Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What impression does your social media image project about you?

Heather W's Facebook Badge HeadshotDo you wish you had a great photo of yourself to display on Social Media sites like facebook and Linkedin?

Do you wish you had a photo of yourself that revealed your true personality and gives others the exact impression you're trying to send out??

If you answered YES, then this is for YOU!

I love facebook and besides being able to re-connect with old friends from grade school and up, I use it to network for my business. Facebook is an amazing venue to use for your professional networking! In addition to building my business with facebook connections, I've been able to reach out and help other professionals with their business.

It doesn't take a professional photographer to know how critical it is to have a good photo to use for this type of social media. Your first impression is a visual one and most people want to look pleasant and personable in the images they use to network and build their business. Trust me on this! When I deliever headshots to my clients, there is a huge difference in the way they approach their business that increases their exposure in the market as well as their bottom line! Not to mention what it does to your confidence to have an amazing photo of yourself to use.

Mari Smith is a 'friend' of mine who is a master networker and bases her business on helping people utilize social media platforms to build their business. I know that she is like me and very selective when accepting a friend request from a stranger. She emailed me this link to an article she wrote addressing the importance of your profile photo. To reference her words from a portion of the article:

"A picture says a thousand words, would you agree? When you receive incoming Facebook friend requests, I'll bet the person's profile picture has a LOT of bearing on your decision to accept their invite or not. See, one of the great aspects of Facebook is the fact we have the opportunity for our face to show up throughout the platform."

There is also an interesting article on the psychology behind your profile photo written by Dr. BJ Fogg where he ends by saying "Your mugshot is the most important element on your Facebook Profile Page, even more important than your name." Click this link to read his entire article.

You don't have to hire a professional photographer to get a great photo of yourself for facebook (especially if you're not using it for your business like these clients of mine). It's all about getting the right angle for you and capturing your personality correctly so that you're sending the professional message YOU want to send and not what others interpret from an image of you.

Here are a few tips:

1- Stick your chin out a little:
People tend to lean back in photos and you'll get that dreaded double chin look if you do! So stick your chin out slightly to avoid that.

2- Lean forward:
By slightly leaning forward (it feels weird, but looks good in the photo) you look more approachable in your image.

3- Don't be too serious:
Most people tend to look mad or angry if they try to give a serious look, so if you want a more serious image or if you don't like your smile then think of something pleasant. I know it sounds strange, but I can tell in my clients eyes when I'm photographing them if they're feeling self concsious or trying to be serious by thinking of something serious. You at least want your eyes to smile or look lighter for a more serious image.

4- Try different compositions:
This can create a fun and more interesting photo than just the normal horizontal and verticle composition. See the images below for different looks that I give my clients. Try an angle, or really close up, or off centered to make your image more intersting!

So if you do want to give a better impression or have a better image of yourself to use, take a look at these as reference and then have a friend/spouse/someone you feel comfortable with take a bunch of shots to see what angle and composition you like best of yourself! Have fun!!

These are all clients of mine who hired me to photograph them so that they could put their best image forward in all of their web and print materials. And they are not models, I promise! Even though they look like they could be, just about all of them told me that they're not photogenic before our shoot together but loved thier photos after.

Gifting & Giving Back

As we approach the holiday season and purchase gifts, don't forget that you can give back at the same time! Here are some great sites that you should bookmark and use for your holiday shopping as well as your every day items!

1- Earth moment


"EarthMoment is a no-cost internet portal that allows customers to purchase their favorite products and services from their favorite online retailers, while fighting climate change with each purchase. We have teamed up with more than 1,000 companies to offer you 15 million products and services. Each of our company partners pays a commission to EarthMoment, half of which we donate to investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects around the country/world. These investments are managed by, one of the world's leading carbon offset charities."


igive search image

"SELECT your favorite cause (or add a new one). Register with iGive and SHOP at brand name online stores through the iGive Mall. A portion of each purchase is donated to your cause. SAVE money with exclusive coupons/free shipping deals. Plus, when you shop within 45 days of registering we'll donate an extra $5 to your cause!"

