Check back often to see my new ideas come to life!  You will also find tips for being photographed, as well as tips for staging homes for photographs.  I cover both ends of the spectrum!

Videos for Looking Great in pictures!

August 17, 2016

An important part of preparing for your portraits or headshot, is practicing how your face looks in front of the camera.  Below are a few videos that help explain the odd things I may ask you to do in front of the camera.  The camera sees things differently than the human eye, so grab a mirror and practice what you learn from the videos below!  

 

It's all about The Squinch:

 

 

It's all about the Jawline:​​

 

                                                                                                    

Posing to look Slimmer!

 

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Ladies Hair & Makeup Tips

August 24, 2015

Ladies Hair & Makeup:

 

When doing your own makeup for portraits, be sure that your makeup matches your natural skin tone.  Be sure to also cover your neck and if you have sun spots on your chest, be sure to also cover your chest.  This will result in the most even skin tone for your headshot.  Remember that studio lights are much stronger than natural light, which can enhance your features, fill in shadows no one wants to show off, but also can show up some minor flaws. 

Below is a beautiful example of even tones on face and neck.

 

Carla has a naturally beautiful makeup look

 

  • Do NOT spray tan!  Spray tans tend to look dirty if they are uneven, and I can adjust your skin tone, so don't risk it.

  • If you have a a little peach fuzz (it's common), you can see a qualified esthetician for dermaplaning (Lina at Lavender Spa in Celebration offers it for $75. Includes: cleansing, enzymatic mask, dermaplaning & lymphatic facial massage. She offers 10% to celebration residents, teacher, military, cast member & FL hospital employee discount) - that removes all those fuzzies off your face and leaves your skin looking smooth and gorgeous.  Have it done a few days beforehand.  Some clients also carefully shave their faces, just be very careful with a razor on your face. 

  • Use lip liner that matches your natural lip color (important because it helps define your lips and keeps them from looking sloppy), along with lipstick that most closely matches your natural lip color.  Anything too bright, glittery, too orange or pink will look garish.  Not great for headshots!
  • Keep your blush pretty neutral – it will look much more natural and flattering.
  • Cover your roots!  If you have gray or white roots or any other color that doesn’t match your natural hair color, please have it taken care of.  I do charge to fix that!
  • Get your teeth whitened - it looks so much nicer.  I can whiten them via photoshop, but a natural pearly white smile is always better - and you'll match your headshot!
  • Get your brows groomed - this applies to both men and women, but men, don't go overboard!  Women - beware of heavily drawing in your eyebrows - it can look weird.  
  • Groom the nose hair!  It just won't look good having nose hair sticking out of your nose.  
  • A hot oil treatment the night before your shoot will let your hair be nice and shiny and keep it from frizzing out for your shots.  I use warmed coconut oil!  Just warm it up, apply to dry hair, cover with a plastic shower cap and towel, then either relax or do some work from home for an hour.  Then just hop in the shower and wash & shampoo your hair.  Presto!  Great hair again!  

 


Hair, Wardrobe & Audience

August 24, 2015

Jane Haas is a central Florida based contemporary portrait photographer, specializing in branding, actor’s headshots, corporate and fashion photography. What follows is a handy guide for those who are investing in professional headshots, with a step by step on what to expect, addressing common issues seen in the studio every day.

Wardrobe:

The studio does not keep wardrobe in house. Plan to bring lots of clothes, especially outfits that you love and feel good wearing. If you are uncomfortable, it will show on your face, so take some time choosing items that you look and feel great wearing.
Solid colors are best, dark or light tones are both good. Shirts with jackets always work. Bring a few options. If you have specific colors that you know look good on you, bring items in those colors.

A headshot is all about showing you, and bright colors take attention away from your face. I never recommend wearing bright colors, in that they tend to reflect on your skin. For example, a bright red shirt will make your skin look red. Let’s cast you in the best possible light!

Guys: a white shirt and a jacket is a classic look, so bring it! However, I do have a lot of ties so if you don’t have a favorite, chances are that I have one that will suit you.
Ladies: shirts and jackets are great for you as well, and white tank tops also look good. Take a look at what the ladies are wearing in our headshot gallery to get an idea of wardrobe that works.

Hair:
 

Have a ‘good hair day’! Come to your session with your hair already done.

Hairstyle is very personal and as individual as you are, and you will get the best results from your headshots if your hair is styled the way you like it.

