I pay my bills as a Dallas headshot photographer, but when opportunities come up I take them. Recently, one of those opportunities presented itself – I had the chance to shoot a new creative campaign for a very successful dentist in Dallas. My past experiences in commercial shoots have been interesting to say the least, but this one went off without a hitch. This week, I’m sharing my recipe for success with you: 4 lessons from a commercial photography shoot.
Pre-game with the creative team
I cannot stress this enough. When I’m doing business headshots, it’s pretty simple. But this time, I was taking photographs for a full-scale campaign to be featured in print and on the web. The creative director, copywriter, and client service rep sat down with me and laid out the goals and expectations. We had a clearly-defined goal in mind.
Solve your client’s problem
Very rarely are people taking photos “just because.” There’s a problem or issue in mind. Clearly define your client’s problem or issue and create a solution. In this case, it was to differentiate them from the other dental practices in the area. So we decided to take exaggerated lifestyle shots.
Find the perfect talent
A photographer in Dallas has a great pool of talent. There are major modeling agencies like Kim Dawson, Campbell or Paige Parkes with loads of different looks at your disposal. If your client (like most) tries to set a low budget, there are other agencies out here with models just starting to build their portfolios and need sample shots. Explore your resources, you’ll be glad you did.
Speed of service is everything
Your client probably wanted these photos yesterday. Start. Retouching. Now. I couldn’t get the photos on my computer fast enough.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to follow these four simple tips on your next commercial shoot, on either the client or creative side. For your next headshot session or commercial photo shoot, contact me or give me a call today.
This week, I got the chance to catch up with my long-time friend and actor, Kyle Roark. I had no idea how busy 2016 has already been for the represented film actor and fitness guru! Before I tell you what’s been on Kyle’s radar recently, here’s a bit of background on the “Renegades” star.
Kyle started acting as a child. The way he describes it, he had an “ongoing identity crisis since elementary school.” Roark says he became interested in acting “through the ability to be many people at once through different characters. I didn’t have to pick just one.” He formally started auditioning at 11 years old and has been consistently working ever since. Now, I have to give credit where credit is due – Kyle’s done something I advise almost every actor that stops by the studio: he has consciously taken roles to build his acting reel. He describes it like this: “I just keep saying ‘yes’ to jobs I know will look good on my reel. I think about the role and the depth of the character or the differences across the reel. I want to show my range.”
Recently, Kyle’s been filming the online series, “Renegades.” The series follows Beckett and Alfonso – friends to the bitter end, or until it’s no longer profitable – as they track down thieves and outlaws for the bounties on their heads. Think “Lethal Weapon” meets “Road to El Dorado” meets “22 Jump Street.” Check out the first few episodes, available now!
He’s been formally trained in film over the past four years and is currently represented by Linda McAllister Talent. For any inquiries, please check out Linda McAllister Talent online or take a peak at Kyle’s acting reel.
Along with honing his acting craft, Kyle’s also worked on his physical fitness training career. While bartending, Kyle realized that environment became toxic for him. In an effort to find an entertaining occupation that helped others, he found himself “mindset coaching” clients – working on their physical and mental well-being. After starting his training journey, he formed Division Fitness. The business continues to grow, contact Kyle directly to schedule an appointment or set up a consultation.
For any acting headshots or executive portraits of your own, check out my Model and Headshot galleries or book your session today!
I’m the first to admit that I love retouching. It’s one of the biggest services I feature to my clients and it’s something that can really enhance a photo. I think everyone should look their best, and if that means removing an awkward line or hiding a funny pose, I’m all for that. However, when retouchers and editors cross the line and make their subject appear almost unrecognizable, there’s a problem. I see it more often than I’d like, and in the past I’ve had a heavy hand with the Photoshop tools myself. So this week, I wanted to take a look at 4 epic Photoshop fails as a guide of what to avoid.
Bethenney Frankel’s PETA Fail
Image via Us Weekly
The queen bee of New York housewives, Bethenney Frankel, did a PETA shoot a few years ago and the retouchers ripped her to shreds. They ironed her face, removed every line on her back and side, removed the lower part of her breast, and smoothed her leg out. It’s almost a different person in the side-by-side!
