Professional Headshots: Our Experience

We are SO not models.
We've long been advocates of professional headshots to be used on business cards, websites, marketing materials, etc. Long gone are the days when we saw many T&I professionals use cropped summer snapshots as their profile pictures on LinkedIn and other online media, and that's a great development. Lawyers, doctors, and other professionals long ago discovered the power of professional images, and translators and interpreters need them, too. It's rare to visit a website these days that doesn't feature an image of the actual services provider. It builds trust and it's always nice to see a picture of a real person rather than a stock image. We are usually surprised when there isn't a real picture to be found on someone's website, and we bet clients feel the same way. Having a professional image is relatively easy and doesn't require a big investment. This year, we just spent $100 each because of a fabulous special at a local studio that made us feel like royalty for an afternoon.

Dagy's royal treatment.
A few years ago, we started encouraging our local and national associations to host photo shoots with professional photographers at discounted rates for their members, which allowed many colleagues to obtain top-notch photos at reasonable prices. We had our pictures taken at several of these events, and it's fantastic that this is catching on!  Even if you hire your own photographer, it's usually a worthwhile investment and one of the few upfront investments you need to make in your online presence. 

Photo by Sam Woodard.
Photo by Sam Woodard.
After doing four or five outdoor photo shoots in a row (all in Vegas), we decided to have an indoor studio photo shoot this year. We had just received a very attractive offer from Fremont East Studios through our downtown Vegas co-working space Work in Progress and we had a fantastic experience! The photo shoot even included the services of a highly talented and lovely make-up artist, and the studio was fantastic and very comfortable. We hope you enjoy both the finished product (that's Judy on the left) and some goofy behind-the-scenes pictures as well. As you can tell, we are very far from being model material, and we usually don't know how to stand, where to look, or what to do with our hands (told you we weren't model material). Luckily for us, photographer Sam Woodard and make-up artist Doralynne Valenzuela told us exactly what to do. What a great all-female team! You'd think that posing in a studio would be really unnatural and awkward, but it was quite the opposite.

And don't forget that this is a classic business expense. Actually, it's one of our most entertaining business expenses of the year. 

What about you, dear colleagues? Have you had a professsional headshot taken or are you still thinking about it? We are always looking for good photo ideas, so we'd love to hear about your experiences!


6 comments:

Jesse Tomlinson on July 14, 2014 at 5:42 PM said...

Your new photos are lovely! I've never been to a professional studio for head shots, but it sounds like a lot of fun. My personal head shot experience is with a photo studio for visas and migratory documents in downtown Guadalajara. I'd gone one day for a passport photo and it turned out really well. I noticed the guy doing some touch ups later, and only 50 pesos! So I started using this lad, in his colonial walk up for a couple more pics. I'm envious of the make up artist though ...
¡Saludos!

Josh Goldberg said...

Based on what I'd read on professional advice blogs (probably here), I finally took the plunge and sat for my first professional head shot this past winter. Previously, I'd been using cropped pictures of myself from social events.
I can't tell you how many compliments I've gotten on the pic!
Besides, as I once heard someone say: If you want to do business, you've got to look business.

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on July 15, 2014 at 3:02 PM said...

@Jesse: Thanks so much, dear Jesse! Your headshot looks amazing, and that's fab that it only cost 50 pesitos... way to go! That's a great story about the colonial walk-up too. A professional studio with all the works like we went to isn't necessarily essential to produce great pics. Actually, our very first headshots were simply taken with a friend's high-end camera against a white wall. Ah, and the reason the photos came out so well is that the make-up artist is a magician! We'd only had our make-up done professionally a few times before, and this one was a great experience indeed. It did not feel like theater make-up like on previous occassions....

translationwordshop.com on July 16, 2014 at 11:54 AM said...

Love the new pictures! Did you buy those great outfits for the occasion or is that twin-synergy that led you to the same beautiful red color? In any case, you've inspired me. I tortured my poor husband by having him take at least 50 pictures of me until we got one without double chins, half-closed eyes or weird facial expressions, but it would be great to have a professional do it, especially if they do the make-up as well! I'm very far from skilled in that area and it does make a difference.

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on July 17, 2014 at 9:34 AM said...

@Josh: Thanks for your lovely comment, and that's great that you had your professional pictures done and that you are getting so many compliments! We agree: looking like a professional is a great step.

@Translationwordshop: Thanks for reading and for commenting! We already had these dresses, actually, I (Judy) bought mine last year and then a few weeks ago I picked up a very similar one for Dagy on our birthday. Same brand, but slightly different. We recently learned that red/orange are our perfect colors (info from a stylist), so we try to wear them whenever possible. How fantastic that your hubby took so many pics of you. Surely at least one of them was perfect. And yes, we'd never before had our make-up done for our outdoor photo shoots, and it definitely makes a huge difference, especially for a studio photo shoot.

Viviana Spicer on July 30, 2014 at 10:25 AM said...

Thanks to your prodding, I decided to get professional photos done! This weekend my uncle, who's a professional photographer, is going to take some head shots for me.

I'm excited!

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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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