Tag : headshots

06 Nov 2017


Robert DeBarth has been repairing and rebuilding typewriters for over 70 years.  Now you might think that business would be slow, but Robert has plenty of work.  His skills are actually in high demand.  People still love typewriters.

If you’ve ever tried to fix one you know that they are like watches with hundreds of integrated parts.  It takes a specialist and there are not too many typewriter factory repair centers anymore (probably none), so Robert is at a premium.

I did a Google virtual tour of Robert’s shop, in Lansdale, Pa and couldn’t resist asking if I could do a few portraits.  Robert was fun to photograph and a pleasure to talk to.  He has done this work his whole adult life and at 90, he has no plans to quit anytime soon.

In his words, “It’s what I do.”



05 Nov 2017


Sometimes. Yes?

They say “work is work” and it is, of course, but if it brings us satisfaction then it’s more than work, it’s living life well.

I’ve always loved my jobs, my work (except for that time in college I delivered telephone books…) and most of the time it was satisfying.

That’s especially true at the end of a productive day.

Boredom, fatigue and stress love to nudge their way in from time to time, but that’s normal. So what else is new?

So chances are your work makes you happy, at least sometimes. (Try not to think about the other times!)…

03 Nov 2017


I photographed artist, Todd Stone as part of a photo project about the Artists of the Gallows Run.  We talked about journals.

Todd is a well known New York artist, www.toddstone.com.  Todd witnessed, first hand, the destruction of the Twin Towers and rendered it in paintings.  Over the past 16 years he has been witnessing and painting the resurrection.

Todd journals.  It settles his mind and evokes new thoughts and ideas.

Journalling is right up there with mindful meditation as a practice to improve your life.  It’s not just for artists.


04 Aug 2017
Dating Site Photos

Dating Site Photos

Sometimes, I get to do personal photos for people to use for their dating site profiles.  Having these photos done well is certainly not a bad idea.  I love creating images that express people in a positive light.

I’ve browsed dating sites myself (just researching, of course) and many of the photos I’ve seen are pretty awful (and some are just plain scary).  I’ve been tempted to send a message with photo tips, but figure that would just be insulting.  I guess that when people decide to go on-line they root around for recent photos they may have and post the best ones.  Or maybe they get out the ol’ cell phone and try a few selfies.

I’m sure that this approach is convenient but it is really not optimal.  Dating sites are advertisements and you are your brand.  Whether it’s a website, magazine ad or a dating profile, the first thing that people see are photos.  If they are compelling then they will read the text.  The whole intent is to send a positive message.

When I do shoots for dating sites, we do our best to keep it relaxed, playful and fun. That’s when personalities emerge.  One of my clients told me he got so many interested responses he had to take down his profile.  Another client reported she almost immediately began dating someone.  (Makes me feel like I’m a match maker.)

So here are a few tips if you know someone doing the dating site thing.

  1. Make sure the photos are fun, happy and real. Use a mix of portraits and semi-candids.
  2. Make sure you have good quality images.  Dark photos, blurry photos or photos that are too far away are essentially useless and subtract from your message.
  3. Don’t hide behind sunglasses or bury yourself in a crowd.  
02 Aug 2017
Author Headshot

Window Light for Headshots

I love light.  Soft light, natural light, bright light, dim light, light bulb light, strobe light, lightning bug light, moon light, moon shine, light beer, lightning light, and on and on ….  It’s either because I’m a photographer or I’m a photographer because I love light.

Window light is one of my favorite types of light and a great simple option for anyone who needs to create a headshot of someone, whether it’s an employee, a personal relationship or a selfie.  Just put them (or yourself) by a window and take a picture.  You will get a great shot.

Windows offer two basic alternatives, side lighting or full lighting.  The photo taken above is for an upcoming book cover and shows full lighting.  Gail simply faced the window, gave me a beautiful smile and we got a wonderful headshot.  The two photos below are examples of side lighting.  Side lighting can be a little tricky due to deep dark shadows on the side opposite the window.  (This can be lessened by holding up a big piece of white foam core or something similar to provide fill light.) Side lighting is a little more dramatic and more contrasty than full lighting (it also shows wrinkles better)


The best part of using window light is it does not need any special equipment.  Just you, your camera and your happy subject. Experiment.…

01 Aug 2017
Group Photography

Cool Group Shots

Shooting groups is an art in itself.  Imagine corralling 5, 10, 20 or more people, balancing the arrangement, getting the light just right and having everyone look like they are happy.  Ya gotta love it.

It’s also fun to try to tweak things a little and reach for a more relaxed shot.  The team at Princeton Wealth Advisors, Raymond James were wonderfully accommodating and patient as we work on shots for its national magazine.  After a bunch of great traditional group photos we loosened up a bit to create a more relaxed shot with a little attitude as shown above.

Corporate loved the more traditional look which was recently published.  Works for me!  Great team.


27 Jul 2017
Minal Sampat, Growth Management Marketingg

Watch what you say!

Headshots can be fun.  All it takes is some imagination and a willingness to experiment and be playful.

Minal Sampat, founder and CEO of Growth Management Marketing is a master at this.  We spent an afternoon in the studio creating a wonderful collection of headshots with a wide range of applications for her business including this shot to promote her podcast.  We had a great time and got great shots.  This one is my favorite.

You can see more the photos we created and learn about what Minal offers at her website www.marketinggmm.com

The magic is in the playfulness.…

26 Jul 2017
Environmental Headshot

Interesting Headshots

Headshots are, of course, a staple of business.  People expect to see a current version and get a sense of who you are.  Headshots are typically done in a studio, which certainly works well, but may sometimes be a little less original than the person being photographed.  Your headshot should do you justice!

Studio style headshots are great when large teams of people need to be photographed and consistency is important.  They can be done more quickly and efficiently when all the lighting and backdrops are the same.  They can also be reproduced more easily if new employees come on board later and need the exact same style of headshot.

Environmental Headshot

Whenever possible, I like to encourage clients to consider creating headshots in a business-oriented environment rather than a studio.  This is especially valuable when the business offers some interesting eye candy to serve as a backdrop.  Environmental headshots can be visually interesting and when done well, engage the viewer more than a simple studio portrait.  Environmental headshots can also tell a story and put you in context.  This helps “brand” you for the services or products you offer.

So when it is time to update your headshot consider getting out of the studio.  If you want a choice, then do both.  Get the safe shot in the studio then reach a little deeper and try something different.