Six online uses for personal branding photographs (and they’re all free!)

Boating portrait

In today’s image saturated world of social media, relying on a simple head and shoulders portrait to communicate your brand message is no longer effective. You need to show your personality to attract people to your business. What are some ways to do that online?

1. Content for social media

LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, the list doesn’t seem to end. Some experts recommend posting to Instagram alone every day. Do you have 30 days worth of solid brand imagery for the next month? Show yourself working, your products, production methods, and anything else that would be of interest to possible clients.

2. Your Google identity

Did you know your face follows you around the Internet with Google’s help? Every time some one reads an email from your Google account, they’re seeing an image of you (assuming you uploaded one). Just seeing that single image can generate thousands of impressions every month. Make sure it’s a good photo.

3. Your email signature

Like your Google identity, your email signature gets read constantly. Did you know you can put an image in it with the help of a third party service? By making it a strong image with a call to action, now you’ve got a lead generator being sent out with every email.

4. Gravatars

What’s a gravatar? It’s a globally unique avatars introduced a few years ago. Although not quite as popular today as it once was, it’s a way for your image to follow you when commenting on blog posts. Make it the same as your digital presence on other sites and you’ll be recognized as the same person.

5. LinkedIn profile

It goes without saying a great LinkedIn profile picture is an absolute must. But do you post about your business? What are the images you’re using for that? Sure you can post without an image, but it’s now very well understood that posts with images attract more attention. And if you’re posting regularly on Instagram you can use the same library of images because now you’re reaching different audiences.

6. Website about me

What does the picture on your “About” page say about you and your business? Most websites will only have a single image, but why not post several and tell a story? Potential clients love looking behind the curtain to see your process at work, so why not show them?

Analog Marketing

There are also a plethora of other uses for personal branding for print collateral ranging from business cards, brochures, and direct mail to full magazines. So if you’re thinking about a shoot don’t forget about all the offline ways you can use those digital photos.

Modern Glamour Photography

One of the things we get asked a lot about is glamour photography. The word glamour is synonymous with the 80’s studio chain Glamour Shots. The hallmarks of the look were big hair, bad makeup, and even worse poses. And if you grew up when going to the mall was the highlight of your weekend, then you probably have your own Glamour Shot photos.

What’s missing from that kind of photography is the beauty and personality of the subject. It’s not just teasing your hair and overdoing the makeup. For us, being a beauty photographer is all about making you feel gorgeous on the inside as well as the outside. Your photos should make you look strong, confident, and beautiful which is why every glamour shoot we do is done in a Vanity Fair style.

The look is sophisticated and elegant with a lot of emphasis put on the design of the shoot. That includes paying close attention to scene setting, wardrobe, and makeup so that they all come together effortlessly. The photographs should look as though they’re magazine quality. So for some clients this means a bright, colorful, glossy look while for others it’s something softer and more muted. Ultimately you get to play art director by helping to plan the look of your shoot.

Below are a few photos for inspiration, including some recent ones that were featured here on the blog.

Vintage floral hair style

High key glamour portrait

Client wearing sequined blue dress

Eyelash skirt

Interested in doing a glamour shoot of your own? Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

Experimental Portraits with a Floral Theme

As a creative and business owner at the same time, it’s really important for me to stay inspired to create beautiful portraits for clients. Without that inspiration it’s easy to fall into a routine. Creating new personal work is the key to innovating and growing as an artist. I’ve learned that it’s simply something I have to do regularly to keep the desire strong to create.

I’ve been experimenting with some stylized portrait work that is a blend of beauty, fashion, and portraiture. One idea I’ve wanted to try for quite awhile is a floral look that is soft, feminine, and sensual. This idea isn’t new; it’s existed in the art world for thousands of years so it’s certainly not anything original on my part.

Going further, I wanted to take the look and make it a bit bohemian and vintage. I’ve done some floral portraits in the past, but I either wasn’t happy with the results or it featured tones that were bright and colorful. This look I ended up with for this shoot is very different for me as I tend to work with black and white for most of my personal work.

So together with Martha, a model friend of mine, and my partner Kerri, we spent an afternoon playing around in the studio. For the wardrobe we went with a simple wrap of tulle as well as some ribbons to provide some added sensuality and femininity. Kerri did some magic with the makeup and hair, including placing the flowers. Overall I was especially pleased with the two shots below.

If you think a look like this would be fun for your glamour portrait shoot, we’d love to hear from you. Part of the fun of doing a shoot is being creative so we’d love to hear your ideas!

Vintage floral hair style

Hair piece with ivy

Fashion Portrait Shoot with Amanda and Chris

Chris and Amanda came by the studio last week for a couples portrait shoot. Rather than a traditional romantic look, we went for a look that was more fashion forward by using dark colors and strong poses.

