You earned your acronym. You worked hard for it. You are to be congratulated, and celebrated, not for your title, but for your human qualities. You are a person. You may manage a team but you’re also a member of that team. Let that human side shine.
Look at me, look into the camera lens because those are the eyes of all the people you work with, and will work with. The difference between a portrait and a headshot is that in a portrait you are looking, not being looked at. You are listening, and open. The energy and attention comes from you, not to you.
I don’t do headshots. Not because I turn my nose up at them but because my style engages the subject in a way that turns the energy in the other direction. I draw out and absorb energy. Not that I have any special skill or powers. It’s just that that’s my style, developed organically over thousands of portraits.
The world needs more listening. The world needs more real people. The world needs more honest witnesses. That’s what I do, I rec...
I want every person to just pop out of their photograph. I want you to feel as if you’re standing in front of them. I want to erase the barrier between what is seen and what is felt so that when you look at a photo you are filled with emotion. I want you to feel a person, not just see them.
To that end I ask you to look at me. To really look. You know when you’re a child and you’re arguing with your parents and they say “Look at me!” ? It’s that level of focus I ask though not in a condescending way.
When I was living in New York, and spending a lot of time in Manhattan, I learned how to break down barriers quickly so that a person would become an instant friend. They say you’re not supposed to look people in the eye on the streets, in order to avoid conflict, and that’s mostly true, but it also works in reverse. You can make friends by looking a person in the eye. So it becomes a case of discerning who is who.
When I do portraits, everybody is a friend. I arrive at each situation with so...
It’s 2019 and we don’t use our portraits to adorn our parlor walls anymore. Portraits are not about vanity, or the preservation of the familial line. They serve a different purpose now. They are how we introduce ourselves to the world. This hyperconnected world. This is how we do business. This is how we court one another, both professionally and romantically. I see your face before I ever meet you. In general. And when I see that face an impression is formed.
What is it that you wish to convey? I ask almost everyone this question. What do you want people to take away from your photo? Confidence, approachability, competence, friendliness, strength, compassion, authenticity. Those are the answers I hear most often. And when I hear those words I say “Okay then. Embody that. Summon it.” Because I can’t bestow those qualities on you. I’m just a mirror. You’ve got to glow from the inside out.
Just be yourself. Take a deep breath and just be. It’s actually very easy. Look at me like we are the...
People assume I’m some sort of poet or artist but what I really love to do are team photos - portraits of people who work together. I’ll do your About Us page, your speaker bios, your LinkedIN photos, your C-Level execs.
About Us is more than words. It better be. You’ve heard the axiom show, don’t tell. You can say whatever you want about your people but if it doesn’t show up in their photos it will ring hollow and people won’t care.
About Us conveys the spirit and energy behind a brand. It’s supposed to make people feel like they know you. You want perspective employees to visualize themselves there. And potential clients to want to know you. About Us is your own zeitgeist. It has to feel good.
I can help you feel good. I can help you exude joy. I can help you to capture that energy that lets people know you’re the real deal.
For the NPM shoot (of which the above photo is a representative slice) I was working with a generic conference room. But it had good natural light, good northern exp...