Professional Photography For Business

I wrote this as a post a year ago on an internet business forum I’m a member of. I got a question about it today and thought it would make a good post for this blog. Interestingly a photography post NOT suitable for my photography blog.

Written Aug 20, 2008

Was trying to cram Book Yourself Solid into my head last night until it exploded. But one thing he talks related to credibility was having a professional photograph.

Given I’ve done a lot of people photography I thought I’d give a few tips and thoughts.

There are different kinds of photographers. Unfortunately most are what I refer to as PPA photographers. They are stuck a couple of decades back on the curve of photography. If you are looking for a headshot and they put you in front of a mottled blue background, you are in the wrong place.

TIP 1: The best people to have do your head shot are photographers who specialize in actors headshots.

Your images should reflect a feel or emotion. Just like copy isn’t just about what you are selling, your image isn’t just about what you look like. It should make the viewer feel something.

Your expression is going to have a lot to do with the feeling. So think about the feeling you want and then what expression causes that feeling.

TIP 2: Just like I tell my models, practice in front of a mirror. Try different expressions and poses.

Feeling will also be influenced by lighting and depth of field. This is why you need to get the right photographer. There is technically right lighting and there is artistically right lighting. You want artistically right lighting. I’m not even going to try and explain that right now, but you’ll know it when you see it.

TIP 3: Pick a photographer based almost solely on their portfolio.

The biggest problem when trying to commission any kind of art is knowing what you are going to get in the end for something that hasn’t been created yet. Fact is you won’t know 100%. The best indicator you can get is the images they have already taken. This tells you something about their “style”. A style is made up of the things an artist is comfortable creating and the elements they use over and over.

TIP 4: Use a modeling site to find a photographer.

The yellow pages or local newspaper rarely will help you find the kind of photographer you are looking for. You need to go where you can look at a photographers work when they are most expressing their style. Since you want them in your area, a modeling site lets you search by zip code.

Here are a couple:

http://www.modelmayhem.com/
http://www.onemodelplace.com/
http://www.deviantart.com/ < - not really modeling, but artistic photography You also may find what I call a professional amateur on these sites. They are photographers who love it as a hobby and have gotten really, really good, but they don't do it for the money. They will if it comes along, but aren't really marketing for it. Offer these guys some money and you'll get a quality product for good price. I'd consider myself one of these guys. TIP 5: Not every photographer is good at everything, but style does come through.

There are two areas of photography where you see the high quality artistic photographers excelling. Wedding and High School Senior photography. These also happen to be the biggest money makers. So if you are looking for a good portrait, look at who the best of these guys are in your area.

Lastly I’d just like to say photography matters. It tells people if you are serious or not. It’s like good webdesign.

4 Aspects of Sexiness

Skin, Fit, Access and Heels
Skin, Access, Fit and Heels
There are 4 things that make an outfit sexy. Maybe these are obvious, but I find a lot of women have no idea how to be sexy. They often have no clue about what makes an outfit sexy verses pretty, which are not related.

#1 Skin

This one seems the most obvious, but still needs to be addressed. The more skin your outfit reveals the sexier it is. There is a limit to this. 100% nudity probably isn’t as sexy as 90%. Also for most people you probably want to cover flaws.

But as a general rule, the more skin you show the sexier your outfit is.

#2 Access

Why is a mini-skirt way more sexy than a pair of short shorts?

Because a mini-skirt promises access to even more skin in a way shorts don’t.

A crop top that hangs from the breasts, away from the body, is sexier than one that clings tightly to the breasts and belly.

Why?

Again a promise of access. It gives the idea you could slide a hand up under it and adds to the sexiness.

Even fake access ads sexiness. For instance a skort is really shorts, but looks like a skirt. A wrap of fabric over a bikini bottom, looks like a skirt, even though you know it covers a bikini bottom that prevents access.

#3 Clothing Fit

I was going to say tightness adds to sexiness, but I realized that fit is a better way to put it. Yes, a form fitting outfit – assuming you have an attractive form under it – is sexy. But even a non-clinging outfit that fits properly is better than a baggy ill fitting one.

In general the tighter an outfit is the sexier it is. Tight jeans are sexier than loose ones. A tight sweater is sexier than a loose one.

The biggest counter example to this is the lose man’s t-shirt, which is the staple of many women and is totally unsexy. Wear a top cut for a woman and that fits flatteringly to your frame.

#4 Heels

High heels are the salt of fashion, they increase all of the other flavors in the recipe. High heels make any outfit sexier. By high I mean over 3″.

You can be wearing baggy jeans, a loose T-shirt and 4″ heels and your sexiness will be increased.

Why do I make my models wear heels when I’m not even shooting their feet? Because it make them stand different. Heels tighten muscles from calves to neck. And they make your feet look smaller.

They also make you move differently and in a way that makes you sexier to men. Don’t ask me why.

A common misconception is since they make you taller, you are more attractive. I don’t actually think this is true. Most men don’t care how tall you are up to a point, and then it is a problem. 5′ 2″ vs 5′ 6″? Men don’t care. 5′ 8″ to 6′? Now most guys are looking up at you and generally don’t like that.

Now that you know the building blocks of a sexy outfit, there are a couple of caveats.

Context

While I’ve told you what makes an outfit sexy, I’m not telling you to use all four all of the time. You should use the different aspects appropriate to where you are going, and what outcome you want.

If you are going out to a club, use all four. If you are going to work, wear something that fits and heels if you are able. Adding a little sexiness to a professional outfit makes you more attractive, without looking like you are trolling for sex. 🙂 Being more attractive will help you in business.

If your outcome for any event includes meeting men, then you need to add some aspect of sexiness to attract attention. “But I don’t want a man who’s attracted to me because I’m sexy. I want him to be attracted to me for my mind.” Then you better not be passive, because men are unlikely to approach you without some physical attraction.

Pretty Vs. Sexy

When I said lots of women didn’t know how to be sexy, I remembered a story about a woman who didn’t know how to be pretty without being sexy. A friend used to be a parole officer and she had a client who had a court date. She told her to dress nice, and the girl showed up dressed like she was going out to a club, because that was the only definition of nice she knew.

I said an outfit can be sexy and not be pretty, there are plenty of outfits that never should have made it out the door, but that a guy will still think are hot. On the other hand there a beautiful dresses that men will admire, but not be attracted to. You are best off striking the correct balance between the two.

Ron is the photographer behind Photographer and Model, the Model photography website.