Friend headshots | kDarling Photography

This dear friend of mine recently had a birthday, and I didn’t have a chance to get her a gift. BUT I am remedying that tonight when we meet for our quarterly Central Illinois Professional Photographers meeting in Monticello. I have her gift ready to go and we’re riding together and will be eating Jimmy John’s once we get there! I know, so random. LOL

Seriously though, Kristin is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. She usually has some purple in her hair, she’s always just a text away, and she is a great listener and confidante. We, along with our friend Emily, call ourselves the Three Amigos, and we try to meet for lunch at least once a month to decompress and talk shop. We recently swapped sessions with each other and I photographed her daughter Mackenzie, and Kristin photographed my daughter Hadley. And then in July, Kristin is going to photograph my family at the fair with all the fun neon lights — can’t wait!

I hope 2019 is your best year yet, and I look forward to many more lunches (or brunches?), conferences, road trips, and texts! See you tonight, friend!! <3 By the way, what’s your Jimmy John’s order??? :D

How to Prepare for Your Headshot Session

I've gotten a lot of questions recently about headshot sessions:
1) Where should we do them?
2) What should I wear?
3) Can you do touchups?
4) What do I get with my headshot session? How do I get my images?
5) Do you have a studio?
6) What else can I do to get the best headshots possible?

So I thought I would address these all in one handy blog post landing spot, and also show some of my favorite examples so future clients can show me the style and feel they're looking for with their portraits.

1) Where should we do your headshot photo session?
If you have a space at your place of business (either indoors or outdoors), that is a good place to start, but I am happy to meet you anywhere within the Champaign-Urbana area also.  The U of I campus offers a ton of great outdoor locations with good light. In general it's best to not photograph during midday due to awful light, but I can usually find enough good shady spots with the buildings and trees there.

If you're looking to use your place of business, it may be helpful to text me a couple of photos of the lighting/window/ceiling height availability. Large windows or doorways are great for lighting the face, but low ceilings and fluorescent lighting are not-so-good. If you really prefer to use an indoor space but your office isn't ideal, I have some locations that can work instead (see photos below).


2) What should I wear? 
This is entirely up to you, though I generally recommend that people shy away from reds and oranges for headshots, as well as super bright white shirts (unless covered by a blazer/jacket/cardigan). Blazers and jackets are always a solid choice and can be dressed up or dressed down.  Many women choose to wear a nice blouse or sweater (I prefer with sleeves).

3) Can you do touchups?
YES! The first round of images you get in your gallery will be lightly retouched for color and saturation, but if you need further small edits (blemishes, flyaway hairs, teeth lighting, skin softening), those can be applied to your final image choices prior to download.  Just let me know what you need done! (Please note: extensive edits may require an additional editing fee.)


4) What do I get with my headshot session?
The session generally lasts about 10-20 minutes, and about 1-2 weeks following the session, you'll receive a link to your online gallery.  From there, I'll give you instructions on how to mark your final 2 images (included with the session fee). You'll then receive a download link, and the images with print release are yours to use for whatever business purposes you need!  Additional prints or digital images are also available for purchase from the gallery.

5) Do you have a studio?
I no longer have a studio (I had a physical space for about 6 years) once I realized I'm not a studio photographer. :)  I do however have a traveling setup that I can pretty much set up anywhere. The backdrop options I have are grey (seen above) and a sand color.  It is also possible to shoot on a plain background and swap in a different background in Photoshop (requires an additional fee).  See samples of backdrop swaps in the below images.

a Business-headshots-with-replaced-backgrounds-photoshop_3619.jpg

6) What else can I do to get the best headshots possible?
A few things to note:
a) If you have Transitions lenses, you will not be able to do outdoor portraits unless you remove your glasses. Please let me know ahead of time if you have this type of lenses because we will need to most likely do an indoor studio-type setup with flash for your photos.
b) Decide if you need any horizontal portraits. Certain website/blog/social media outlets require a horizontal version of images to fill a template. This is helpful to know ahead of time!
c) Talk with Holly if you have any props or tools of the trade you would like to incorporate -- a photographer's camera, a chef's knife set, and a doctor's stethoscope are all things I have photographed during a headshot session!
d) Are there any brand or company colors we could incorporate to make your brand stronger? This is a popular idea for small businesses who rely so much on themselves as their brand. In my own headshots (below), I chose an orange backdrop and then a gray backdrop (both environmental) with colorful tops to strengthen my brand and my audience perception of Holly Birch Photography.

There you have it!

I have also created a Headshot Questionnaire on Google Forms that I can use to get a better feel for what you need prior to your session.  This will leave me fully prepared to create the best and most workable images for you!

Headshot sessions start at $125 for 2 images. Ask about our multiple employee discount!
To book your own headshot session, email Holly today!

Self-employed small business owner headshots | Kristin + Ann

Kristin (in green) and Ann (in yellow) are starting up a new joint venture as freelance writers and editors.  They each have an advanced degree in either writing or English, and have taught writing courses at the college level.  The services they provide in their new business range from writing resumes, CVs, press releases, grants, and more to copyediting, proofreading, and content editing.  In their new business, they are currently working on finishing up their website and needed some new headshots to fill in the site.  I can't wait to see how they use these images and for their business to take off and find success!  Best of luck, ladies!