The styling was loosely based on the annual Vanity Fair Oscar portraits shot by Mark Seliger. It’s always fun to incorporate a fashion look into a photo shoot and these guys killed it. The key to making it work is a little bit of planning before the shoot to find some inspiration, and then the wardrobe, to make it work.

What you wear to a portrait photo shoot is probably the most important thing that will determine the quality of the final photos. If you have something in mind but don’t have the clothes, there are lots of options. Borrowing from friends and family is probably easiest and least expensive. It’s also possible to rent high end gowns from online places like Rent the Runway and tuxes from the local mens’ shop. Check out the glamour portfolio page for some ideas.

Chris wore an all gray suit with just the vest to give the images a bit less formality while Amanda went with a sexy black dress with a deep sweetheart neck line. Both were perfect for adding sophistication and a feeling of luxury.

Loved working with these guys on this shoot. And thanks as always to Kerri for an awesome job on hair and makeup!

Portrait with woman sitting with dress pulled up

Couple wearing black

Boston Fashion Stylist Tara West

I had the pleasure of working with Tara West on a recent fashion shoot. When I’m shooting a commercial look, she’s my go to stylist and has helped me on different shoots over the last couple of years. But this time instead of prepping wardrobe for the camera, she was the model and she absolutely killed it! In addition to working with photographers, she runs her own fashion blog at Tara West Fashion, maintains an active Instagram account, and works with private clients.

Thanks to Kerri Herlihy for the makeup assist. Here are a few of my favorite images!

Standing portrait

Teal skirt with sweater top

Yellow dress portrait

Your Photo Shoot Consultation

Client sitting in a chair for consultation

We treat each photoshoot as unique as you are! To receive top quality photos that reflect your expectations we suggest you take the time to come into the studio for a short consultation. Although it is not mandatory; it gives you the option to get comfortable with your photographer and studio space. Furthermore; it will allow you to take the time to customize aspects that influence the overall style of your photoshoot.

Below, we have gathered 5 reasons you should book a consultation before your shoot!

Meet The Photographer: Erik

Coming in for a consultation means that have the chance to meet Erik. You can use this time to learn more about him so that you are not working with a “stranger” on the day of your shoot. You will find that this will allow initial nerves to fade away.

Wardrobe, Make-Up, & Hair Oh My !

One of the first things we like to go over during a consultation is the plans for your wardrobe, make-up, and hair. If you’re unsure about what you’d like, we can sit down and look through photos to help you find inspiration from previously used styles. Although you are responsible for your wardrobe, we can provide a makeup artist to do your makeup and some light hair styling. Taking time during a consultation to learn about your makeup style preferences will give you more time in front of the camera on your shoot day.

Get Comfortable With The Studio

Along with getting comfortable with your photographer, a consultation also allows you to visit and get comfortable with the studio space. We will be sure to give you a quick tour so that when your shoot day arrives you know your way around!

Choose the Style of Your Shoot

There are many types of styles you can go for in your final portraits. Visiting the studio will allow you to choose your favorite backdrops and set options with a clear head. Making these decisions during the consultation will ease your mind during your shoot day.

In addition to the set backgrounds and props we will also discuss the overall style of the shoot. Do you want your photos to feel dark and moody, or light and soft? These are aspects Erik must take into consideration before he preps for you to come in on your shoot day.

View Print Options

As we wrap up your consult we will showcase the various print options you have to choose from. Displaying your final photos is important to us. We’ll help you make the right decisions to match your selections with your budget.

We are so happy to hear that you have booked your shoot! To schedule a pre-shoot consultation please contact erik@pattonportraits.com.

Beyond Lingerie for a Boudoir Photo Shoot

Corset from the back

If you have just booked your first boudoir photo shoot, you must be rummaging through your closet to find the perfect lingerie pieces to add to your wardrobe for the day. Before your room looks like a tornado hit, we suggest you take a peek at our suggestions to get you started!

Lingerie

The most common piece to bring on your shoot day is your favorite lingerie. A matching bra and panty set always creates a stunning photo. Some ladies even bring thigh highs and garter belts to add a flare of sexy style.

We understand that some lingerie pieces can be tedious to put on in the studio. We always make sure our make-up artist, Kerri is ready to assist with any wardrobe pieces such as tough zippers, clasps, or ties.

Bustier > Corsets

If you are looking to enhance your shape with your wardrobe we encourage that you bring a bustier instead of a corset. Although Corsets are designed to give you an hourglass shape we notice that they tend to flatten you out on top and provide minimal support. This is not ideal while shooting which is why we suggest the bustier. They are designed with support and are more flattering on your cleavage.

To see the difference between a Bustier & Corset please click here.

Men’s Dress Shirt

The classic look of a beautiful women wearing a men’s dress shirt adds personality and curiosity to a boudoir shoot. During the shoot we usually suggest you style the shirt to enhance your look by rolling up the sleeves, pinning the back, and or dropping a sleeve off the shoulder. You also have the choice to wear it with or without lingerie underneath. We aim to make the shoot all about you and what you are comfortable with!

