As a professional photographer, I know that natural light is a gift that keeps on giving. Its soft, flattering glow can transform an ordinary portrait into a magical frame. Understanding the nuances of natural light, particularly the play of light at different times of the day, is therefore essential. And in the heartland of America, the Midwest's August light offers some truly special opportunities.
The first golden window for natural light portraits is the early morning. Known as the "Golden Hour", this time slot, approximately an hour after sunrise, promises a gentle, warm glow that imbues photographs with a dreamy, ethereal quality. In the Midwest, August sunrises are typically between 6:00 am and 6:30 am. Therefore, plan your shoots to start at around 7:00 am to capture the soft morning light.
Midday light, between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, tends to be harsh and direct, which can create unflattering shadows and overexposure in portraits. But don't dismiss this time of day altogether. With the right techniques, such as using a diffuser or seeking out natural shade, midday light can provide a vibrant, high-contrast look. That being said, it is generally the most challenging time of day to shoot and is often avoided for portrait photography.
Late afternoon, or "Golden Hour" round two, offers another prime opportunity. This is the hour or two before sunset when the light takes on a warm, golden hue. In August, sunsets in the Midwest occur between 7:30 pm and 8:00 pm, so scheduling your shoot to begin at around 6:00 pm will help you make the most of this beautiful light.
Lastly, there's the "Blue Hour", the brief window just after sunset before darkness sets in. The indirect sunlight during this period can result in wonderfully saturated, cool-toned portraits. For August in the Midwest, this would be just after 8:00 pm.
Of course, weather plays a significant role in natural light photography. An overcast day can provide soft, even lighting, while a clear day can yield a more dramatic effect with stronger shadows and contrast. It's about being flexible and making the most of the conditions on the day of your shoot.
Remember, the best time for natural light portraits isn't a one-size-fits-all answer—it depends on the mood and aesthetic you're aiming for. Whether you're seeking the delicate allure of a golden hour glow or the striking contrasts of a clear midday, knowing how to work with August's shifting light in the Midwest can elevate your portraits to new heights.
As a professional photographer specializing in business headshots, one question that consistently arises is: "What should I wear for my headshot?" Choosing the right outfit can indeed be an overwhelming task. After all, a headshot often serves as your first impression, and in this digital age, it's likely to be circulated across your professional networks. It's imperative, then, to get it right.
Firstly, let's talk about the importance of looking sharp - and I mean this quite literally. Wrinkles or creases in your outfit can be distracting and can make you look less professional. For this reason, I cannot stress enough the importance of having your clothes freshly pressed before your photoshoot. A neatly ironed outfit contributes significantly to the overall clean and crisp appearance of your headshot. It's a small detail, but believe me, it can make all the difference.
And while we're on the topic of keeping your clothes wrinkle-free, here's a useful tip: consider bringing your headshot outfit to the shoot location - whether it be a studio or office - and changing into it just before your photograph is taken. This helps to ensure that your clothes remain in impeccable condition and that any potential spills, stains, or wrinkles picked up during your commute don't make an unwanted cameo in your headshot.
Now, onto the post-pandemic world of professional dressing. With many of us returning to offices after long stretches of working from home, navigating the world of professional attire might seem a bit tricky. Remember, you want your headshot to reflect not only your professionalism but also your understanding of the current work environment.
The key here is balance. Embrace a smart-casual look. You might choose to pair a formal blazer with a quality, plain t-shirt, or perhaps a classic shirt with a comfortable, contemporary sweater. This combination sends a message that you can adapt and thrive in the shifting business landscape, that you're in tune with the times. However, do stay clear of overly casual attire - remember that a headshot is still a formal business communication tool.
Another piece of advice: avoid busy patterns or bright, flashy colors. They can be distracting and take away from the most important part of your headshot - you! Instead, stick with solid, neutral colors, such as navy, black, white, or beige. These colors are universally flattering and help to keep the focus on your face.
Lastly, remember to dress in a way that reflects your personal brand. If you're in a creative field, feel free to show some flair with a unique accessory or statement piece. If you're in a more traditional field, a classic suit or formal dress might be more appropriate.
Above all, remember that your headshot should represent the authentic you. Dress in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable, and let your personality shine through.
Until next time, stay sharp and keep smiling!
In today's digital age, a strong online presence is crucial for professionals across various industries. One essential element of personal branding is a high-quality headshot that conveys professionalism, confidence, and approachability. As a dedicated photographer, I am thrilled to offer a specialized service that focuses on business and social media headshots. Whether you're an individual looking to enhance your personal brand or an entire office in need of consistent and impressive portraits, my tailored solutions will help you stand out from the crowd.
Comprehensive Retouched Digital Files:
As part of my offering, I provide fully retouched digital files that are optimized for various platforms. Your headshot package includes images sized specifically for print, social media, Teams, and LinkedIn. With attention to detail, I ensure that your headshots are perfectly tailored for their intended use, allowing you to make a strong and impactful impression across different online and offline channels. Your images will be available in the following sizes:
I understand that every client has unique requirements, which is why I offer flexibility in my services. Whether you're an individual professional or an entire office seeking cohesive headshots, I can accommodate your needs.
For individuals, I provide a personalized 45-minute session designed to capture your unique personality and professional essence. With a keen eye for composition and lighting, I strive to create headshots that truly reflect who you are. You will receive two fully retouched digital images as part of the package, ensuring you have standout visuals for your personal branding efforts. Additional retouched images can be added to the package for an extra fee.
If you're a business or organization looking to provide headshots for your team, I offer on-location sessions or access to my studio. These sessions allow for a consistent look across all headshots, reinforcing your brand identity and presenting a unified image to clients and partners. Additionally, retakes or sessions for individuals who were unable to attend the office session can be scheduled at the studio.
Pricing and Booking:
Investing in professional headshots is an investment in your personal brand and professional success. My pricing starts at $192 for a 45-minute session and includes two fully retouched digital images. Additional retouched images, prints, and customized packages are available upon request.
To book your session or inquire about customized packages for your office, please contact me directly. I am committed to providing an exceptional experience and delivering headshots that exceed your expectations.
In today's competitive business landscape, a captivating and professional headshot can make a significant difference in how you are perceived by colleagues, clients, and professional networks. With my specialized business and social media headshot offering, you can elevate your personal brand and make a lasting impression online and offline. Take the first step towards enhancing your professional image by booking a session today and let me capture your unique essence through stunning headshots that open doors to new opportunities.