Posts in Beauty Tips
Different Shades of Beauty | Winston Salem Portrait Photographer | Jasper & Fern

My youtube channel makes some interesting suggestions sometimes. Most of the time it suggests diy projects, photography, Ellen, sharks and acrylic pours. It also occasionally suggests uplifting content. Most recently, one of the "What Would You Do" videos, headlined "Teen Wanting to Look Whiter," popped up. Heart strings tugged and interest in this social experiment drew me in.

In the video, two young black girls are discussing skin bleaching. The girls are actors attempting to instigate reactions from the surrounding people. Unfamiliar with these practices and unfamiliar with cultural standards, I really wasn't sure which direction these reactions would go.

The more responses that were shared, the larger the lump in my throat grew. This one gentleman compassionately responded how I wish anyone would respond to any person dealing with an insecurity or pressure like this.

"You don't think you're fine just the way you are?" After explaining his own experience with his aunts' skin bleaching and cautioning them about safety, he shared a beautiful perspective.

"See, there's different shades of beauty."

That sums it up right there. Beauty isn't just one thing or one type of person. Beauty is more than can be put on a box or a magazine cover and sold.

As a photographer, I see this struggle for self value and confidence in many of my clients. As a woman, as a human, I see these same struggles in myself. While my struggles were different than what the video is about, I wish I'd met someone with this compassion who could have shared with me what this man shared with these girls. No one should feel like they are “less than.”

This video, this story, goes to show how much we can impact each other - how much we influence each other's understanding of value and of beauty. Be kind with your words and actions, Friends.

As you go forward today, friend, know that you are perfect just the way you were created and, above all, know that you are loved.

(You can watch his whole interaction starting at 3:06 if you want. He does go on to share some other meaningful and compassionate insight.)

Social experiment focused on the standards of beauty when it comes to skin color | Skin bleaching | self value | beauty standards | self confidence | self hate | body issues | identity | young girls believing they’re worthless

What to Wear for Your Headshot Session
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If you're a professional, you likely realize just how important a first impression is. Nowadays, with most of us making our first impression via the internet using social sites like LinkedIN, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and our own websites, we rely on people getting to know us through the content we share. So, what happens if you have a "headshot" that is clearly cropping someone else out, is ten years old or is simply an image you used to fill the space because it was the best picture you had on hand at the time and you've never changed it? Well, what happens is people make judgements. Now, I'm not condoning judgements and I'm not trying to be ominous, however, I am stressing the importance of using an honest, quality portrait that represents you well - especially on your professional sites.

Since I see many people who know the importance of a good first impression that still have less appealing representations of themselves on their professional medias, I started to dig into why people weren't getting professional headshots done. Here's what I came across most commonly.

1. I don't have the time.
2. My field doesn't require/use professional photos.
3. I don't like having my picture made/am not comfortable in front of the camera
4. Getting my photo made is too stressful.
5. I don't like how I look.


(Scroll down just a little further if you want to skip ahead to our tips on what to wear for your headshot session)

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There are easy solutions to these needs that I'd love to help you out with. 


Reason # 1 : I Don't have the time.

- Find a local professional that specializes in quick, to-the-point headshots and schedule your portraits on your way to work, on your lunch break, in between meetings or on your way home.
- Many professionals will even travel to you, ask them! (We do)
- Lay out and prepare your outfit(s) no later than the day before your session. Keep them on hand in your car if you have to. 
- Check and see if same day appointments are available. 
- Make sure the professional has a quick turnaround time and can supply your headshots to you in a fast and efficient way. For instance, we offer a 24 hour turn around and provide your proofs via an online gallery that is sent straight to your email which can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. As soon as you make your selection, we make your portrait available for download, ready to go on-the-spot.


Reason #2 : My field doesn't require/use professional headshots.

- They are few and far between but, there are fields which don't require or have a use for professional headshots. It is nice, however, to have a service option available should your company ever decide to post team and staff biographies on the website. 


Reason #3 : I don't like having my picture made.

- (You are not alone!)
- Try finding a photographer who helps you feel comfortable.
- Figure out what it is you don't like about having your photograph made and communicate that with your trusted photographer. They'll help you work through it.
- Pick an outfit(s) you feel good in; something that you feel comfortable and happy in.
- If you're not having your portrait made at a studio, make sure to choose a quiet location with few to no people.

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Reason #4 : Getting my photo made is too stressful.

- Find a photographer with good reviews who likes to plan. Discuss your vision with them and let them take some of the planning weight off your shoulders.
- Pick one outfit and stick with it (or) bring your favorite outfits to the studio and let your photographer choose for you.
- Schedule your session on a day where you don't have much going on - whether that means it's your planning day, a weekend morning or when the kids are with the baby sitter, put as many of those balls you're juggling to the side so you can focus.
- Make the process fun! Get excited about choosing and coordinating your outfit, setting aside time to celebrate yourself.
- Be flexible and gracious with yourself.
- Don't wait until the last minute to schedule or prepare for your session.