White Sheet

A white sheet gently placed in front or wrapped around you becomes a great prop to hide any areas you want to avoid showing along with adding implied nudity to the final photos.

Birthday Suit

With years of boudoir photo shoot experience we have found a variety of tasteful ways to shoot nudity in fine art or glamour styles. This “wardrobe” or lack there of style is completely your call and we suggest putting thought into this decision before your shoot day! Our number one priority during boudoir shoots is your comfort level. If this is a style you want in your final photos we suggest reaching out to receive a gallery of nude work. This will give you an idea of the poses you will be doing along with understanding the elegance that is portrayed in the final portraits.

Bringing A Friend to a Shoot

Laying on couch in white lingerie

Our friends and family are our greatest supporters. A common question we receive is; Can I bring my friend, husband, or mother with me during the shoot? The answer simply depends on the person. This is why we gathered some considerations you should take before deciding on bringing a companion along for your shoot!

1. Social Hour

If you are bringing a friend to make your visit a little more fun we suggest you refrain from doing so as this can potentially distract the photographer, and extend your shoot time. If you do bring a friend, please note that we will need your full attention during preparation tasks like makeup and wardrobe.

2. Shoot Time

Most shoots will take anywhere between 2-4 hours. Please prepare this expectation with your companion. He or she may feel antsy after an hour and can rush the shoot to arrive on time to other obligations. We suggest you bring a patient and polite companion who is aware of the time your shoot will take.

3. Distractions

Distractions in the studio tends to take any photographer out of their artistic flow and concentration. We ask that all shoot companions refrain from playing music, have any extended phone conversations, and or interrupt Erik’s directions in the studio. Shoot companions are encouraged to give a thumbs up, short confidence boosting comment, or encouraging smile to communicate with and help you along the shoot.

4. Boudoir Companions

During our studio experience we have found that brining a friend or significant other during a boudoir session has made the subject uncomfortable and self conscious during posing. We believe this is due to the feeling of a “crowded room” with an audience as opposed to a personalized session. This is a common finding and we suggest you take this into consideration before deciding to bring a friend.

5. Children & Parents

We encourage that any shoots that include young aspiring models also bring a parent/legal guardian as their shoot companion to meet Erik and his team.

These are all of the major considerations we suggest you take before deciding to bring a shoot companion. If you are having trouble deciding or have any further questions you can chat with us. We are more than happy to help you make this decision before coming in for your shoot!

Strike A Pose : The Guide to Posing for Your Photoshoot

Client leaning on wall

Strike A Pose

One of the most common questions we receive before shoots is, “Do I have to know how to pose?” The best part about shooting with us is that we do all the hard work for you! Your comfort level is our top priority. You will never be expected to come up with poses for your photos, unless of course you have some fun ideas you have always wanted to try!

Erik is highly experienced and will direct every part of the pose from body twists to hand placement. Posing is done in a strategic way to bring focus to your favorite body parts such as your face, bust, legs, etc. He even hides the parts of your body you want to take attention away from such as cellulite, tattoos, and more.

An important note to remember during the shoot is that although some poses may feel unnatural, we will direct you to ensure you receive the best looking photo! Trust in our advice and direction and you can guarantee a successful shoot. If you ever are posed in an uncomfortable way all you have to do is let Erik know. He will adjust accordingly. Posing includes lots of stretching, bending, and twisting your body, so if you do not regularly stretch you may experience slight stiffness the day following your shoot. It’s a sign of a good shoot!

To book your shoot today, please click here.

To like us on Facebook and to leave a review of your experience click here.

To follow us on Instagram click here.

Photoshoot Scheduling Considerations

Woman in blue dress

How To Schedule Your Shoot

The process of booking a shoot varies from studio to studio. We run different hours, hold tight schedules during different holidays and spend more or less time to deliver your final products. So here are the 3 things you should know when scheduling your shoot with us!

1. Decide on Your Final Product

Before you book your shoot it is important that you prepare by deciding on your final product. Will you want your photos as prints, a complete album, or digital images? This is important to decide because each one takes a different amount of time to produce. For example, if you would like an album as a gift to your fiance by the time of your wedding, we recommend you book your shoot for a minimum of 6 weeks prior since album orders can take up to four weeks. Images can be completed in one week and prints will take up to two.

2. Book Early on Holidays

Christmas and Valentines are our busiest holidays. If you are booking around November – February we suggest booking in advance to save your spot. We tend to run slower during the spring time, which gives you the option to book at your leisure during this season.

3. Consider an off time

If you have some flexibility in your schedule, booking a shoot during the weekday evenings can make scheduling quite a bit easier. This is when we tend to have the most open availability. Weekend shoots are always an option as well, but tend to fill more quickly than off times. To check availability, contact us to see what what times are available.

That’s all there is to it. We look forward to putting your photoshoot on our calendar!