LinkedIn Photo

LinkedIn Photo

As a matter of fact, your LinkedIn photo identifies you to your viewers. With this in mind does your LinkedIn photo create the right impression?

For this reason, have you given much thought to your LinkedIn photo profile? In fact, have you updated it recently?

People who join LinkedIn do so because it is the largest professional networking site. Consequently, by making connections you expand your circle of businesses that could be looking for what you offer.

Woman on a white background LinkedIn Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LinkedIn Photo

In the first place, your LinkedIn photo matters have a view of this piece of work by Alexander Todorov.  LinkedIn photos do matter, in fact, it is a powerful marketing tool.

For this reason professional headshots important, it is your first chance to impress the people that visit your profile. In other words, it creates your first impression. From the article by Alexander Todorov, it’s less than 1/10th of a second for someone to form that first impression.

For example is by using a selfie, a photo from a wedding/party, business people are doing themselves a disservice. That is to say, the square box on your profile is really important. In other words, go on give yourself a chance you never know who is looking.

Consequently, have you looked at the people your connected to? In addition to how many of those profile photos stand out as a good first impression?

Man in a hat LinkedIn Photo
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What makes a bad LinkedIn photo that lets people down?

Selfies

Likewise, selfies have their place, but not where you are portraying yourself as a professional business person. Consequently, you are more likely to impress people with what you do, can do or what you have to offer. Thus a poorly taken selfie is unlikely to create that great impression.

Old photos

For one thing, giveaways are the hair, medallions, flairs, glasses, holding the brick phone these reveal a dated photo. As a result, what does that say to the viewer?

Accordingly, it portrays how seriously you take your online presence, viewers are likely not to take you seriously.

For this reason, I would recommend updating your profile every 2-3yrs.

Photos that look nothing like you in real life

Equally important is that your LinkedIn photo should reflect you as you are. When you first meet someone they want to see the person they have been looking at. Consequently if not they are likely to ask themselves “can I trust this person”.

Photos not showing the face clearly

By the same token, people make first impressions on what they see. For this reason, people have a tendency not to trust people whose face they can’t see. In this case, it could be something as simple as sunglasses. Therefore as the saying goes “the eyes are the window to the soul”. Also, don’t wear a hat that shields the face, people need to know who you really are.

Feeling awkward or false smiles

In my opinion, a natural smile looks far better than a forced or fake grin. When people enjoy themselves smiles come naturally, therefore, you look relaxed in a photo. For this reason, this is something that you probably won’t be able to replicate with a selfie.

In the first place to relax a subject its all about communication. Consequently the more communicating you do the more at ease you feel

LinkedIn Photo

The first thing to remember is your photo needs to show your personality and how relaxed you appear. Your face requires to be visible, so viewers can relate to you when they communicate.

Equally important is what you wear and how you prepare for this a whole new subject.

For your updated LinkedIn profile photo get in contact with Martin and book your session.

 

 

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Corporate Headshot

Corporate Headshot with a Cityscape Backdrop

First thing to remember is that a Corporate Headshot is a personal and a business selling tool. For this reason, it is important that you have a quality image that portrays you and your business. In this case, it’s this that forms the first impression of you.

CREATING YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION

To begin with, the start of the process is to capture your headshot. In this case, I attend your office and set up the lighting and a white or green collapsible background. As a result, the main point of this exercise is to capture a well-lit professional headshot.

For this reason by shooting at the client’s office means that I am in full control of the lighting. Consequently, the major benefit of this method ensures the headshot looks like it taken in an office.

Picture of a man with original background Picture of a man grey background Corporate HeadshotPicture of a man white background Corporate Headshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POST PROCESSING

With this in mind, green is good for replacing the background of an image (as in green screen).

In this case, white is perfect for web-friendly images. Unfortunately, when you photograph against a white background you always have a hint of grey in it.

Then in post processing, I work on the photo to remove the remove the original background. The client is then able to have a white background or one of there choice.

