Just a girl with a pretty camera.

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by JustJazzie, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. JustJazzie

    JustJazzie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    @Designer - I'm certain you don't need to be concerned about "incurring (my) wrath" I am not sure thats a feeling available to me in my emotional toolbox. :giggle: Confusion? Check! Contemplation? Double check! Contentment? Oh yeah! And I try to burry frustration deep down in the kit.....But nope. No wrath.

    As for the top and especially the headband- both are items that I wear in general. Most days, I wrap something similar in my hair even if I am heading to the grocery store, so while some may think I should save it for a wedding- its just "me" which is what I was trying to show in the image.

    My wardrobe consists of yoga pants and tank tops (but I get a pass on that, because I actually do yoga every day when I am not nursing an injured body part LOL) and Jeans and a few dress shirts like the one in the picture. I do have a suit jacket type thing in the back of my closet somewhere that I haven't worn since I was in sales 11 years ago. If I decide I agree with everyones thoughts on my wardrobe, perhaps I will use that in my next headshot.


     
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  2. Fstop-

    Fstop- TPF Noob!

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    Very Nice. Professional looking and highlights you mad skills. Nailed it.
     
  3. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, I think that does make your choice of tops more acceptable as a marketing photo. The head thing looks a bit like a tiara which I think is why the lacy black top comes off as more formal than sexy. Just my 2 cents.
     
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  4. JustJazzie

    JustJazzie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    @Fstop- LOL thank you! You're enthusiasm made my morning!

    @SquarePeg - Sexy vs formal...Hmm! I hadn't really thought about it either way. I happened to have my hair and makeup done for a consultation when I got a text message from DH saying he took the boys to see star wars, and I was simply seizing the opportunity of a quiet house. But it seems that these are all things I should have at least considered beforehand. So I will give it all a good pondering and retake these when I have put an appropriate amount of effort into it. Clearly my "branding" needs some reflection so I can put my best foot forward. Thank you for all your thoughts!
     
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  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm going to disagree with my learned colleague.

    There are several factors at play (talking strictly as a marketing image). The first and foremost for me is black on black. This does not make you 'jump out' as well as you should. Even if you go down to Goodwill buy a shirt/blouse/top, use it for the shot and chuck it, I think you need to introduce some colour. Converting to monochrome does mitigate some of the sin, but not, IMO, enough. Next, the sleeves and hair.

    That's you... check. BUT... as a potential client, do I care? No. As well, you don't want to be 'competing' with the client. Your primary clientele are going to be females who want to look good, and you don't want them to have to start by comparing themselves to you. I don't feel that 'sexy' or 'formal' are appropriate, rather you should be striving for professional. I think a plain, coloured top, hair a little less dressy and lose the camera People seeing this image should already know you're a photographer. You don't need props or anything that takes away from your face and engagement with a potential client.
     
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  6. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    John makes some very good points. I don't have any issue with the top itself, or the headband - OR wanting to flaunt a feminine side in your business portrait. I'd keep the same outfit and hair (since you look smashing, dahling!) ;) but - just slip on a blazer. That will cover up much of lace while still letting the lace in front peep through, while looking more businesslike. The blazer could be black if you want to stick with that, but a dark camel color looks good against black and will be warmer. Avoid anything too girlie (like any shade of pink). Red is powerful and also looks good with black, but tan/camel is a bit more conservative/businesslike. If you have any friends who own a few, you could borrow some and try several shots.

    I do like you holding the camera, however. That matters less than looking more businesslike while definitely showing your femininity with that bit of lace and the headband. Remember, you want to give off confidence and professionalism, period. I love your photo here, but it looks more like you were modeling for someone else, showing your favorite object, before heading out for prom night. Not the right tone for your real intentions.
     
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  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think we have a winner!
     
  8. snowbear

    snowbear Big Furball Supporting Member

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    Yes - one of my first thoughts was a grown-up version of a senior portrait. I really like the photo but I don't think it screams "business"
     
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  9. DanOstergren

    DanOstergren Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think the clothing choice is great. We don’t live in the victorian era anymore, so I don’t see any reason to be overly conservative about that, even as a promotional image. The clothing choice is beautiful and expressive, not crass. It also makes the portrait have a bit of a fashion feel to it, which in my opinion could broaden your potential client reach. Even better if you shoot boudoir.

    I think the lighting serves the promotional aspect of the portrait really well, and it was a great choice.

