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Your Guide to Incredible and Professional Realtor Headshots

As a Realtor, your headshot is a powerful marketing asset that can help you make great first impressions with potential clients. Your Realtor headshot should represent you as a whole – what you look like and what you stand for. At Kyle Bondeson Photography, we understand that your headshot represents your commitment to your clients […]

How Corporate Headshots Can Enhance Your Personal Branding

Branding involves creating a unique visual identity for your business and the product or services you provide. While many businesses focus on logos, fonts, and color palettes, your corporate headshot is often the most memorable part of your marketing. Exceptional corporate headshot photography can enhance your resume, assist you with networking, or even add the […]

Why Is It Important to Do Staff Photos?

It can be easy to forget in today’s digitized business world that companies are ultimately made up of a group of individuals working together toward common goals. More companies are offering remote and hybrid working options, which can make it harder to remember humans are behind their success. Staff photos are a great way to […]

Headshots Outside or Inside: Which is Better?

Headshots are tightly cropped portraits that only include the head and shoulders of the subject. The focus is entirely on the person’s face. That may sound faintly similar to a passport photo or even a mug shot. However, a professional headshot is much more than just a quick snapshot. A professional headshot will reveal your […]

How Should Staff Prepare for a Business Photo Shoot?

Employee photos are an exceptional tool if you want to enhance your brand image or just show off your company to potential clients. A business photo shoot and staff headshots can provide a professional company impression. To have a great business shoot will require planning, persistence, and flexibility. And you’ll also need an experienced professional […]

What is Personal Branding Photography?

If you’ve been in the business world for even a short time, you may have heard someone say that you need to know your own personal brand. With the rapid growth of social media, the gig economy, and digital dominance, personal branding photography is becoming an essential element for those who desire a successful career. […]

Realtors Marketing Without Headshots: Is It a Good Idea?

Real estate professionals do a lot more than help their clients buy or sell properties. They must sell their personal brand. Buyers and sellers have lots of options when choosing a real estate agent. Branding and marketing strategies can help you stand out and show clients you are your best choice. Realtors marketing without headshots […]

What is a Headshot?

What is a Headshot? Defined There are many terms in the photography business, and it may seem a bit confusing at first. One such term is ‘headshot,’ which instantly conjures an image in your mind, but is it the right one? No matter what you think a headshot is right now, we’re going to explore […]

Who Needs Professional Headshots? Do I Need One?

You might be wondering if your profession requires you to get a professional headshot. Even if it doesn’t, you’d be in a better position if you decide to get a headshot anyway. After all, there are many, many reasons to have a nice, professional photo of yourself taken. Everyone from the CEO to the janitor […]

How to Plan a Personal Branding Photoshoot

If you own a business, especially one online, you’ve more than likely heard someone say “personal branding” at some point in time. You may or may not know what the term means. Let us explain. It’s simple: When people refer to personal branding, they’re referring to branding (read: marketing) themselves. So your personal brand is […]

Why a Professional Headshot is Important

You know that old saying “first impressions make the best impressions”? Well, it’s true. Research has shown that it takes people about .10 seconds to judge you based on their very first encounter with you. Furthermore, research also suggests that those first impressions are very difficult to change down the road. So what people see […]

10 Tips for an Amazing Family Spring Photoshoot

Have you taken a look out your window yet? If not, run! Spring has sprung, folks. Budding trees. Beautiful flowers peeking out. The sun is actually starting to feel warm again. That means it’s the perfect time to schedule your family photoshoot! With such beautiful weather, you just can’t go wrong. Especially not if you […]

10 Professional Photo Shoot Tips For Your Photo Shoot

So you’ve decided to do a professional photo shoot with a Chicago portrait photographer. Congratulations! A photo shoot can be a fantastic memory in and of itself as you create photographs that you will carry with you through life and hand down through the generations. But in order to make the most of your photo […]

Market Your Business With Professional Headshots

You know this already, but it bears emphasizing: image is a vital part of any business. We live in an increasingly visual society. Much of the business you do will be online and so the image you portray there may be the only way people can engage with you. They’ll either like it or they […]