As a result, the white background is highly acceptable for professional headshots. However, sometimes the client likes to match a current corporate website background colour and drop that in for the individual.

Picture of a man white background landscape Corporate HeadshotPicture of a man new background landscape Corporate Headshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accordingly, the next process is to email the client a range of backgrounds. In this case for them to choose from and then we add these to the headshot.

When the client has selected the backgrounds(s) the subjects placed in the image. Indeed cares taken in placing the subject in the right place. That is finding the right place and ensuring the background is not pin sharp. Also reviewing the angle of the background ensuring it matches the subject.

For this reason, I ask the client to choose different backgrounds as not all of them will work. Therefore choosing the right one is about making the image look real.

Another great benefit once I have captured your headshot, you can review our photo library for a variety of backgrounds that you feel suits the headshot.  Accordingly, you could use these for different media or profile photographs.

Find out more about this service corporate headshot with a city backdrop contact Martin

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White Background Professional Portrait

White Backgrounds for Professional Headshots

Professional Headshots using White Backgrounds is undoubtedly a personal and professional business selling tool.  For this reason, the first image that viewers see helps to build rapport. As a result, it’s the start of “Like, Know and Trust”.

It must be remembered that until we meet, our professional headshot becomes our public face. To put it another way, your website and social media platforms are your extended workplaces.

Picture of a Man professional headshots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Headshots, Social Media and Web Use

For one thing, the internet and social media have probably been the largest drivers of white backgrounds. As a result, most templates for social media and websites profile images are white or off-white. For this reason, a professional headshot can integrate fairly seamlessly directly onto most websites and social media platforms.

As a result of the shift to web-based viewing, this has created the need for the background of headshots to be uniform. For this reason, white portrait backgrounds fit this bill very well. In addition, this helps in making them work best across viewing platforms.

Corporate Look Matching of Headshots

For the most part, companies wishing to maintain a ‘corporate look’ to their employee headshots, need consistency.  As an illustration, headshots taken on different days of different people in different locations can look totally different.  For this reason, the easiest way to consistently match looks is with plain white backgrounds.

Thus white backgrounds are the easiest most flexible background colour choice for larger companies, with constant new hires and multiple sites, wishing to maintain a uniform corporate look to their headshots.  They are also simpler for smaller operations, though not as much an issue on this score until a new hire is brought on board, or if one of the team members needs an update for a new look they may have, due to a new hairstyle or significant loss of weight, etc.

White Backgrounds are Distraction Free for Headshots

In reality, no matter if we shoot in black and white or colour, plain white is the most consistent distraction free background for headshots.

In black and white, the pure white tone is usually lighter than any skin tone and separates faces well from the background for most people. This is regardless of their race.

Corporate Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small Screens

In reality the smaller the size of a headshot being viewed, the more pronounced the white background effect.  In fact, as the display screen gets smaller, the lack of distraction of the background becomes more critical. As a result, what looks a fantastic headshot on a full page size look indistinguishable on smartphone screens.

In particular environmental headshots, become hard to distinguish as size becomes smaller due to their many distracting elements.

A HEADSHOT ON A PURE WHITE SAYS, PROFESSIONAL,

When someone takes a selfie the pure white background is very difficult to emulate. That is to say, you usually end up with a greyish background. Under these circumstances, to have a pure white background is to use a professional or have it created post-production.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pure white backgrounds silently convey the powerful message that this headshot is a Professional Headshot of a Business Professional.

For your Professional Headshots give me a call and book your headshot session.

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BUSINESS CORPORATE EVENTS

BUSINESS CORPORATE EVENTS

A point often overlooked about Event Photography at business corporate events is that it is an extremely useful tool. In other words, it can help document and promote your business.

More and more businesses are holding events.

Generally speaking, these could be:-

  • celebration parties for their sales teams and distributors,
  • award ceremonies for target achievers,
  • product launch parties,
  • exhibitions,
  • shows,
  • conferences,
  • motivational or training seminars for the employees,
  • other marketing events.