    Stylistically i see the beauty of the black on black, and I think it looks good. Personally I’d have chosen a backdrop that was slightly brighter though, just to keep the hair from blending into the dark backdrop. Honestly though the photo still works perfectly, and any alterations would simply be different, not necessarily better.


    Sent from my iPhone using ThePhotoForum.com mobile app
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
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  10. Philmar

    Philmar Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    100% agree. Great photo but not sure if the tiara, jewelry and lace dress are what one expects a pro photographer to be wearing.
     
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  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think you look very classy and beautiful in the photo as presented. Very nice dress, good hair, nice makeup, the tiara is dressy; this is a formal evening gown look, that I think minus the tiara, would look absolutely acceptable at evening, black-tie events. As far as this being a "marketing" image, I can see positives and negatives to this image being put forth. On one hand, it's simple, says "woman who knows how to hold a camera and it's an old-fashioned silver and black camera,so she must have experience,right?" but it's also perhaps a bit on the too-sexy side,clothing wise. I think most men would say you look great; I fear that many women would instantly feel a sense of competition/threat from a woman who looks like that, as the photographer at their event. These are of course, stereotypical thoughts I am projecting onto other, imagined men and women, and different demographics and different real people might go against the grain of _my_ imagined reaction to this as a "marketing" photo. See Dan Ostergren's take on the photo for one viewpoint that makes a lot of sense. I see positives and negatives in the picture you made.

    Would I use this as my exclusive, single marketing photo? No. If you're not 100% satified with the photo, and I mean 100% satisfied with it, then use another image, or two, and include this one at some place within your web presence, but don't make it the one-and-only company brand image.

    I took the image into Lightroom, and burned down the slightly bright hand that Tirediron mentioned, and darkened the background a bit,and cloned away a couple of flyaway hairs and burned down the forehead highlight and the nose a tiny,tiny bit...looks nice!

    Just Jazzy_Derrel's re-work.JPG

    I do think that Ron Lane's idea of short lighting yourself might be better than this broad lighting scheme. Still, for a self portrait, it is attractive, but I think a short-lit setup would likely look better. Selfies are difficult, yet still, you do make nice ones!
     
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  12. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I've read through all of the responses in this thread, I've posted previously, now I'm going to take a slightly different focus (no pun intended). Rather than critique this specific photo (which is a very good selfie), I'm going to talk about your branding and the image you end up using for it.

    First, if your primary market is boudoir then I think it's very appropriate for you to be wearing lace and something a little feminine. And yes, combining that with a blazer or jacket would be a nice mix of "I'm a professional" with "I know how to make you look sexy." So I'd definitely side with the position of "don't eliminate the lace."

    Second, I think you absolutely need to include the camera. Why? If I submit a file of a headshot of myself and it's for a sports or wedding gig, 99% of the people will get "that is a shot of JoeW." But you're a woman trying to get boudoir clients. I bet 20% of people would go "oh, that must be one of her clients--I don't know, that doesn't look super sexy to me, I would have thought she'd have posed someone in something a bit more revealing." Posing with the camera absolutely, positively says "hey, don't mistake this for a client shot--this is me!"

    And I don't know the name of your photo business but I'm guessing a lot of your potential clients (a) are over 30 (or even over 40), (b) female, and (c) haven't posed for this kind of genre in a long time (if ever). They don't need to see results you did from a 20 y.o. with a 36DD chest who has never had kids. They see you and their comfort level for the shoot will go up dramatically--attractive woman but not so attractive they can't relate to you. They won't be getting "nekkid" in front of a man, you're not 22, you're not a supermodel, but you "clean up well." So your basic concept with this shot works for me (ie: showing you, making it clear you're a photographer and not the client). I think your facial expression is a very good one for this kind of work too--I imagine it would set a lot of potential clients at ease.

    My one suggestion than (as you think about representing your brand in this photo) would be this: while you may like posing with the black backdrop (and it's a classic for portraits), maybe you're better off with a backdrop of lace and white fabric (not stark white but some hanging white diffused cloth) that helps the client envision what it's going to look and feel like to pose with you. I could see someone who's thought about doing a special present for an anniversary or Valentine's Day look at that photo and go "yeah, but the black is pretty stark for me, not very romantic" (ignoring the fact that how you shoot yourself isn't how you'll pose them--but again, I think some clients will instinctively go that route).

    Okay, a long-winded response to make a simple point. Best of luck with this and let us know how the business works out. Also, if you haven't done so, reach out to Cauzimme. She's in Montreal, started her own boudoir studio and is doing some lovely work. She may have some thoughts about what worked/what she'd do over when she started her business.
     

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