3 Reasons to Hire a Professional Headshot Photographer

It goes without saying—but I’ll say it anyway—cell phones are everywhere. There’s nowhere you can today where you won’t find someone using their phone, whether for business or pleasure. And frequently, whether you’re at work, a concert, or wandering a store, you’ll see people using their phones to take photographs. With the advent of phones, […]

7 Reasons Family Portraits Are Important

You see it everywhere today—people capturing the world around them using their phones, whether it’s a concert, sports event, school play, or any family gathering. To be clear: there is absolutely nothing wrong with that picture (pun intended). It’s wonderful that people can capture memories so easily and conveniently on the go.  However, when it […]

Tips for the Best High School Senior Portraits

What are senior portraits for high school? Senior portraits are the photographs you take toward the end of your final year of high school, when you are preparing to graduate. Whether you have the portraits done by a photographer contracted by the school or by an individual you yourself hire, a portrait will involve a […]

Building A Compelling Brand With Personal Branding Headshots

Some people overlook the importance of clearly establishing a personal brand. Today’s world is indisputably digital—and every bit as visual. Online platforms are increasingly your first opportunity to create a lasting, positive, professional impression on prospective clients. They’ll be looking at all the little details, and that includes examining your headshot for signs of professionalism […]

Do I Really Need a Professional Headshot?

It’s easy to overlook a headshot. It’s just a picture, right? Why would you need one? Well, the truth is there’s a very good reason why you absolutely need a headshot, ASAP: first impressions. The way the world works today, business is conducted online more often than not. You apply for jobs online. You submit […]

How to Get the Perfect Portrait Taken By a Professional

While you’d think having a professional portrait done should be easy, many people find it nerve-wracking. It makes sense—a portrait is something you’re not only going to share with people but is a memory that you will cherish for a lifetime. And you want that memory to encompass the whole photoshoot! To that end, here […]

How to Make Family Portrait Day Go Smoothly

When you decide to get your portrait of your family and/or children done in Chicago, it’s an exciting occasion! There’s all kinds of work involved in finding the right photographer, and once you’ve put in the work and settled on the photographer who you know will help you craft the perfect family portrait in your local Chicago area, then it’s time for Portrait Day.

Environmental Headshots vs Portraits: Marketing with Photography

Environmental Portraits are portraits taken of a subject in a surrounding; often their workplace, which helps tell their story. They are a great way to give the viewer an insight into the life or work of the subject and are an effective way to market yourself or help define your personal brand.

Your Guide to Incredible and Professional Realtor Headshots

As a Realtor, your headshot is a powerful marketing asset that can help you make great first impressions with potential clients. Your Realtor headshot should represent you as a whole – what you look like and what you stand for.

At Kyle Bondeson Photography, we understand that your headshot represents your commitment to your clients and your career. The following guide to excellent Realtor headshots will help you achieve the best possible results from your photo shoot.

The Importance and Role of Realtor Headshots

Your success as a Realtor depends on your ability to form trusting professoinal relationships with your clients. In decades past, these relationships were built over time with in-person meetings and telephone calls, but times have changed. We live in a fast-paced digital world, and Realtors make their first impressions with websites, business cards, billboards, online directories, and other advertisements. Your headshot is the the literal and figurative face of your business.

As real estate becomes more lucrative and competitive, and as more people enter the profession, competition grows. Buyers and sellers turn to the internet to help them find the professionals they need, and they are inundated with potential Realtors. The best Realtor headshot helps you stand out from the growing crowd and capture your potential clients’ attention.

Modern Realtor Headshots: The New Trend

Realtor headshots have evolved over the years. Once upon a time, headshots focused solely on the shoulders upward, and they featured a solid background decorated only with the agency’s or Realtor’s logo. These days, headshots are far more exciting, and things like backgrounds, poses, and even field of view can influence the overall “feel” of the photography.

 

Though the photos should still have an overarching theme of professionalism, modern Realtor headshots allow for far more personalization. As a result, the photography is more unique, and real estate agents can use it to improve their marketing campaigns or further enhance their professional image.

Top 5 Tips for the Best Realtor Headshots

The best Realtor headshots should consist of five different elements that make a cohesive statement: pose, position, background, clothing and accessories, and facial expressions.