Lindsay Lohan’s Booty Blowout
Image via Instagram
Lindsay has a few photoshop fails, but this one is the most blatant. Just take a peak at Ms. Lohan’s rear end in relation to the wall. Need I say more?
Jeb Bush’s Magic Hand
Image via Entertainment Weekly
During the former Republican nominee’s failed presidential campaign last year, Jeb Bush released a few promotional shots where one of his hands appears to have changed ethnicities mysteriously. Either Jeb’s staff had a bone to pick or he tried appealing to a different voter group!
The Kardashian’s Flawless Fail
Image via Sears
Okay, so I usually love everything these girls do… But this time it was too much. The Kardashian sisters released a promotional campaign for their Sears lingerie line, and the photos were perfect. Too perfect. Their faces look like porcelain! Take a lesson from Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe – sometimes, your imperfections are the very things that give you character.
Take a lesson from these celebs – sometimes, less is more.
Anyone who knows me is well aware I’m obsessed with reality television – especially The Real Housewives. It’s not the most intellectual or deep programming, but it helps me tune out and relax. Nothing too heavy, just fun and games – and drama I can watch from the comfort of my own couch without participating in. So when I had the opportunity to shoot THE Cynthia Bailey and her new eyewear collection, I nearly had a fan freak out!
If you watch Real Housewives of Atlanta, anything on Bravo TV, or follow social media, you’ve heard of Cynthia’s eyewear collection and the “‘mercial.” (Side note: can anyone confirm who came up with the word “’mercial?”) But you may not have seen the actual glasses – they’re stunning. Her styles are fun, fresh and youthful – just like Cynthia.
Cynthia’s eyewear collection combines a modern, sleek sophisticated vibe. She’s taken many frames and lenses that blend a New York fashion scene with the cool, calm feel of Atlanta. It’s a perfect representation of her own personality. My personal favorite is the “Noelle Black” frame with the lightly purple-tinted lenses. Stay tuned for more frames as they become available.
If you’re addicted to Bravo like I am, be sure to watch #ShadySunday – the first episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion airs tonight!
This week, I had the pleasure of shooting one of my closest friends, Kurt Haymond. He stopped by the studio for his new PR shots to promote his amazing new store, The Urban Manor, located in Snider Plaza. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to speak with one of Dallas’ most interesting men about his incredible career in fashion, interior design, and visual merchandising.
Kurt leaped into the fashion and interior furnishings world early on in his life. He says he “accidentally got into the jewelry world at 20,” starting his own business and learning the ins and outs of the industry. He soon after found himself working at Calvin Klein as his first experience in luxury retail. He says he gained an extensive knowledge in window designs and merchandising. By chance, he started designing the windows and he fell in love with the creative process.
In 2000, he began working as the lead visual merchandiser of Tootsie’s. He worked with the company for 11 years, with his last project opening the Houston flagship store. During that time, he was written up twice as being one of the leading window merchandisers in the game. He worked on-and-off for Tootsies and Gregory’s, creating beautiful displays across the country.
In 2009, Kurt left his visual merchandising position at Gregory’s and came back to Dallas dressing a handful of private clients. Before long, he couldn’t escape his need to return to the retail world and opened Assembly, a high-end clothing store, in Dallas’ West Village luxury retail center.
Last year, Kurt followed his heart back to interiors and opened The Urban Manor with his daughter Ariel. They found the perfect space at Snider Plaza, where he and Ariel opened shop and have made their dream a reality. Not only do they feature some of the most extraordinary pieces in Dallas, they’ve expanded and opened a floral shop. Their florals are magnificent and they have some of the most beautiful arrangements in Dallas. They’ve recently added custom invitations with Terry Cummings as their new “king of invitations, stationery and weddings.” Kurt says Terry “ignites that creative spark” in himself and Ariel.
