St. Luke’s Hospital - Day of Dance 2019

St. Luke’s Hospital Day of Dance was incredible. Picture a hotel ballroom overflowing with women of all ages and races dancing their hearts out. The energy was electric.

As someone who LOVES dancing (despite a lack of skill), I could not ask for a more fun event to shoot for St. Louis Magazine. The entire hotel was abuzz with women dancing, laughing, learning and getting health exams.

I was definitely caught bopping along with my camera more than once and added many new songs to my workout playlist. I would highly recommend attending the event to any woman. I left feeling inspired to stay moving even on those days that I feel lazy and don’t want to go to the gym. Such a beautiful promotion of women’s health!

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Aveda Jam St. Louis

 
 

One of my favorite events last year was the Aveda Jam at the Old Rock House in downtown St. Louis. Hair stylists from all over Missouri and Illinois came to show off their creativity and skills live on stage.

For this shoot, my goal was to create images that the stylists would be excited to share on social media. I wanted them to proudly associate themselves with the Aveda brand. I also focused on getting pictures of the Aveda products in action.

 
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The end results were both gorgeous and wildly creative. As someone who wears my hair in a pony tail about 360 days a year, my mind was blown.

Me in action!

Dannie | Writer, Musician & Photographer

 
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Dannie is a dedicated musician, photographer, and writer. When he came to me for new pictures, he explained that he wanted to bring all of these passions under one singular brand. We’ve know each other for a few years and I was excited at the opportunity to capture his warmth, depth and passion.

We did the shoot at his home office where much of his creating happens. It was early in the morning and the light streaming in from the basement windows was soft and beautiful. The warm and rich tones carried through all of his activities to create a cohesive brand. Here’s a peak into what we got!

 
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4 Reasons to Invest in Great Headshots

 1. You get what you pay for—

While anyone can take a quick picture of you on their phone, creating a consistently great headshot experience takes time, training, and skill. A headshot photographer will deliver consistently high-quality photos, while making you feel comfortable, directing your poses and facial expressions, and finding the most flattering light for your face. And we know that most people aren’t comfortable in front of a camera, so matching with a great photographer means bringing your personality out through their photos. A true professional will always make sure you look your best.

2. Build your brand—

The “About” page is often the most frequently viewed page on a website and it’s your first chance to make a good impression on and connect with potential clients and employees. This page will always look better with beautiful, consistent, and engaging headshots. And if you’re a company that regularly hires new people, make sure to find a photographer who is willing to come back periodically to keep your website consistent.

3. Only have them done once—

I’ve worked with countless individuals and companies that had their pictures retaken after a horrible headshot experience. HR managers have told me about pictures that have never seen the light of day because they were so unflattering. If you hire a photographer based on the cheapest quote, you may end up having to get them redone entirely, which costs you significantly more money in the long run.

4. Put your best foot forward—

There’s a reason that you considered getting professional pictures taken in the first place. Maybe you’re looking for a new job or haven’t gotten a new headshot in over a decade. But whatever the reason, investing in quality to have a photo that puts your best foot (or face) forward, makes you easier to connect with in a world where you can’t always meet people face to face. High quality photos also give you a headshot that you’re not only excited to share, but help fuel your professional confidence as well.

At the end of the day, your headshot is a key component of your personal brand and helps you connect better with people in our current digital age. Whether you need an updated profile picture or need uniform team photos for your website, investing in your brand is investing in your future.

Sanadja | Architect & Interior Designer

 
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Sanadja is an architect and interior designer currently based out of St. Louis. For her brand session, we decided to take pictures in her home to showcase her personal style and a space that she has put a lot of thought into.

Lucky for me, it also happens to be a house with high ceilings and incredible windows— yay for gorgeous natural light. With her industry being more causal, Sanadja wore a really simple outfit that highlights her affinity for the combination of modern and classic.

 
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Topgolf Chesterfield | Taste & Tour

Last night was my second time at a Topgolf and both times I have been behind the camera. I can't wait until this location actually opens up so that I can go play with friends. The Taste and Tour event was a blast. The energy was great and they had some really fun celebrity guests like Chingy, St. Louis Blue's Players and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. 

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A view from behind | I got to walk out onto the field before people actually started hitting.

A view from behind | I got to walk out onto the field before people actually started hitting.