Pose

While Realtor headshots once cropped everything but the shoulders out of the photo, times have changed. These days, realtor headshots can include part or all of the body as long as the primary focus is on the face. Before choosing a pose, it is important to consider the size of the photo on business cards, flyers, and websites. Smaller photos should be cropped to include more of the face.

 

Choose a pose that looks relaxed, comfortable, and approachable, yet still professional. A popular pose in real estate photography features a seated Realtor leaning forward just slightly, as if ready to have a conversation. Another features a standing realtor facing the camera with the body turned just slightly away.

Position

The Realtor’s face should always be the focus of the image. In most cases, professional photographers will always keep the Realtor’s face toward the top center of the photo. However, for small photos – such as photos for business cards – the Realtor’s face may be centered.

Background

In years past, real estate agents chose backgrounds consisting of solid colors that suited their brand image. Black and white have always been popular options, but other solid colors have also worked well. Modern Realtor headshots can feature more interesting backgrounds that reflect their expertise or appeal to their target audience.

 

For example, a Realtor focused on selling office space in New York City might find that a background featuring a city skyline resonates with their clientele. On the other hand, a Realtor who sells single-family homes in small suburban areas might opt for a beautiful home featuring a vast front yard as the background.

Clothing & Accessories

Real estate agents are skilled professionals, so the clothing and accessories they wear in their photographs should reflect that. While some Realtors may feel tempted to “dress up” for photography, the best course of action is to dress exactly as they would when showing a property or meeting with a client. Bold patterns and flashy accessories can be distracting.

Facial Expressions

The facial expression in a Realtor headshot is the most important element of all. Most photographs feature a beaming, friendly smile that makes the Realtor appear approachable. However, if the smile appears forced, this will come across in the final product.

Guide to Male Realtor Headshots

Male Realtor headshots are somewhat different from their counterparts in a few different ways. Men might choose to wear a button-up shirt, jacket, and tie for a highly professional look, but in some situations, photos without the tie and jacket may be more representative of the Realtor’s personality and business practice.

Get the Best Realtor Headshots with a Professional Photographer

While a headshot might seem simple enough for almost anyone to create, an experienced professional will always get better and more impactful results. Professional photographers have the experience, equipment, and knowledge to create the perfect photos for your business cards, website, flyers, and more.

 

Kyle Bondesson Photography specializes in Realtor headshots that can propel your career forward. As a Realtor, you need to show your potential clients that you are skilled, capable, and personable. Professional headshots and marketing portraits can go a long way toward showing the world who you are.

Headshots Outside or Inside: Which is Better?

Headshots are tightly cropped portraits that only include the head and shoulders of the subject. The focus is entirely on the person’s face. That may sound faintly similar to a passport photo or even a mug shot. However, a professional headshot is much more than just a quick snapshot. A professional headshot will reveal your character and help people relate to you on an emotional level. This is much more than just helping to identify who you are.

Working with a professional photographer is important so you get a high-quality headshot that will help you build your reputation online and off. Headshots play a valuable role across a wide variety of industries, including actors, models, bank board members, key staff for high-end businesses, and more. You want to make sure you get your headshot right, and you may have many questions. You may want to start with some basic questions, such as whether a headshot must be done in a studio. You may also wonder if they can be done in your workplace. Of course, you may also wonder which is better for professional headshots, outside or inside.

Do Headshots Have to Be Inside at a Studio?

Headshots can be taken anywhere; they don’t have to be taken inside a studio. There are some advantages and disadvantages to taking headshots in a studio. There isn’t a clear-cut right or wrong answer when it comes to taking your headshots in a studio, on location, or outside. Choosing a location will come down to which setting best reflects the brand and personal preferences. The best answer to this question relies on who needs the headshot and how it will be used.

Should You Take Headshots Outside or Inside?

Headshots offer value to professional businesses and actors. Your headshot becomes the face of your online network, and they are useful for helping set your resume apart from other applicants. Whether you should take professional headshots inside or outside depends on several factors, including your industry, your audience, and the message you want to convey. A professional headshot photographer will create headshots that have a consistent look and lighting no matter what location you choose. However, there are some pros and cons to taking headshots outside and inside or in the studio.