It’s no secret that executive portraits and commercial photography are my “bread and butter,” but I’ve done a lot of different work. Before I found my way into working with business professionals, I was very active in the fashion industry and shot more model comp cards than I can remember. So this week, it was refreshing to go back to my roots and work with one of Dallas’ fastest rising stars in the fashion modeling world, David Miller.
David found his way into modeling under unexpected circumstances. While he was a student at Texas Christian University, his tuition climbed 8% each year and he found himself looking for different ways to pay for his education. One of his friends had recently signed with the Kim Dawson Agency and suggested David do the same. He spent three months trimming down to fit sample sizes and soon after signed with Kim Dawson.
After graduating from TCU and finding a job as a financial advisor, he found himself modeling more and more. David says, “You know, I realized that finance will always be there, but modeling is a lot of fun. It’s become a passion. I never thought it would become a full time career but it’s turned out to be an amazing experience. I wake up excited to work! Every single day is a grand adventure and I just feel so lucky. I truly love what I do.”
At 26 years old, David’s poised to succeed creatively and professionally – he finds himself getting more involved in all aspects of the industry. He’s even begun branching out creatively, producing the October 2015 issue of FD Luxe magazine.
For more on David, check out his Instagram account or get in touch with his representation at Kim Dawson.
I say it almost every day: I love my job. There’s no better feeling in the world for me than when I’m in the studio and helping other people achieve their personal or professional goals. I do my best to position them with my executive portraits, commercial shoots, or new business branding sessions and give them the boost they need in their image. But, many professionals don’t understand the bigger picture of branding. From doctors and lawyers all the way to make up artists and hair stylists, they seem to miss the importance of a digital presence. That’s why I’m giving you the 3 biggest tips to build your digital brand in 2016!
Consider this your “SEO 101” Crash Course:
If you build it, they will come: the website If you don’t have a business website or social media page, you’re doing it wrong. It’s estimated that 85% of consumers will check products or services online before they make any sort of decision in the buying process. If they can’t Google you, then you’ve already lost the sale. Be visible, be available, and be online.
Create quality content After you have a website and social media presence, you have to create content so you become visible online. No one’s going to find you unless you have searchable, shareable media that interests an audience. Take photos, write whitepapers, post regularly and be consistent. The digital marketplace has the mentality of, “what have you posted lately?” Last year’s newsletter will not hold anyone’s attention – roll content out immediately.
Get on your grind Again, the mentality is, “what have you done for me lately?” Stay busy, network, post vigilantly and be current. Stay on top of current events in your industry. Become a thought leader and continue sharing relevant articles. Stay updated on your pages – new photos, new product/service information, recent events with your business.If it appears as though you don’t care about your brand, no one else will.
This is just a start. As you build your brand, you’ll be able to see what parts of your business model need more emphasis than others. Follow these 3 simple tips and I guarantee you will have a profitable 2016!
I love my clients. I go out of my way to build and nurture relationships to the best of my ability. When one of my clients achieves success from an executive portrait session, it’s the best part of my job. It’s what makes my job worthwhile. So this week, continuing my interview series, I sat down with Brandt Roessler and asked him about his recent career success as well as what’s next for the future lawyer.
What prompted you to get new headshots?
Brandt: “I got an internship with a law firm in New York City and each of the interns were required to submit portraits for the company directory. Instead of submitting an amateur photograph—one more appropriate for social media than a corporate directory—I turned to Beau for professional executive portraits.”
Why are headshots important in your industry?
Brandt: “The basic role of a lawyer is to represent his or her client. It’s very important that the client is well-represented in the courtroom and during transactional negotiations. Naturally, appearance is also a factor considered by the client. When choosing a lawyer, the client wants to know that the lawyer both looks and acts professionally. Headshots are the primary way potential clients can see the “face” of the law firm.”
How have executive portraits helped you?
Brandt: “In addition to using the executive portraits from Beau in my internship’s corporate directory, I’ve also used them for my LinkedIn and other social media. The executive portraits helped me maintain professionalism during the internship and, in the end, paved the way for me getting a permanent job offer with the firm.”