Reason #5 : I don't like how I look look.

- Find a photographer who helps you feel comfortable
- Communicate the areas with which you're struggling to your photographer. They'll help pose you and finesse you into looking your best.
- We're constantly fluctuating in weight and battling it out with our hair and skin. Here's a secret - it's okay to not be 100% okay with how you look all the time. Keep working on yourself and, in the meantime, I would encourage you to go ahead and have your headshot made. You can always update your headshot when you reach your goal weight. Your photographer can photoshop your skin and their hairstylist can help tame your hair.
- Choose an outfit(s) you love and feel attractive and good in.
- Hire a photographer who includes a hair and makeup stylist with your session or add on their services to your package
- Give yourself a little extra love and a confidence boost before you go in to your session
- Ask for edits or a reshoot if you really don't like portraits (It's okay to ask!)

 

(STOP SCROLLING HERE IF YOU WERE LOOKING FOR THE TIPS ON WHAT TO WEAR) 

 

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You may have noticed several recurring themes throughout our recommendations above. One commonality centered on your wardrobe. Here are our tips for choosing the best wardrobe for your headshot session. The best part about these tips is that you can mix and match these guidelines to create an outfit that is perfectly you!

Choosing the Best Outfits for Your Headshot Session
 

1. Personality - Be YOU

You want to be seen through your headshot. You want someone to get an idea about who you are, the type of things you like, your personality, your character. Choose and bring a variety outfits that you love and that feel like you. You can always experiment with the sides of your personality and then make your final selection once you see your proofs.

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2. Color

When it comes to picking color, choose outfits which accentuate your eyes while bringing a healthy glow to your skin. Here is a great chart courtesy of domfreechep.us depicting what colors to wear for warm and cool skin tones.

cilt_alt_tonuna_göre_renk_seçimi.png | What to wear for warm toned skin | What colors to wear for cool toned skin

See how each of these ladies chose the perfect shades of red for them?

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3. Patterns & Textures

This is a great example of color choice and texture! Textures can be styled to look anywhere from casual to professional to formal.

This is a great example of color choice and texture! Textures can be styled to look anywhere from casual to professional to formal.

Don't feel like your only option for a great wardrobe choice is solid colors. Have fun and add some extra context using patterns and textures. 

Pattern Don'ts :
- High contrast patterns detract from your face
- Patterns with tiny designs, like seersucker or high contrast micro chevron, also distract from your face and create movement in places you wouldn't typically see in person.

Pattern Do's :
- Express your personality

Texture Don't :
- Don't pick a texture that looks ragged and old
- Don't mix too many heavily contrasting textures

Texture Do's : 
- Lace and silks are wonderful professional textures for women
- Starched shirts with tightly pressed corners work well for men
- Pick textures which compliment each other. If you're not sure what textures go together, play it safe and choose one statement texture to pair with a more simple piece of clothing.

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Notice how this woman on the right chose to wear a higher contrast large print pattern. This pattern adds depth and visual content without taking away from her face. You'll see also that there are subtle pinks and deep yellows in her top, which soften the competing blacks and whites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Accessories

What to wear for your headshot session | Professional women's attire | dress casual attire | friendly women's headshots | approachable headshots |Professional Headshots for Women | Winston Salem North Carolina Headshot Photographer | Corporate headshots for women | Professional women | Female CEO | Female leader | mujeres espanolas profesionales | African American Women in Business | ABWA | American Businesswomen's Association | businesswomen | what color to wear with blue eyes | what color to wear with brown eyes | what color to wear with green eyes | what color to wear with hazel eyes | what color to wear with olive skin | what color to wear with cool skin tones | what color to wear with warm skin tones | what color to wear with neutral skin tones | what color to wear with red hair | what color to wear with blonde hair | what color to wear with black hair | what color to wear with auburn hair | what color to wear with carmel hair | what color to wear with dirty blonde hair | How to dress professionally | What to wear for an interview | how to dress like a CEO | How to dress fashionably and professionally for work | wsnc | entrepreneur lifestyle and wardrobe | dtwsnc | women owned business

As with all other parts of your outfit(s) you'll want to balance your accessories. Whether you're a minimalist, a lover of chunky jewelry or want to incorporate the time of year keep these guidelines in mind. 

- With jewelry, either go simple or go all in - whichever fits your brand
- Make sure your jewelry matches the tone of your clothing and gives off the impression you are going for
- Hats and Headwear can be applicable depending on your field
- Scarves, Coats and other seasonal specific items can be great, however, if you're looking to use your headshot year round, we recommend sticking to seasonally neutral attire

Accessories for professional headshots can also include your instrument if you're a musician, your paintbrushes if you're a painter, your skateboard if you're a professional skater or your tablet if you're a professional graphic designer. When you start considering adding in these items to your session, talk with your photographer about branding portraits versus headshots. We'll share our own guidance on that at a later date.