Outdoor Headshots

Taking photos outside in natural light can provide a softer, fresher feel than headshots taken indoors. Some advantages of taking headshots outdoors include an instant atmosphere, which means neither you nor your professional photographer has to manufacture a backdrop. Just choose an outdoor location that has the aesthetics you prefer, such as a waterscape, park background, other natural scenes, or a streetscape. Outdoor photography can take advantage of natural lighting, and you don’t have walls closing you in. You can also take advantage of seasonal features such as the burst of fall colors or bright green hues of spring. These effects can be difficult to recreate in the studio environment.

There are a few cons to outdoor photoshoots, but most of them are not deal breakers but simply worth considering when setting up the shoot. You may need to work around the weather by keeping up with the latest local forecasts. Also, remember that when you are shooting outdoor headshots in a public place, you are not guaranteed privacy.

On Location Headshots

On location, headshots can provide numerous advantages. It offers a more natural setting that reflects both your personality and your brand. When you use your office space or other workplace location, it showcases your environment and industry, adding a personal touch to your headshot, which makes you stand out from your competition. An on-location photoshoot provides plenty of variety and creativity over a studio headshot session. You have a variety of relevant backgrounds to choose from, including poses and lighting. Shooting on-location is a great time saver, which is especially beneficial for companies that need to update headshots for several employees.

One disadvantage to on-location headshots includes having less control over the environmental lighting. The photographer will need to adjust the lighting in each location. There can also be scheduling conflicts, or you may have to limit the shooting to a specific time of day to get the best lighting in a certain area.

Studio Headshots

Studio headshots are taken inside a special photographic studio. Do headshots have to be inside a studio? No, even at a studio, a photographer can take headshots outside or inside. However, there are several distinct advantages to taking headshots in a studio. The headshot is taken against a plain background, which is usually a neutral color like white, gray, or black. Artificial lighting is in use to ensure proper lighting. Since the photographer controls the lighting, it is consistent, and it won’t matter what time of day or night the images are captured. Studio headshots include a simple, clean background and style that doesn’t distract from the subject of the photo. The studio headshot is easily replicated, which is perfect for members of a team.

There are a couple of disadvantages of studio headshots. For instance, you may need to travel to the studio for the photo shoot. It is also uncomfortable for some people to stand or sit in front of a camera, making it difficult to get a more natural shot. Professional photographers with years of experience, like Kyle Bondeson, are pros at helping subjects feel at ease in front of the camera.

Choosing a Photographer

After you’ve decided what setting you prefer for your headshot, you will need to choose a photographer. You may want to talk to several photographers and look at their portfolios. A professional photographer should have plenty of examples of headshots, and you should like the results you see. You’ll also want to choose a photographer who listens to you and seems easy to work with. Some important considerations that can influence the project negatively or positively include:

  • Photographer’s Level of Experience. Choose a photographer who is familiar with providing the results you want. They should know exactly what you need in a professional headshot and why you need it.
  • Good Ideas. Good photographers will be a great source for providing exceptional ideas.
  • Easy to Schedule. Ask the photographer about how busy they are and how far out you may need to schedule a photoshoot. Check with them about how they deal with weather conditions that are not suitable for outdoor photo shoots, cancelation, and rescheduling if necessary.
  • Friendly and Helpful Demeanor. Your chosen photographer should be friendly and easy to work with. They should be concerned about you and want to ensure you get the professional headshot you need.

Get In Touch With Kyle Bondeson Today!

Whether you need acting or business headshots, you need the best professional headshot photographer available. A professional headshot has the potential to propel your acting or business career, so you want to choose an exceptional photographer who can help you relax and pose. Kyle Bondeson specializes in taking professional headshots for actors and business professionals in the Chicago area. He has 15 years of photography experience. Learn how he can help you put your best foot forward with a high-quality headshot.

Top LinkedIn Headshot Tips for the Best Profile Photos

Although LinkedIn is a social media platform, it’s unlike any other. Rather than sharing your personal life with your peers, you’ll be networking to find, or remain in, your ideal job. This requires you to think through your profile picture choice. After all, you’re not going to want to post a funny photo, nor should you use a snapshot from your phone. So, what should you do? Read on to find out the best way to get a compelling and professional-looking LinkedIn headshot.

