Personality portraits make your audience feel they can relate to and identify with you.
Personality photo is used to generate and maintain engagement or at least interest among casual audience. It should look like how you want people to remember you in real life. This is very different from traditional corporate headshots, because personality photo establishes your professional persona based on personality and authenticity, rather than your experience, confidence and power.
Personality photo was once for creative or otherwise image-centric professionals, and magazine editorial pieces. But today, everyone owns a media, and people choose even specialized services based on social images. People expect you to look friendly and interesting, not just trustworthy.
Same principle works on dating sites. People look at prospective dates’ pictures first, and decide whether to read the profile or the message. In many ways, it is ultimately the personality in the photo that generates interest and decides for them to take action.
In other words, personality photo is a tool you can use to maximize the power of your online media, including facebook, blog, and email newsletters. Today’s audience trusts natural, real image of an ordinary person, rather than overly polished, dramatic image of a perfect looking person.
The challenge is that a lot of people have a mental switch to turn off their personality in front of a camera. Try to take a selfie and you probably realize every picture looks the same or at least awkward. That’s why I take more organic and holistic approach in designing the service package, and provide coaching throughout the session. My personality photo service was created by merging my experience as a creative commercial photographer, with the coaching techniques developed for real people (not models or actors) for headshots and dating profile pictures.
When you can hire a talented copywriter or make a video clip, why do you need a still photography? The answer is simple. When there are many options (which is the case on the internet) and limited time, people look at pictures first, to decide whether they want to read the text or watch the video. If there’s no good photography, other materials are less likely seen.
Michael Margolis said in his article:
People work with people they can relate to and identify with. Trust comes from personal disclosure. And that kind of sharing is hard to convey in a resume. Your bio needs to tell the bigger story. […] share more of what you really care about. And then write your bio in service to your reader, not just ego validation. Imagine that: A compelling reason to tell your story beyond bragging to the world that you’re “kind of a big deal.” Embrace the holy-grail of storytelling: tell a story that people can identify with as their own – and the need to persuade, convince, or sell them on anything disappears.
Is your bio picture an integral part of “personal disclosure?”
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To sign up, please use a personality profile photo inquiry form to tell us a bit about yourself. We’ll follow up with a brief phone consultation, and then book your session.
Imagine going for a coffee or a walk with a friend, who happens to be a personality photographer. Usually, we like to start in the studio against brick walls, a vintage door or windows. In the studio, you can review the images, so that you can adjust your expression. This way you get up to speed quickly. We could continue to shoot in the studio, or walk over to a nearby park or a cafe. I’ll give some context and coaching, and it’ll be a casual, natural and relaxed session. You’ll forget about little issues and look natural in the picture.
After shooting, we review images and pick out good ones. A handful of good pictures will be corrected for color, exposure and I might add a subtle touch of creative effects to your taste. You’ll get JPEG files of the finished images.
Price is determined by the duration of the session and location, but scenario above is 500. (If you need travel outside of Fort Point district, longer session, or otherwise extra work, the price will be adjusted.) Detailed skin retouching and special effects are additional. Professional makeup artist is available at prices starting at $150.
Booking usually requires advance payment by check.
If you need a photo for any reason, Ryuji is an excellent person to go to. I don’t own a camera, possess no photos of myself, and do not consider myself photogenic…so when I suddenly needed a couple of headshots I had absolutely no clue what to do. I did what I always do in these circumstances: I googled some random search words. After looking at a dozen or so photo/portrait studios, Ryuji’s work stood out to me as by far the best. By “best,” I mean that his photos in no way resembled graduation portraits, passport photos, or what you’d have done at a mall, but instead looked like magazine ads or high-end publicity photos. Whereas other places tended to make everyone look the same, posed in the same awkward way, on Ryuji’s website everyone looked different, projected some personality, and was posed in a natural, stylish, unique-to-them way. Also, I was fretting about what I should do with my hair and makeup (do both myself? Go to a salon beforehand? Which salon?), and Ryuji offered the extremely convenient option of having a makeup artist do my hair and makeup on-site at the studo for a modest price. For all these reasons, I chose to have my picture taken at his studio.
I was not disappointed. The makeup artist did a very good job with my hair and makeup – both looked natural, timeless rather than trendy. (Ryuji explained that he has all of his makeup artists practice with models so that they have a feel for what will look right on camera. It’s a bit different from what looks good in person.) I didn’t really know what I wanted (again, I’m not a picture person), so I very much appreciated the time Ryuji took to talk things over with me. Both in the phone interview and at the shoot, he asked me helpful questions: What did I need my different photos for? Who would be viewing them? What did I want to communicate through my photos? What did I want to avoid? What photos on his website did I most identify with and why? And so on. We took many, many shots, and throughout it Ryuji kept me talking and changing my position so that I wouldn’t freeze into an unnatural pose.
Once we’d finished taking photos, Ryuji worked with me very patiently to narrow down the different shots, discuss the pros and cons of each, and decide on a final choice. Then, again very patiently, Ryuji did the postproduction work in consultation with me: I got to choose exactly how I wanted the colors and lighting to look, which flaws I wanted photoshopped, how I wanted things cropped, etc. I never felt like I was being rushed, or pressed to buy anything I didn’t need.
Throughout the process, Ryuji was fun to talk to, polite, laid-back, smart, and professional. I was very satisfied with my experience and with the results. I’d go back!
– J. E.
Somervile, MA on 6/13/2013