"Turn your everyday online purchases into donations for your favorite cause! Support any cause in the U.S. or Canada with up to 26% of each purchase at over 700 online stores, just by shopping through iGive is a free service for shoppers and the causes they support."

Over 700 stores participate in our donation program, including eBay, Lands' End, Staples, Barnes & Noble,,, Office Depot, Expedia, Home Depot, Best Buy, Drs. Foster & Smith, Gap,, and NORDSTROM.

3- owns and operates the GreaterGood Network Stores, where every purchase gives back to a worthy cause, at no extra cost to you! A portion of the purchase price of each item you buy goes to your choice of these important causes:the hunger site image link
· The Hunger Site funds food for the world's hungry.
· The Breast Cancer Site funds mammograms for women in need.
· The Child Health Site funds health services for children around the world.
· The Literacy Site funds new books for children in need.
· The Rainforest Site funds preservation of endangered rainforest habitat.
· The Animal Rescue Site funds food for abandoned animals in shelters and sanctuaries.

The GreaterGood Network of websites offer the public an opportunity to support causes they care about at no cost to them.

Each person's daily click on the Click To Give™ sites displays sponsor advertising. One hundred percent (100%) of sponsor advertising is paid as a royalty to charity through the non-profit, tax-exempt

Supporters can also contribute directly to charity by purchasing Gifts that Give More™, where one hundred percent (100%) of their donation is given to charity, or by purchasing one of the 4500+ products that we carry, including jewelry, apparel, and gifts.


global girlfriend image link
Global Girlfriend was created in 2003 to help women worldwide gain economic security while providing you unique products and a simple way to help women in need. Our fair-trade boutique offers a line of trend-setting, women-made, fair-trade products including stylish apparel, accessories and gifts with one purpose -- helping women in need help themselves.


shop the cause image link

Shop the Cause is a project of Women Thrive Worldwide (formerly Women's Edge Coalition), shop the cause jewelry linka non-profit that fosters economic opportunity for women living in poverty worlwide. Women in poor countries face unequal barriers that keep them from lifting their families out of poverty. Women Thrive advocates for policies that give women the opportunities they need to overcome these barriers - opportunities such as fair wages and working conditions, access to credit, property rights, and protection against violence. Opportunities that help them create beautiful products (like this bracelet to the right) and feed their children.


Purchasing an item from not only helps provide income, dignity and hope to people in developing regions, but it also helps sustain the communities by promoting community development, healthcare and childcare, education and literacy training. is committed to using our knowledge, creativity and purchasing power to directly benefit artists and artisans throughout the world. Fair trade enables people to make their own choices and helps them develop the skills to make those choices.

Today, World-Shoppe proudly works with several artisan cooperatives, non-governmental organizations and locally controlled small businesses in some 16 countries.

Chrysanthemum ToteI also found a few great items for gifts like a Let There Be Peace Piggy Bank and a Chrysanthemum Tote (handmade in Bangladesh)


one cause image link

When you make your everyday purchases through OneCause, for everything from apparel to groceries to travel, you will earn much-needed contributions for your chosen cause or school, at no extra cost to you. Shop your favorite merchants today!

Happy Shopping and giving back!!! Enjoy!

How To Choose Photo Equipment

As my Photo Tip for this newsletter, I've set up an Amazon storefront in order to help you narrow down the choices of photo equipment, storage, learning materials, software and other fun stuff! I've also added notes to many of the products to assist you. Please feel free to give me your feedback on the storefront I created to let me know if it's easy to follow, or if you have any suggestions that will make shopping there more clear.

The Categories that are set up for you to shop are:
1- Photography Equipment
2- Photo Storage
3- Software
4- Apple Computer Products
5- Books
6- Fun Stuff for Kids!

Here are a few quick tips for you when purchasing some equipment:

1- Megapixels: This is always a question for everyone when purchasing a camera! Here's the deal - megapixels only matter based on how large you will be enlarging your photos, that's it! So if you just want a basic camera that'll take good photos, you only need 5 or 7 megapixels. It's obviously fine if it's more than that too.