What Should Your LinkedIn Profile Picture Look Like?

Choosing the right photo for your LinkedIn profile should take into consideration your personality and the impression you want to leave.  Generally, the following are essentials for displaying your professional side.

  • Your photo needs to look like you.
  • Your face should take up the majority of the frame.
  • You should be the only person in the picture.
  • Choose an approachable photo with an authentic expression. Confident, competent, friendly, genuine. Be yourself, it will show.
  • Wear what you would wear to work. Dress for the job that you have or want. If it’s a more casual job then you’d look weird in a 3 piece suit, if you’re a high-powered attorney you might consider a tie.

How to Take a Professional Photo for LinkedIn 

Getting the right photo for LinkedIn can be difficult. That’s because the image needs to be professional but also approachable. How do you walk the line between these two criteria? Here’s a few tips for achieving the right LinkedIn headshot:

  • Choose a Recent Image – The purpose of your headshot is to get your foot in the door, but it’s also to present yourself with how you’d like to be seen: competent, professional, honest, genuine and trustworthy.
    Let’s face it, most of us don’t look like we did in our 20s, even so, it’s best to avoid using an older photo. You don’t want clients or customers wondering comparing you to a15 year old photo and wondering if they’re in the wrong place. It’s best to present yourself as you are.
  • Dress Correctly – Choosing the right outfit may feel daunting, but there’s an easy way to do it. Simply think about the profession you want and dress accordingly! In other words, if the people who are currently doing the job in question wear a suit, then you’ll need to do the same. If, however, they wear a polo shirt and khakis, you should adjust your look (we’’ touch on more of this later).
  • Requirements Exist for a Reason – It doesn’t make sense to spend a great deal of time and effort on a profile photo, only to have it rejected. To prevent this, make sure it matches LinkedIn’s profile photo guidelines and sizing when you’re creating and uploading your profile photo – that way, it ends up looking fantastic every time.
  • Don’t Forget the Cover Photo – It isn’t your profile photo, per se, but the cover photo you upload to LinkedIn can cause yours to shrink or change position on smartphones and similar devices. And, you don’t want someone to miss important information about you because they used a different device. Follow LinkedIn’s requirements and guidelines for uploading your custom cover photo, the same way you did with your profile photo.
  • A Single Headshot is Best – LinkedIn is a professional website, and the focus should be on you. That being said, save the fun group pics for Facebook. A single headshot is best, and you should also ensure that your face takes up about 60% of the frame.
  • Use a High Resolution Photo: Use a high resolution photo, although 8MB is the max. Try to avoid small, low-resolution images, which can happen if you try to take a picture of your employee badge. Always use a fresh one instead.
  • Hiring a Pro Goes a Long Way – A selfie might be great for your social media profile, but the professional nature of LinkedIn requires a more professional approach. A professionally photographed headshot will help you stand out from your peers among potential employers or clients. It gives the right impression and helps to establish your place as a serious candidate.

LinkedIn Headshot Tips 

One of the first things to remember when getting a photo taken is to avoid extraneous details. Rather than doing a half-body shot, focus much more closely on your face. The photo you choose shouldn’t show more than the top 1/3 of your chest.

Another tip to keep in mind is that there is more than one reason not to select a younger image of yourself. Aside from giving people a red flag, it can also make you look too young for the job you’d like. Remember the common adage: wisdom comes with age.

Making eye contact is also a major point. But no matter what you choose to do with your eyes, make sure you’re not wearing sunglasses.

LinkedIn headshots are all about creating your personal brand. Therefore, you want to work with a photographer who is also an artist. Make sure your personal brand shines through in your profile pic.

Chicago Headshot

What Should I Wear to a LinkedIn Headshot?