We will correct your hair during the shoot as required, but our makeup artist is not a hairdresser, so we would only be doing minor fixes, such as switching from the hair down to ponytails, or something akin to that.

 

Three’s a crowd!

 

A professional headshot session is about you and making you look gorgeous! We will be creating images of you beyond what you thought could be possible, and I guarantee that you will look better than you ever have.

You and I will be a team for the day: I will be concentrating on directing you, finding your very best angles, while looking out for stray hair, gaps between your neck and the shirt collar, facial shine, etc., and your job will be to follow my direction.

Come prepared to focus on the work at hand, preferably with a minimum of extraneous people, as having your entourage with you does nothing but provide distraction. You should not be worried about how your kids are doing or if your spouse is enjoying him or herself. Distraction shows immediately in your expression and could interrupt the flow of the session, so please leave your worries at home and come prepared to focus on you and your fabulous headshots.

That said, it is fine if you would like to bring your spouse or a friend if you feel you’d like to share the experience, or feel that you need a second opinion on your images or clothing. Please discuss this with me prior to the shoot and we will go over the protocols: allow for about twenty to thirty minutes of one-on-one with me so we can take some time to get to know each other, and so you can get relaxed in front of the camera before anyone joins us.


FIVE TIPS FOR BETTER HEADSHOTS

August 24, 2015

 

The biggest thing I ask of my clients when they get in front of the camera is to stop thinking!

Here is the logic: Taking a great headshot is all about finding your best angles and working with your expression, and for me it’s easiest starting from zero and working with you on the way towards the perfect image.

Some clients have their own ideas about how they look the best, and this is what they tend to give me in front of the camera. Don’t be tied to your ideas: your image in the mirror is not necessarily how the world sees you. In fact, most people don’t know exactly how they look their best, and this is what we will discover together during your shoot. It’s easiest if you turn off your brain, relax and follow my direction, trusting that I have you covered.

Here are some of the basics of ‘getting it right the first time’, just to give you an idea of what I have in store for you when you come. For those of you who have worked with me in the past, these will serve as gentle reminders to remember how to look your best when you are being photographed:

  1. FOREHEAD OUT, CHIN DOWN

Showing a clear-cut jawline accentuates the shape of your face, making you look stronger and reducing any double chins and smoothing out lines.

The simplest way to do this is to stretch your forehead out and drop your chin, kind of like a turtle out of its shell.

  1. LEAN TO ACCENTUATE YOUR JAWLINE

To further accentuate your jawline and to bring more dynamics into the headshot, I may ask you to drop the shoulder closest to me: this extends your head towards the camera and stretches the skin at your jaw, making it better defined.

Another way of thinking about this is to move your ears in parallel towards the camera. Check out the video at this link for an example.

  1. NEVER EVER SAY CHEESE

You’ll never hear me ask you to smile. You might, however, see me do some crazy things to make you smile, but smiles-on-command don’t work for me. I can tell a fake smile from a mile away and I won’t shoot it, so don’t fake it. If there’s a smile in you, by all means, let it out! If there isn’t, that’s okay too.

I often go for the picture after the smile, when your whole face still glows. You might call it a ‘residual smile’, which is where I think you look the best.

  1. CONFIDENCE COMES FROM THE EYES

Most people feel uneasy in front of the camera. They are unsure of what to do, feeling awkward with all the lights and attention directed towards them, and that feeling goes straight to the eyes, creating a scared or even a ‘blank’ look, with no expression. Confidence radiates from the eyes, and if you don’t feel comfortable, it shows, and will need to be fixed.

The effect of the ‘squinch’ helps to overcome this: ‘squinching’ is lifting your lower eyelids towards the center of your eyes, accomplishing two things: you look confident and normal.

Check out this awesome video from Peter Hurley about the squinch.

  1. WEAR WHAT YOU LOVE

It’s really quite simple: You should only wear clothes for your headshot session that you feel and look good in. If you purchase clothes for the day of the shoot it’s perfectly fine, but be sure to bring the clothes that you know and love as well, so if it turns out that your new clothes don’t work, you’ve got a backup.

 

GET THAT CAMERA AWAY FROM ME! AND HOW WE GET THE PERFECT HEADSHOT ANYWAY

We all know them.  They say, If you’re posing, I’m posting!   They get you at the WORST angles, in the WORST moments and you end up all paranoid that anyone who takes your picture, will make you look horrible!