BUSINESS CORPORATE EVENTS Picture of a lady driving a luxury carBUSINESS CORPORATE EVENTS Picture of a lady driving a simulator

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUSINESS CORPORATE EVENTS Picture of a group of peopleBUSINESS CORPORATE EVENTS Picture of awards being received

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLICITY

For this reason, events like these create maximum attention by increasing staff engagement, publicity and sales.

All things considered, events need handling well and are a huge public relations exercise. As a matter of fact, it is here that an event photographer can play a key role and help businesses. As a result of capturing the moments of importance, the PR pictures of the day. It all helps to build the publicity for the business.

It’s important to realise images can form part of a Press Release Package and send to local media companies. Under these circumstances, this can only help to receive a positive response and increase the profile of the business.

BRANDING

With this in mind, the pictures taken at these events form a valuable archive of the business’s history. That is to say, the images help businesses improve on their events.

GIFTS

Coupled with the event, the photographer can produce prints of keynote speakers who present at the event. As a mark of appreciation of the event, the prints are given as a gift to the speakers.

For this reason, good event photographers are in high demand. Smart businesses are putting their services to effective use for recording and promoting their various business events.

By the same token if you are considering holding an event for your company, contact Martin to find out what he can do for you.

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WEBSITE IMAGES

HAMPSHIRE NEW BUSINESSES WEBSITE IMAGES

It is important to remember that the first thing that people see when visiting your website are the website images. As a result the quality of your images will form that important first impression.  It takes less than 1/10th of a second to form that first impression.

For this reason, for these images to be successful in keeping the attention of your viewers must have certain qualities.

QUALITY.

The first thing to remember is for displaying the best from your images you need High Definition images. That is clear, bright and colourful. The file size does not have to be large but they do have to be of high quality.

If you use images that are grainy, badly lit, out of focus and clearly a DIY image then your viewers will not stay on your website for very long.

ORIGINALITY.

It’s important to realise that stock photography, has its place. Don’t be a politician and try to convince your viewers that you know what’s good for your site, today consumers are “image-savvy,” they know a stock photo when they see one.

Equally important you need to tailor your images to your own personalised site. As a result by using you or your staff to display your goods, this is where the viewer’s start to build a rapport with you. Yes, it is likely to cost you a little bit more but the upside to this is that they are your photos and nobody else will have them.

All things considered how would you feel looking at a competitor’s website and they are using exactly the same images that are being displayed on yours? By the same token that’s how your viewers will feel.

CREATE AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE.

A point often overlooked, think about how certain images make you feel good. Given these points, imagine the customer receiving there service or product from a smiling member of staff. In contrast the look of the lady receiving an unexpected bouquet of flowers. This emotion plays a part in the buying process by reinforcing the prospective customer’s desire to feel equally positive about their own purchasing choice.

Website images Picture of staff with glasses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition use appropriate people who resemble your target audience.

By the same token if your business is a plumber’s merchant, do you use images that show people dressed in a morning suit buying plumbing parts? Of course not you use appropriately dressed workman, and maybe show your staff conversing with them.

If your business is selling fancy cakes do you have an overall-clad workman purchasing them? In that case you have people dressed smart or casual with happy smiles on their faces, being served by a well-dressed employee with a smile on their face.

People’s emotional responses are triggered by seeing others enjoying themselves, particularly if they are thinking of making a purchase.

OFFER CANDID IMAGES OF YOUR TEAM.

Know, like and trust, how many times have you heard that? Why not be original in your images, have something that differentiates you from your competitors. Use professional photographs of your employees in a behind the scenes feature or taking part in an event that benefits the public or a charity. Your viewers will feel that they are getting to know your company. By using your staff for the images they start to build trust in who you are and what you do. Doing things for a good cause and publicising it will encourage the emotional response and build rapport.

Don’t forget to include images of your executives on your About Us page.

USE IMAGES TO REINFORCE YOUR BRAND.