Your Linkedin profile photo is the essence of your personal brand, and it is at the heart of the message you want to convey about yourself. Here are some tips on what to wear to a LinkedIn headshot:

  1. No Busy Stripes or Patterns: Avoid busy stripes or patterns since the photo itself is fairly small (400 X 400 pixels). After all, you don’t want anything that detracts too much from the real focus which is, of course, you.
  2. Avoid Too Much Jewelry: Similar to the effect in #1, too much jewelry can be distracting. A pair of earrings can be a nice and understated touch, but something like a chunky necklace tends to be distracting.
  3. Layers are Great: Layers look professional and bump up the contrast. Don’t wear too many layers on a hot, summer day, though. You can create an oven for yourself!
  4. Dress for the Industry: Do a little research and dress for the industry you are looking to work in. For instance, find out what the typical dress code is. If it’s business/casual, then a dark suit and tie might be too much. On the other hand, if you’re hoping to be hired by a powerful law firm, then a power suit might be more appropriate.
  5. When in Doubt, Dress Up: No one is ever going to fault you for being overdressed in your LinkedIn profile pic. Meanwhile, being undressed can give the impression that you are sloppy or don’t take yourself or the job seriously.
  6. Be Confident, Yet Comfortable: Wear something that you feel confident in. In other words, pick the outfit that you get compliments on every time you wear it. If you feel comfortable and confident then your headshot will reflect that.

    Additionally, be sure that you feel comfortable in your clothing. You still need to look your best, of course, and you can reach this goal even with the fanciest outfit. If it’s the choice between one suit that’s comfortable and another that’s not, always choose comfort. This will make your image seem more genuine, which is a huge part of getting an interview.

 

What color background is best for LinkedIn headshot?

LinkedIn recommends a light or white background because these colors are classic and professional, and they will not distract from your face. They also make it easy for people to see your facial expression.

Do I need a headshot for LinkedIn?

You do not need a headshot for LinkedIn, but it is highly recommended. A professional headshot can help you make a good first impression on potential employers and clients. It can also help you stand out from the crowd of other profiles.

What is the best pose for LinkedIn photo?

A professional headshot is the best way to represent yourself on LinkedIn. The photo should be close-up, with your head and neck filling most of the frame. The background should be simple and uncluttered, and you should be wearing professional attire.

Can You Use a Selfie For LinkedIn?

While selfies are becoming more accepted on this professional networking site, it is still recommended to have a professional headshot.

A professional photo shows that you take yourself seriously and people will treat you accordingly.

First impressions go a long way. Your profile picture on LinkedIn is a key element to your presence there, and research shows that having a professional picture makes your headshot and profile more likely to be viewed by others. Kyle Bondeson is a professional, Chicago area headshot photographer with years of experience. When it’s time to spruce up your LinkedIn page, be sure to contact us!

 

10 Professional Photo Shoot Tips For Your Photo Shoot

So you’ve decided to do a professional photo shoot with a Chicago portrait photographer. Congratulations! A photo shoot can be a fantastic memory in and of itself as you create photographs that you will carry with you through life and hand down through the generations.

But in order to make the most of your photo shoot, a little prep work is helpful. Here are 10 top tips for helping you get the absolute most out of your time with a professional photographer:

1. Consider clothing carefully before the shoot.

Clothing represents who you are. That almost goes without saying. So you want to take the time, prior to the shoot, to put together several outfits which project the image you want captured forever. Choose several outfits because that way you can go casual, dressy, do a fun, goofy picture if that’s your thing, etc.

  • Make sure you consider accessories—any jewelry, for instance—shoes, ties, etc.
  • Also think of things you can layer to easily create multiple outfits.
  • Pack the outfits the night before.
  • If this photo session involves multiple people, coordinating outfits is fine. Actually, it’s great! But that doesn’t mean you want to get all matchy-matchy. Rather, consider colors. If one person is wearing blue, for instance, someone else might wear a green that is a similar shade. 
  • Avoid khaki and bland white shirts. Get creative! Have fun!

Remember—the goal is for this picture to clearly represent you. So pick stuff that makes you feel good inside and out!

2. Consider hair and makeup.

Let’s face it—Chicago professional headshots and photo shoots don’t come cheap. So you want to look great in them! Make the absolute most of your time by considering every detail of your appearance, including hair and makeup. 

If possible, get your hair and makeup done by professionals. That takes a ton of pressure off you and allows you to have that much more fun at your photo shoot. Pros know all the tricks of the trade to make sure you look incredible. Take advantage of their expertise!