2-Speed: It's important when purchasing a point and shoot to ask the sales person about the speed of the camera (especially when photographing children!) Most cameras have a delay, but there are cameras out there that are faster so you don't miss capturing the moment. I invested a lot of money into my equipment for the purpose of photographing kids and I needed a lot of speed. If you are into photographing landscape, you don't need a fast camera and the same equipment I have. It all depends on what you plan on photographing.

3-Battery Life: When purchasing a new camera ALWAYS buy an extra battery that way you'll always have a fully charged battery waiting for when your battery decides to die in the middle of an event or important moment. Forget to charge your battery before heading out?? Yup! Well, no more worries now that you'll have an extra one ready to go!

4-Memory: Always invest in a memory card for your camera that is at least 1GB so that you have enough room for all of your images.

5-Purchasing a nice lens: If you're buying an SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera body and purchasing a nice lens to attach, always do the following:
  • Purchase a UV Protection Filter. It will not only protect your lens but will make your images look better by cutting down the Ultra Violet light that gets into your lens! UV light can cause a low-contrast haze that diminishes details in your images and the saturation in the color of a scene.
  • Use the lens hood that comes with your lens to keep out unwanted extra light that will be registered by your camera and adjust your camera settings inaccurately when shooting on auto mode especially.

Here's a GREAT point and shoot that I personally use as my pocket camera!

Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera
with 5x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom

List Price: $499.99 Amazon's Price: Too low to display
Buy Now

Stretch with your kids!!

Now that the weather is getting chilly, and you're staying indoors more, you can still have fun and get your children to exercise by doing yoga together!

You can purchase a great book like the 'I love Yoga' book shown here as a fun guide to follow! One book I found is called 'My Daddy is a Pretzel'.....I mean, how cute is that??!!

You can also purchase large illustrated cards called "Yoga Pretzels" by following the link here. Ages are 2 and up so get those little ones involved and Have fun!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

NYC Strong Kids Campaign Images

This is Nancy who one the bid on my photo shoot donation and this is an image from the shoot with her and her nephews and niece!
The location in NYC Central Park is so gorgeous!! Lily ponds, fountains and tons of beautiful greenery for backdrops.

Here are a few images of the kids playing in the fountains, ponds and drinking fountain. 
Too cute!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tanner's Birth Announcement Shoot

This birth announcement is a 5x7 folded card that was printed on fine art paper & this is the front:
This is the inside left portion of the card & they left the inside right blank to write notes & thank you's.
This was the back of the card showing the new family!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hands-on Art Books for Children!

These children's art books are one of my favorite gifts to give! They introduce children to the world of art with a "hands-on" approach. You can find them online at

This set comes with 4 books. Each book features famous works of art that have fun commentary, tactile materials and interactive components. Learning about art doesn't get more hands-on than this!

The set is only $35 and includes:
1-Brush Mona Lisa's Hair
2-Feed Matisse's Fish
3-Make Van Gogh's Bed
4- Pop Warhol's Top

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sophie's Notecard

Here's a notecard I designed for a client that's blank inside so that she can send notes and thank you's out as needed!  It was from her 1st Birthday party that I photographed and the background is a close up of the cake, but the card isn't specific to her birthday so she can send them year round.
Back of Card:

NYC Fall 2007 Images

This is Gabriel.  He's a cutie pie that I photographed last Fall in Prospect park.  The leaves were so gorgeous & made for a perfect background!  Even so, it's also great to have Black & White as well as Sepia images from this time of year as shown below.

I love this photo where we were both lying on the ground & he was peeking up at me.  He was still a little shy with me at this point in the shoot, but still made for an adorable image!

I can't say enough about how beautiful NYC is as a backdrop!!  Central Park is so gorgeous this time of year and I'm really looking forward to the shoots this fall also.

Holiday Card Designs (2007)

1-Card Front:
Inside Spread:
Back of Card:

2-Card Front:
Inside Spread:
Back of Card:

3-Card Front:
This was the card back.