Louisiana photographers in one-hour conversations that preserve the important history and document vibrant contemporary work of Louisiana photographers.

The first episode will be taped live at the Louisiana Humanities Center, 938 Lafayette Street, February 2, 6pm, with guest Pableaux Johnson. The event is free and open to the public.

Please come be a part of our LIVE studio audience and mark this event as something you do every two months! I am really looking forward to asking Louisiana photographers the questions that don’t get asked, talk about the photos in a way that only photographers can, and to get to the visual center of the image.

BE A PART OF THE LIVE TAPING – https://www.facebook.com/events/1871639233117509/

 

How to Tuesday #38: Creativity abounds at the Louisiana Photography Society in Baton Rouge. Watch my talk on "Using the Free Light First" to get your best portraits yet..

September 20, 2016
 COME INSIDE FOR THIS WEEK

COME INSIDE FOR THIS WEEK’S HOW TO TUESDAY #38

There is a vibrant, engaging, and creative photographic community in the Baton Rouge area. I was honored to be the guest speaker for the Louisiana Photographic Society’s monthly meeting in Baton Rouge last week and I was blown away at the amount of folks that showed up and filled the Goodwood Library theatre on a Thursday night. After my talk on “Using the Free Light First” I stuck around and took part in their photo contest, something they do every month, and saw some truly wonderful photography. 

Over the last few months Baton Rouge has been tested. From the police shooting deaths, riots, and recent flooding that devastated so many homes and business and uprooted lives, the people of Baton Rouge have been through so much. So seeing that many photographers, image makers, and visual artists in that room made me feel very special. Photography is powerful as a storyteller of all things external and internal.  Photography is a communicator, reaching out amongst a community to help, heal, and create. Thank you LPS for letting me see the strength of our community…

I hope you enjoy my talk, I had the sense to Facebook Live the entire talk and the camera didn’t stop, fall, or take a call from a salesman. Go figure! Go enjoy “Using the Free Light First” and SUBSCRIBE to my YOUTUBE Channel!

 

 

Sept 29th New Orleans Photo Alliance Portfolio Share Happy Hour with, yours truly!

September 2, 2016

I am honored to have been asked by the New Orleans Photo Alliance to kick off their first Portfolio Share Happy Hour and Critique.

from the Alliance….

“We’re taking our portfolio sharing events in a different direction this month. NOPA member and professional photographer Zack Smith will host this event for photographers wishing to take their work to the next level.

Participants will present a body of work and Zack will address specific questions and concerns then lead the group in discussion of the work. This Happy Hour is intended for emerging professionals and experienced amateurs to get open and honest feedback from an Alliance Member with many years in the fine art, commercial, and photography education business.”

$25/members; $35/Gen. Public. Space is limited. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

But 1st…I have to say I have always been a sponge around other photographers…

Ever since I could remember picking up a camera, I was always asking questions about this SLR device I couldn’t seem to get away from. When I first began taking pictures with a serious passion, back in the fall of 1997, I would gravitate towards anyone making images. In the restaurant I worked as a senior in college, I sought out the photographer whose beautiful black and white still life photographs were hanging in the bar and asked him: “can you teach me how you made that print?”

…and once you convert your only bathroom to a darkroom you’re in deep

So after learning how to roll the film, process the film, mix chemicals and make a print – (whew!) I converted my bathroom into a darkroom and began experimenting. (AKA wasting money learning)

I assisted photographers for MAXIM, NIKE, NBA, commercials, movies and anything I could grab a light or a C-stand and be a sponge. My life changed forever when I was hired to work with the great portrait photographer Herman Leonard in New Orleans. As his studio and field assistant I did everything: loaded film, unloaded film, carried lights and set them up, learned about gels, grids, and how to roll cable. I learned how to be human, and listen, and still be creative behind the camera…

What I am getting at is that at this point in my careers after teaching for 12+ years and mentoring other photographers and creatives I STILL LEARN from looking at photographs and talking with photographers. I love looking at work and critiquing, challenging, and asking the hard questions of the artist to help them grow.

Creativity in Diversification - Zack Smith speaking at LEH, Cultural Vistas Talk

June 25, 2015

I am honored to be this month’s “Saturday Second Line” Happy Hour featured artist speaker at the Bolden Bar located inside the new Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market.  I will be speaking at this wonderful event about my experiences as a working professional photographer in New Orleans and I am grateful to Bryan Boyles, with Louisiana Cultural Vistas, for this opportunity. 

As I look back on the last 15 years of being a professional photographer in New Orleans, I am grateful to be able to see the shifting trends within the national and local economy as well as the evolving inspirations and creativity due to internal and external factors. I will be sharing my story of “Creativity in Diversification” as it pertains to my journey as a creative storyteller and photographer.  I have gained invaluable knowledge through diversifying my business over the years to create multiple revenue streams while maintaining an empowering creative control that is constantly evolving.

 Tommy Michot and son, Louis, play

Tommy Michot and son, Louis, play “Valse de Meche Perdu” (Lost Bayou Waltz) ©ZackSmith2015

Don’t worry, it won’t be just me talking. I will have over 30 original photographs to help tell the story of my photographic journey. I hope you will join me.

“Second Line Happy Hour Talk” at Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market

WHEN
Saturday, June 27th 5-8pm
Happy Hour at 5pm
Presentation at 6pm
Q&A Afterwords

WHERE
Bolden Bar – 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. New Orleans, LA

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