If you run a gym, use images that display people enjoying themselves when carrying out a workout. Remember though to pick those images that display the benefit of a good workout and not someone who is grimacing with the effort. Consider having the images taken in the early stage of the workout.

Additionally, when considering the importance the right images for your site, keep these tips in mind:

CONSISTENCY.

Be consistent, try to tell a story with the images. Take into consideration colour, cropping, style, and orientation. Having consistent images helps to build brand recognition.

CROP IMAGES.

By cropping an image you get rid of a lot of wasted empty space. Getting rid of empty space means the viewer’s eye’s drawn to where you want it to view.

DON’T OVERDO IT.

Viewers can feel overwhelmed with lots of website images, less is more. This confuses them and can generate a negative response quickly, all your good work is then wasted. Look for a balance of images and content.

website images Picture of pine wood furniture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, don’t leave choosing the images until the last minute images carry too much value.

  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual
  • Visual content drives engagement.

Given the above statements make choosing your images an early part of your website strategy.

Looking to upgrade your website images contact Martin to see how he can help you.

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GDPR

GDPR AND HOW IT APPLIES TO PHOTOGRAPHY.

Generally speaking, the introduction of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) marks a change. In the first place, clients now have to give formal consent to the use of their images. Up to the present time consent was maybe verbal or written into the T&C’s it now has to be formalised and recorded.

Given these points, this means that GDPR consent is transparent. Equally important it is all about the right to privacy of the individual. For this reason by recording an individuals permission, those that really appreciate their image will be happy to promote your business. There will be some who will not want to help you with the promotion. Dealing respectfully with your client’s wishes will enhance your business’s reputation. It’s what is best for your client. Failure to act could cause you bigger issues in the future, possibly a fine.

How can we best avoid this?

For the most part, this process is all about transparency. The most important part of this GDPR process is to get genuine consent. Above all to achieve this you must have a recordable form that the client signs.  As a result, this gives consent to there images use. In addition it is helpful for them to have the option to say no. As a result that no, is only to you displaying their image(s) in your marketing.  For this reason by using the consent form the client feels that it’s important they are being listened too.

Events

It is important to realise that this is a tricky one. Is it reasonable to ask in excess of 20 people to sign consent forms? Do you have to change your approach? Is it reasonable to inform attendees that photography is taking place and for them to let the photographer/organisers know that they do not want their photo taken?

What do you do when you have a smallish group? Do you feel it is reasonable for them to be asked to sign individual consents?

Getting it right

Clients will cooperate and you get to use their image for your marketing, social media etc.

Let me know what you think, contact me here.

Picture of Martin on the GDPR page

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CAMERA HISTOGRAM

CAMERA HISTOGRAM

The camera histogram is one of the most important indicators of how well exposed your photograph is. The graph that is displayed represents on the left shadows, in the middle mid-tones and on the right highlights.
Chart showing camera histogram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to digital camera world for the graph.

For a well-exposed image, you are looking for a rise from the left bottom corner to a peak in the middle and then dropping down again to the corner on the right. However, remember this is a perfect world.

IN REALITY

The camera histogram graph may have peaks and troughs. Meaning that it might start at the bottom in the left-hand corner Rise to a peak the drop slightly rise to another peal and then drop to the left-hand corner.

Either of these scenarios will indicate a well-exposed image.

BADLY EXPOSED

When looking at the camera histogram what you don’t want to see is the peak starting high on the left-hand side then a gentle curve upwards in the mid tones and then finishing high on the right-hand side. You may also see starting high on the left dropping, rising and dropping in the mid tones then rising high on the right. This indicates a badly exposed image which may be over or underexposed.

CLIPPING

If a portion of the histogram is touching either edge this is called clipping. It means that there is a loss of detail in the image. On the left side, the clipping occurs in the shadows and will be completely black (no detail). On the right side in the highlights will be completely white (no detail).

