“All things are created twice. There is a mental creation, and a physical creation.” (Stephen Covey)

Creative photographer for commercial projects in Boston

Frequently Asked Questions

Brutally honest answers for people who want to prepare for awesome headshot/portrait session in advance

When should I update my headshot?

When your look change or your career progressed to where a new style would benefit you. Outdated pictures on your profile doesn’t help you with a favorable impression when meeting people.

Some corporate people keep using old pictures for younger look. Unfortunately, those people also keep their younger paycheck. Your current more experienced look makes you credible and helps open up new opportunities.

Casting directors’ #1 complaint is that headshots don’t look like the actors in auditions.

Online dating people complain when your pictures are outdated.

I dislike being photographed.

Many people feel that way. Many of those people have the same facial expressions in their pictures, usually stiff, sad or serious. That’s because most people know only one way to photograph people. I can help you remove the pain and get better results than otherwise. In fact you’ll almost forget that you’re being photographed at some point.

Is the studio intimidating?

The studio looks like an artist’s studio. No fancy upscale interior. There are some serious high end equipment in the studio but I think there is just enough chaos to be inspiring, so that you know this is where creative work is made.

Also, headshots and personality portraits are taken in quiet environment without unnecessary people hanging around.

Friends say I have great smile but I don’t have any good picture

One possibility is that camera intimidates you, or the person who is behind the camera makes you feel awkward. These are solvable. Tell me your thoughts and we can figure out. Another possibility is that your friends like your smile but you don’t. See below.

I don’t like the way I look. Can you help?

This is actually a fairly common concern. If you honestly tell me specifics of what you don’t like about your look, I can help you better. But otherwise, your mother might be a better person to call.

What are the experience of other people?

Read customer testimonials. There are currently 150+ reviews there, collected from third party review sites like yelp and google plus.

What can I do to steer the outcome to the better? What can I do to manage my insecurities?

Make it fun: often forgotten but this is the #1 key to success in any project.

Prepare your outfits, plan hair styling and makeup in advance.

Rest well and don’t leave any source of stress. Avoid your boss on the day of shooting, as well.

Keep a reasonable and achievable expectation but be prepared to get a small surprise.

Try some power walk or other mild exercise on the day before. It clears your mind.

No alcohol/drugs before the photoshoot, please. You’ll actually impair fine control of your face.

Feel free to bring some snacks. Don’t let your blood sugar drop too low.

What should I know when choosing outfits?

Style: Think about your most important audience. It might be your prospective clients, prospective employees, boss/colleagues, or HR people. What industry are you in? Think about these factors, and then add what style makes you look good. Other than these, there is no one-size-fits-all advice for style.

Color: If you prefer to make your skin tone look darker, wear lighter colors or even pure white. If you prefer to look paler, wear darker clothes. Even though the camera will capture the skin tone accurately, the human eye will be biased by the surrounding color.

Size: You’ll look the best in pictures when you look shirts and jackets that are right fit. You won’t look good when wearing buggy clothes, even though they might be more comfortable to wear when working. Even if you try to look slimmer, don’t try to do so by wearing smaller size clothes, either.

Avoid: pure white and pure black, if possible.

Shop your clothes early (check the store return policy). Try them on at home and iron/steam if necessary.

I wear glasses. Do I need to worry about it?

If you prefer to wear glasses in your pictures, it is usually a good idea to prepare an empty frame without lens. This avoids problems related to the optics (eyes look smaller/larger, or your face edges look distorted though the glasses, etc.) as well as the reflection.

People wearing glasses of strong diopters are more problematic with the distortion. I’m bringing this matter upfront, so that there is no surprise, and you have an option to do something about it, but not many people actually recognize the problem until examples shown (and usually don’t care). Most other photographers don’t bother to mention, either.

Either way, please do bring your functional glasses or contact lenses, so that you can see the pictures for review and editing purposes.

When should I shave?

A few hours before the photoshoot to allow enough time for your irritated skin to heal.

Do you shoot outside Boston?

Yes, depending on the type of shoot. The travel cost will be added, but I’m happy to shoot elsewhere. Besides Boston, I shot in New York city, Washington DC, Providence and Chicago most often.

Do you offer discount or cheaper option?

No. There are some who would shoot for less, so you might want to compare prices but don’t forget to compare the quality of work, as well.

If price is your primary concern, cheap options are often waste of money. I’ve written a brief article describing how to shoot headshot at home.

I’m not sure what works best for my next headshot.

One way is to share your current/old headshot with me, and discuss what you like or don’t like about it.

Another way is to look at work samples on this website, and tell me which ones are close to the style that work for you.

Another way is to check out what your colleagues or competitors are doing.

Another way is to use Pinterest or other online curation tool to sample headshots that work for you.

Keep in mind that headshots and personality portraits are a tool to achieve professional or personal success and not necessarily the place to decide primarily based on your personal taste.

What picture helps to get a new job (or to meet new people)?

Make your picture connecting and show positive attitude. You might have more to show but these are the qualities that get attention of recruiter/HR people.

What picture helps to attract good people to hire?

Make your picture connecting and show positive attitude in inspiring or energetic way. Many companies photograph their execs with a bit of rock star feel to make their company an exciting place to work.

What picture helps to succeed in my current job?

The right expression may vary depending on your workplace environment. Whether you are competing for promotion internally, or trying to build a closer team… we can figure out more by talking a bit more about it during phone consultation, but look confident and enthusiastic for sure.

What picture helps networking?

Networking crowd is full of people who need help. Very few have something to offer, and those people don’t reveal much. The only audience that matters is the latter kind. They will know when you show something that stands out in quality, concept and style. Don’t be limited to your industry standard look.

Do you have a question?

If you have a question related to photography, portrait session, what kind of headshot helps your goal, etc., feel free to email at the address at the bottom of this page. If there is a good answer we’ll include in this page. (Disclaimer: the response is not guaranteed.)