What’s next for you in 2016?
Brandt: “I will graduate law school in May 2016 and move to New York City to soon begin work at the law firm where I interned in 2015. When it’s time to update my corporate directory profile from “intern” to “associate,” I’ll turn to Beau to make sure my headshots are updated as well.”
As you’re well aware, I usually talk about the Kardashians, wardrobe choices and make up artists in my blogs. Pretty soft topics. But this week, there’s a certain convention in the Dallas area and a dear friend of mine that are on my mind.
This weekend, the Dallas Safari Club held their annual convention at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Center. The exhibits at this year’s DSC Convention ranged from photographic products to hunting gear. Now, normally I wouldn’t get involved or comment on this issue, but my dear friend and fine art photographer Joani White is passionate about the topic. When she recently stopped by the studio for a headshot session with yours truly, I spoke with her to get her perspective on the convention and it’s affect on the wildlife featured.
What’s your perspective on the Dallas Safari Convention?
Joani: “I feel like we’ve gained quite a bit of awareness around the horrific nature of big game trophy hunting with Cecil the lion, and to glorify big game trophy hunting on such a large scale is a step in the wrong direction. These big conventions are disguised on many levels, but the essence of the convention, make no mistake, is big game trophy hunting’s interest.”
What’s your experience with these animals as a wildlife and fine art photographer?
Joani: “I’ve had the opportunity to witness many endangered species in their natural habitat, which has given me a tremendous sense of satisfaction watching them interact in their worlds. To photograph these animals rather than using a gun and robbing them of their existence, I can’t imagine how a person could do such a thing. Being able to interact with these creatures, in their own environment, has given me such a deep personal experience and feels like an honor. I photograph them so I can share their beautiful existences with others. It’s unthinkable that people would hunt and end their lives.”
Why take a stand on big game trophy hunters?
Joani: “With my conservation and environmentalist perspectives, especially with the changing world environment and rising numbers of endangerment of animals, it hurts me on a deep, emotional level. I encourage and invite every reader to educate themselves on rising numbers of endangered animals – elephants, cheetahs, lions, the list goes on. The numbers speak for themselves. Even National Geographic is shedding light on the issue.
As a wildlife and exotic photographer, I can’t stand by idly and watch this continue. I want future generations to see and experience these animals, and if my talents and photographs can do anything to help, then I feel as though it’s my duty.”
Hello and happy new year! I love this time of year and all the joy I see in the people I encounter. The holidays have such an amazing effect on everyone in Dallas, and it’s especially apparent when looking on Facebook and Instragram. It’s a never-ending scroll full of family photos and Christmas cards. While I enjoy seeing your happy, shining faces, I feel I’d be doing you a disservice not to share a few tips of the trade. Because, let’s face it, no matter how cute your child is, no one looks cute with “derp” face on a Christmas card.
Here’s 4 tips to photographing your family:
1. Get it in during “Golden Hour”
When taking a family portrait, nothing is as paramount as lighting. Make sure your clan shows up before or at 4 pm during this time of year – that’s when the sun will hit the “sweet spot” and give you the amazing lighting you’re looking for.
2. Shoot into the sun
Contrary to popular belief (and logic), shooting your subjects with the sun behind them will create a beautiful, glowing effect that makes your portrait a work of art.
3. Set your camera up properly
This is a big one: check your settings! First and foremost, set your aperture appropriately. For sunny conditions, set it to f/16. For slightly overcast conditions, set it to f/11. For overcast situations, set it to f/8. For very overcast conditions, set it to f/5.6.
Your next tip is your ISO level – make sure it’s higher in low-light situations and lower in bright-light situations. For “golden hour,” I’d suggest setting your ISO level lower since the sun is at it’s brightest.
4. Pro-tip: Use filters!
For those of you editing your photos in Adobe Lightroom, there are tons of free filters at your disposal. They’re called “presets” and will blow your mind. If you want to add even more to your photo or save a mediocre shot, throw a filter on it and salvage your work.
Most importantly though, act like you like each other! Good luck shooting.