If a certain portion of the histogram is “touching” either edge, it will indicate loss of detail, also called clipping. Highlight clipping (areas that are completely white and absent detail) occurs if the graph is touching the right side of the histogram. Shadow clipping (areas that are completely black and absent detail) occurs if the graph is touching the left side of the histogram.

HOW CAN YOU CORRECT THE GRAPH ON THE CAMERA HISTOGRAM

The best way to do this is to use a light meter. This way you can set the ISO, aperture and shutter speed to the readings taken. This will give you a well-exposed image. I use the Sekonic L478DR

The other way is adjusting the shutter speed on the camera. This adjusts the exposure. By dialling in a faster speed you will darken the image. If you want to make it lighter then use a slower speed.

You must remember that ensuring you have the correct white balance is also key to this process. See here for further information on white balance here.

Finding these articles interesting? Then let Martin know.

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Mastering manual mode

Mastering manual mode in your canon camera.

Mastering manual mode in your canon camera is something that takes photographers out of there comfort zone. For this reason it also means getting everything right before you take the image. In this case that’s colour balance, exposure and focus. As a result the image requires only a small amount of post camera software work.

Mde dial for dslr training picture format

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Balance

Mastering manual mode means setting the camera yourself. In the first place the first thing you do is set the custom white balance. All things considered you can set this by using a grey card. In this case take a photo of the grey card in the light conditions you will be using. Above all set the custom white balance in accordance with your camera manual.

Exposure

Generally speaking the best way to do this is with a light meter. For this reason the light meter means that you can get precise measurements. Henceforth by inputting your ISO and aperture or shutter speed you get the readings to set the camera too. For this reason I use a Sekonic DR425 light meter. As a result this works well with natural light, studio lights and flash with pocketwizards.

Picture of a sekonic light meter L478dr Mastering manual mode

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What if you have no meter?

In that case if you have no meter you set your own camera ISO and aperture. Then looking through the viewfinder adjust the shutter speed until the moving line is in the centre of the scale.

No matter which method you use you can still adjust the exposure to lighten or darken.

Focus

Generally speaking Focus, automatic or manual is really important in seeing your image clearly. For the most part this is really a personal choice. For this reason I like mainly to use automatic and change the focusing point in the camera.

Software

Mastering manual mode doesn’t stop after the image has been taken. All things considered the software you use allows you to manipulate the image as you want.

How do you use manual? Let Martin know.

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Basic DSLR Training Flash

Basic DSLR Training Flash

This Blog is about Basic DSLR Training Flash. There are two ways to provide light from a flash.

  1. The pop-up flash found on the domestic DSLR.
  2. By using a flash gun that you buy as a separate unit. You can use this on the domestic and pro DSLR cameras.

POP-UP Flash

To begin with you find the pop-up flash on the domestic DSLR camera. To activate the flash you push its button or it pops up automatically when called for.

Picture of a pop-up flash on a camera Basic DSLR Training Flash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Generally speaking you us a flash to add light into a photo. In this case where the subject has there back to the sun and a little light will lift the shadows. When you are in a dark room and you need light to see the subject.

Disadvantages of the pop-up flash

The big disadvantages with the pop-up flash are:-

Red-Eye.

In reality the pop-up flash is mounted in a fixed position, above the lens meaning the flash is thrown forward.  As the flash fires so quickly the pupil cannot close, the light passes to the back of the eye and bounces back.  As a result there is a greater chance of having the red eye look, in the eyes. In this case you can get rid of this by using digital photo software.

Flat Photo.

As a result of a fixed flash this means that you can only direct the light straight forward. In contrast this causes a lack of shadow in the image. In addition this gives the appearance of the photo looking flat (harsh) and having no definition.

By all means to reduce the harsh light you could use some equipment accessories available to lessen this.

Flash Guns.

In this case this type of flash fits in the camera hot shoe or can be used off camera. At the same time if you use it on camera the same disadvantages are present as in the pop-up flash. For this reason better diffusion is available and it can be turned or lifted (bounced) to soften the light.

