Hmmmm people who know me wonder why my blog has become so boring, like why ‘linkedin headshot photographer’ is the title of this post. Blame it on Google, or the person who told me that in order to get the word out, you have to have focus keywords that have to do directly with what you want to talk about. How very…. predictable. Unironic. As a blogger since 2004, I’ve enjoyed speaking obtusely about a number of subjects, not just things for which I wanted to attract business.
Well, here I am linkedin promoting. This past year, I’ve had a number of people approach me to photograph them for the sole purpose of publishing on Linkedin, or their personal website. Most people want it plain and simple. I light it, turn my camera vertically, which is something I rarely do. I mean, our eyes don’t see a vertical 8×10. We see a horizontal image. I for one have great peripheral vision. I see panoramic. But anyway, I usually go vertical, unless someone’s website demands some negative space and I’m allowed to go horizontally. And then I try to get the subject to ‘be themselves.’ Now, that’s easier said than done. After a while, when I feel like I’ve found the person’s real smile, my job is done.
I enjoy headshots, since I get to spend some QT with the person on our own time. We change backdrops, they change outfits. I almost invariably ask the long-haired subjects to let their hair down and almost every time, they resist or refuse. Fine, but IMHO having the hair down is not unprofessional.
For expediency, I’m using Simon Van Booy as an example. Mind you, these are more environmental than the typical Linkedin professional headshot. These were specifically for a children’s book, though he’s used these for other things. I’ve got candids and ‘stuff’ in the background. But if I can do this, a sterile, simple background is done in a snap. These are good for websites, and for social media. In fact, Simon has been using this first shot for his homepage for quite some time.
Years ago I asked Simon to write a short recommendation for a fellowship grant for which I was applying. He said this: “I have been the subject of many photographic portrait sessions over the years. For the home page of my website, and for countless international magazine articles, my publicist and I haven chosen portraits by Ms. Solaka. She took the photographs with a box camera, and used black and white film. Instead of posing me in front of my vintage typewriter, she caught me at my laptop computer, working, but in a mirror. It was an accurate portrayal, rendered beautifully, and in a way reminiscent of the great American historical photographers. Ms. Solaka captures time by revealing the timelessness of human emotion and desire. She captured the author (myself), but also revealed some of the mystery of the creative process. ”
So if you’re ready for a fresh start, call me for a headshot. Now, if you prefer to wait for this winter season to end, and wish to get some rays in before your picture is taken, I completely understand. Our skin could use the warming rays of the springtime sun and vitamin D to relax us. As much as I love winter and would never trade it in, I’m always fighting against stiffness.
Now, off to a newfound discovery, a hot bath.