Chances are that you hate being in front of the camera because a) you have never liked how you look in pictures, b) you feel awkward, c) you don’t know what to do, d) you have issues with some of your features, e) you tend to close your eyes, and the list goes on and on.

Trust me… just about everybody else thinks and feels the same, and yet they manage to get exceptional headshots that they’re proud of and very, very happy with. Sitting with a professional headshot photographer who knows and understands the process can make all the difference.

I’ve put together a list of some of the most common issues that professional headshot photographers deal with, and what we do to minimize or remove them altogether: all good things to know before your session, as well as being something you can take away with you for future photo shoots.Watery Eyes

 

Aside from allergies or other pre-existing conditions, watery eyes are often caused by extreme tiredness or sensitivity to bright light. We will be shooting in studio, which is a completely controlled environment that allows us to control the intensity of the light and hopefully minimize your issues. If it persists, we will use tissues to remove the water during your shoot. Alternately, watery eyes can easily be fixed during the post-production processing of your headshots; either way, your watery eyes should never really be an issue.Double Chins

If you stand up straight and straighten your back as much as possible, it’s probable that you will have some ‘extra’ chins – that’s how we are built, and how our skin folds when we stand straight. That being said, full-bodied people tend to have more pronounced features in this regard, but with a couple of simple tricks, we can avoid this. See my blog post about accentuating the jawline, effectively removing a double chin in your headshot: you can find it here: <link>

It’s all about getting your forehead out and your chin down. This will stretch the skin over your jaw and make double chins disappear, or at least reduce them significantly. Even if this feels awkward as a pose, I promise you, it will look great in your headshots.

 

Crooked Smile

A crooked smile that extends more on one side than the other can be handled in several ways. One way is to shoot non-smiling pictures, but that is not always the best solution. A better way of handling this is to turn your face slightly sideways to the camera, so that only one side of the smile can be seen – or at the very least, a softened version of your crooked smile will show. Keeping this in mind, most people can deliberately extend the other part of their smile, thereby evening out the crookedness.

 

Eye Differences

Nobody is perfectly symmetrical. We all have one eye that is larger than the other. When we shoot in studio with a focus on all the details, this eye difference can sometimes become distracting. Eye differences can be handled in much the same way as the crooked smile, by turning the eye away from the camera, or squinting down the bigger eye.

 

Full Cheeks

When turning your head to the side, full cheeks may appear to be more full, which is not what we’re looking for in a headshot. To minimize this effect, angle your shoulder straight down, separating your head and neck from your shoulders: it’s an easy trick that works wonders!.

 

Sweat

Having a professional headshot taken is hard work! It involves a lot of time standing in front of bright lights, taking instructions and holding specific poses, and this can get uncomfortably hot. If even ‘normal’ heat is a problem for you, our studio is air conditioned, so it should be no problem. If you are sweating because you are concentrating or due to the stress of the work at hand, we will stop regularly to freshen you up.

 

 

Twitching

Twitching can only be seen on video. Since we are taking images at 1/200th of a second, I guarantee that absolutely no twitching will be seen. If your twitching persists over an extended period, we may have to take more images to get it just right, but it will never show in your final headshot.

 

 

Oily Skin

Under bright studio lights, oily skin can become accentuated, creating unwanted highlights on your face. For ladies, this is most often handled with the application of a special studio makeup that keeps the shine and reflection of oily skin to a minimum. For ladies as well as gentlemen, effective use of light can also soften the image, significantly reducing the reflections of light on the skin. Lastly, the post-production processing of your images will remove any remaining oily skin effects.

 

 

Glasses

Shooting your headshots without glasses leaves a lot more room for creativity, maximizing various positions and angles that we can use. If possible, I always recommend your headshots be done without glasses. However, if you always wear glasses, you will probably need to wear them in your pictures, so we will work around the reflections and distortions that are made by light, working the camera and angle from which I shoot.

 

 

Slouching

This one is easy: Don’t slouch!

 

I hope you found these tips interesting and relevant! I urge you to go ahead and practice in front of the

mirror – the more confident you are on the day of your shoot, the better you will look in your pictures, and of course this is what we all want: to look great, feel great and exude the kind of confidence that presents you at your best. Here’s to your success, and I’ll see you in the studio!

 

 

 


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