5. Glasses - To Wear or Not to Wear

If you wear them all the time, keep them on - they are a part of how people see you! If you only wear them sometimes, have a few headshots taken with them and then without them. Once you see your proofs, choose which headshot you like best.

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What to wear for your headshot session | Professional women's attire | dress casual attire | friendly women's headshots | approachable headshots |Professional Headshots for Women | Winston Salem North Carolina Headshot Photographer | Corporate headshots for women | Professional women | Female CEO | Female leader | mujeres espanolas profesionales | African American Women in Business | ABWA | American Businesswomen's Association | businesswomen | what color to wear with blue eyes | what color to wear with brown eyes | what color to wear with green eyes | what color to wear with hazel eyes | what color to wear with olive skin | what color to wear with cool skin tones | what color to wear with warm skin tones | what color to wear with neutral skin tones | what color to wear with red hair | what color to wear with blonde hair | what color to wear with black hair | what color to wear with auburn hair | what color to wear with carmel hair | what color to wear with dirty blonde hair | How to dress professionally | What to wear for an interview | how to dress like a CEO | How to dress fashionably and professionally for work | wsnc | entrepreneur lifestyle and wardrobe | dtwsnc | women owned business | professional looks for a Blue blazer | cobalt | lapis

When it comes down to it, you are your brand. You are the best representation of you and we hope our tips have helped you narrow down how to achieve a look befitting you for your headshot session.

Fat and Uncomfortable

UNCOMFORTABLE, that's the description I hear most often when people come in to have their photograph taken. It's incredibly common to not like being in front of a camera. Whether it's because you feel fat, old, ugly, tired or what-have-you [insert your own reason here], having your portrait made can be unpleasant.

You are not alone. Based on my own experience with clients, I'd say 9 out of 10 people are uncomfortable having their photograph taken. Even I am uncomfortable in front of the camera. One of my biggest fears is looking fat in photos and not looking like the real me (whether that's looking too good or too bad - although I don't mind the "too good" as much). 

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Take this photograph, for instance. This is a VERY recent photograph and, oh my gosh, I HATE it. I look dopey, ghostly, have no jaw line and look chunkier than I feel I actually am. I have no eyebrows or eyes and I feel like a big pile of gross blah. I. Feel. Ugly.

My husband even, once I told him I really wanted to untag myself in the photo, said he contemplated untagging me because it's not how I look in real life. Like, it's a BAD, BAD photograph - and it's out there for the world to see, thanks to social media.

Now, I've had uncomplimentary photographs before and I've been working on being comfortable getting past my own vanity and appreciating the moment and the people I'm sharing the memory with. This latest picture is definitely testing my self-appreciation methods though. I'm attempting to be thankful for the humbling reminder to keep my vanity in check and always do my best to represent who my clients truly are. While I might look uglier in photos than I see myself, I am choosing to focus my attention on remembering that I love the people in this photograph and the time together this photo represents.

While there is little we can do about the quality of the photographs shared and tagged on social media by other people, any time you have photographs made with a photographer, you can always open a dialogue with them. I want to know your insecurities. I want to know which side is your favorite. I want to know what you are learning to like about yourself. I want to know all of these things so that I can be sensitive to where you are at and capture you in the best light, as the best representation of you.

It's natural and normal to feel uncomfortable in front of a camera. It is normal to have fears and insecurities; and, it is expected that, at a vulnerable time like when you're having your portrait made, your uncomfortable feelings may come out. Just remember you're not alone, your opinions about yourself matter and I'm going to do my best to photograph the most beautiful version of you.

Taking a Breath

I literally started this blog by taking a massive, slow, deep breath in followed by a slow breath out to get my mind in the right place. You see, seeing that my last blog post was back on the 30th of May made me slightly stressed. With my deep breath in though, and even as the continue deep breathing as I write, it's so much easier to focus on all of the good things that have happened and all of the progress that has been made in that 16 day gap. 

So often we get wrapped up in all of the ways we failed or in everything we've done wrong. We minimize our progress and growth because we aren't exactly where we want to be in this moment. By doing that, by letting ourselves be overwhelmed, we are also giving up our joy and strength. 

No matter what you've failed with, no matter the mistakes you've made, your shortcomings or your missteps - you don't have to live in them. You've been given the opportunity of grace and redemption. Just as we have been extended grace, we can give ourselves grace on occasion now too! 

It's so encouraging to breathe deep and know that I am more than my mistakes and short comings - even if they are as big as mistreating someone or as small as not blogging as often as I "should." And, yes, just like "with great strength comes great responsibility" the fact that we have the opportunity for grace and redemption doesn't give us the reasons to just act however we choose. We should always carry the integrity of our lives. 

In those moments of overwhelm where you feel yourself sinking into despair, shame and regret stop yourself. Take a few deep breaths and remember the good. Let yourself smile and sink into grace.

It's Okay