Or, maybe you’re lucky enough to have a friend who excels at the kind of thing. If so, enlist his/her help!

At the very least, strongly consider having someone do your makeup since good (or bad!) makeup can make or break a photo shoot. Professional makeup artists know all about highlighting key features, minimizing flaws, contouring, etc.

Whether you do your hair and makeup yourself or have somebody else do it, the key is to think ahead so that day of the photo shoot, you know the plan and are stress-free.

3. Prop it up.

As part of your pre-shoot prep, think of special things you want included in your photographs. It could be books, awards, suitcases, a special Christmas ornament, sports equipment, flowers, a funky couch—you name it, the sky is the limit as long as you can transport it without undue hassle. Make sure the props are unique and represent the image you want to portray. You want them to enhance the photo shoot and make it that much more, rather than overwhelm it. If you have questions about what will and won’t work, talk to your photographer ahead of time.

Make sure you have anything packed and ready to go the day before.

4. Location, location!

Where you have your photo shoot is every bit as important as what you wear. While photographers undoubtedly have places they love and can recommend—and don’t hesitate to ask about them—there are also special, meaningful places in your life which may make your photographs all the more amazing.

Take some time before the photo shoot to visit such places and figure out the ones that mean the most and which you want captured forever in pictures that will hang in pride of place.

A good tip to keep in mind when considering locations is that a nice balance of sun and shade helps create a good photograph.

While you’re free to choose as many locations as you’d like, do keep in mind that your time for the session is limited, so try to find places that are relatively close to one another so the majority of your session is spent taking incredible pictures and not driving from place to place!

5. Make sure you consider …

Your personality! Your hobbies! What you do for a living! What you love to do with friends! The more you can bring in terms of ideas/props/inspiration to the photo shoot that truly represents you, the more the photo shoot will be amazing. That includes locations. 

Maybe you want to take a picture where you had your first date. Maybe you want to go somewhere inspiration struck and led you to start a whole new business. Or the spot your kid first learned to ride a bike or scored that winning goal. Whatever it is that you want to remember forever, make sure it encapsulates your personality, your life, (and that of anyone else in the shoot) and tell the photographer all about it.

6. Think outside the box.

While you may have certain ideas in mind for a photo shoot, absolutely do not be afraid to get a little wild and crazy. Think unique! You don’t have to do the standard dead-on pose. Lie down. Jump. Sprawl on the grass. Sniff a flower. Use your locations and props to their fullest to give you a truly extraordinary, one-of-a-kind photograph.

7. Do your research.

No, you do not want to copy somebody else’s special picture for your own Chicago headshots. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get ideas! Go looking online. Talk to friends. Look in magazines. Gather ideas that help enhance some of the looks and places you’re already considering. Put together a theme. Print it out or snap pictures of it with your phone and bring it to your photo shoot. The more you can give your Chicago family photographer to work with, the better the whole outcome will be.

8. Timing matters.

Yes, you only have a limited amount of time for a session, as we noted earlier. But in addition to that, you need to be aware that certain times of the day are far better for capturing lighting, atmosphere, etc. 

So make sure you show up at the appointed time. Even if you’re just a few minutes late, you may be missing out on the perfect moment because the lighting is suddenly all wrong. 

Show up on time! You’re paying good money to have the best possible experience. Make the most of it from beginning to end.

9. Strike a pose.

Practice some poses beforehand. At the shoot, don’t worry, the photographer is there to help and guide you. But doing some research and practicing in the mirror ahead of time will put you ahead of the game. You want to feel comfortable. This is supposed to be fun!

If you’re ever feeling awkward or shy or unsure during the photo shoot, talk to the photographer. He or she will be glad to offer expert advice to make sure you come out looking great.

10. Be you.

We’ve already said this several times, but it’s vital: be you at the photo shoot. Let your personality shine through. The pictures need to capture you and not someone else’s idea of who you are. So relax at the photo shoot. Let go. Have fun! It does not need to be perfect in order to be perfect.  

The more you allow yourself to just have fun, the more that will be visible in the photographs.

I’m a Chicago-based professional photographer with years of headshot and portrait experience. Please click on the Services Tab for detailed information on my photography services , and samples of my work, and book your session today!