Picture of a flash gun Basic DSLR Training FlashPicture of a flash gun on a camera Basic DSLR Training Flash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use the flash off camera by using either flash cords or infra-red/radio triggers.

Picture of aradio transmitter Basic DSLR Training Flash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of Pocketwizard

For this reason the big advantage with this is that by adjusting the light output of the flash you can create shadow across the subject. In addition by using two or more flash guns you can produce stunning photos. It must be remembered that this is not possible at all with a pop up flash.

Accessories

Pop up Flash.

The basic diffusion equipment is cheap and won’t make that much improvement to your photo.

Picture courtesy of Shopify

Picture of a pop-up flash diffuser Basic DSLR Training Flash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flash Gun

To take the flash off camera A variety of Infra-Red/Radio triggers, flash cord are available.

Diffusion

Several different types available, most fit onto the flash gun. Flash Cap and Gary Fong fit over the top of the flash. You use soft boxes to soften and diffuse the light. As a result by using these, you will need to put the flash lights on light stands. To support them and consider sand bags to weigh the stands down.

Picture of a soft box on a flash gun Basic DSLR Training FlashPicture of a gary fong diffuser on a camera Basic DSLR Training FlashFor further information on Basic DSLR Training Flash or other posts in this series. Contact Martin

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Cutting out with Studio Magic 1

Cutting out with Studio Magic 1

Cutting out with Studio Magic 1 enables you to cut subjects from a photograph with reasonable ease. Studio Magic 1 is a software plugin for Photoshop available from Layer Cakes Elements

Studio Magic 1 enables you to cut subjects from a photograph with reasonable ease.

Couple on a green background Cutting out with Studio Magic 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing the image to cut the subjects out.

For the purpose of this tutorial I have prepared a short video. In this case I am using a couple on a green background. In the first place the task is to remove the subjects from the green background. To begin with I am using the magic wand tool set at a tolerance of 30. In like manner, select the green background by clicking all around the green. As a matter of fact, to make this easier you may want to go to the select tab, scroll down to similar and click. On the positive side this picks up any other green that’s not highlighted.

As can be seen you may find that you have selected some of the subject as well. In that case, if you use the lasso tool to circle the stray unwanted area you can remove them.

With this in mind, go to select scroll tab and scroll down to inverse and click. As soon as you do this the subjects will have marching ants around them only.

Studio Magic 1 preparing to cut the subjects out

At this point use the studio magic 1 plug-in.  In this case select the cut-out tab and make sure the promask button is ticked.  As soon as you have done this click the detailed cut-out button.

The select and mask process is similar to this. Use the refine edge brush tool to go around the hair and any areas that the green background is showing through. When you have done this just push the OK button. As a result the subjects will now be on a grey background.

You need to ensure that all the green has been removed, zoom into the image and check.

At the same time to make life easier double click in the layers the grey thumbnail. With the colour palette displayed change the grey to white and click OK. Generally speaking the white makes the image easier to work on.

New background

In the meantime I have already selected a new background of a bar from Layer Cake Elements Virtual Studio Pak. In this case, copy, highlight the white layer in your composited image and paste. You can now see above the white layer a new layer with the bar in.

In addition change the bar layer into a smart object by right clicking on the layer. You can now see that there is a cross on the image.

As a result you can now stretch the image to fit without distorting the pixels. Once stretched you have your image.

Adding a shadow

To make it a little more realistic you may need to add a shadow. Studio Magic 1 can easily help you with that too.

Ensure you are on the top layer and click the layer mask. Open studio magic 1 plugin and click the shadow caster tab, next click the Create New Shadow tab. You can preview the shadows using the preview tab and select which one suits your need.  When you have selected the shadow you will have to adjust the settings to get the height, intensity, slant and softness to your liking.

You now have your image. That has to be easier than judging the settings in Photoshop. Don’t forget to save the image.

Couple infront of a bar with a shadow Cutting out with Studio Magic 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cutting out with Studio Magic 1 could not be more simpler.

Like to know more then Contact Martin

 

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