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Rapper Chingy practicing his golf swing.

Rapper Chingy practicing his golf swing.

Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee enjoying herself at the event.

Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee enjoying herself at the event.

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Dylan | Actor & Model

Dylan has a big personality and is not afraid to take risks. He makes statements with his comedic, sitcom-like acting and his bold fashion. My favorite thing about this session was how unexpectedly magical it was. Dylan came to the session ready to give any and all expressions. We were able to create a variety of looks and capture the wide range of his personality. And I am proud to say that these pictures caused him to stand out for a project he had applied for.

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Tina | Medical School Student

This was one of my favorite headshot sessions in February. I try to get a variety in my sessions so that my clients can find an image that they love of both themselves and their environment.

Here are two favorite looks from Tina's session! She needed one with a completely plain backdrop for her med school application, but I also wanted her to have one with a bit more personality.

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4 Reasons to Update Your Headshot

With 2018 off and running, I seem to be getting requests for headshot sessions almost every day. New Year's resolutions must have people making moves on that new picture they'd been procrastinating or finally deciding it is time to get out of that boring job.

If you have been thinking about updating your headshot, here are my top 4 reasons why you should do it this year!

 

1. You want to make a great first impression.

Your headshot is the first opportunity to make a great impression with a potential client or future employer. Thanks to LinkedIn and other forms of social media, we all research people before we ever meet them or work with them. Your picture should demonstrate competence, elicit trust and make people excited to work with you.

2. You look completely different.

If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t updated your headshot in a long time. You may even be actively avoiding getting a new picture. However, time has passed and you may have changed your style, cut your hair, or just become increasingly wise-looking. Your picture should represent who you are today. Find a photographer who will make you look and feel awesome!

3. Your picture is just ok.

Your current headshot may be a selfie, a cropped wedding photo or a shot that your hobbyist friend took for you against a brick wall. It’s time to put your best look forward. Hiring a professional photographer will ensure you feel comfortable, exhibit trustworthy body language, and capture your most flattering angles. Don’t cheap out on your personal brand.

4. Your picture is boring or nonexistent.

According to my research, a LinkedIn profile with a photo is 11 times more likely to be viewed. A great headshot will make you stand out from the sea of faces while a recruiter or client is endlessly scrolling.


Hope this helps give you the nudge you need!

Code with a Cause 2018

This past weekend, I got to cover GlobalHack's first ever Code with a Cause at CIC. A room full of 80+ people gave up their entire weekend to solve problems with St. Louis non-profits. Just to put their awesomeness into perspective, the participants could have been out celebrating Mardi Gras or watching the opening of the Olympics, but instead chose to give their weekends to a cause bigger than themselves.

A standout moment from the event was the emphasis on solving 'with' rather than solving 'for.' It's so easy to go into service with the mentality of the savior, but much more rewarding and productive to work alongside the people who have already been pushing the cause for a long time.

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Prosper Demo Day

I love supporting talented women, so getting a chance to work with Prosper Women Entrepreneurs Startup Accelerator on their Demo Day was such a fun opportunity. Prosper is focused on increasing women entrepreneurs’ access to growth capital and the number of women investing in early stage capital markets.

Their cohort of powerful entrepreneurs pitched their companies and shared the momentum that they've built so far. I left the event full of ideas and inspired to push my own business harder. Here are some of my favorite shots from the event.  

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This event was held in Knight Hall at Washington University in St. Louis.

6 Ways to Prep For Your Best Professional Headshot

I love taking headshots. As a photographer, I have the privilege of helping people put their best foot forward when searching for jobs, building a personal brand and growing professionally. 

Since last October, I've taken over 400 headshots through my initiative Headshots 4 Hunger. Here are 6 tips to help you get the best headshot of your life... so far.

 

1. Good Prep

The week leading up to your session eat healthy food and drink lots of water. Your skin will look clearer and you will feel more comfortable. Also, get plenty of rest and avoid alcohol and coffee which can make you look drained.

2. Keep it Simple

The goal of your headshot is to highlight YOU. Avoid busy patterns, bulky jewelry, fluffy fabric and logos that will distract from your beautiful face.

3. The Right Color

Choosing the right color is an easy way to make sure that your face stands out and look great. It's important to wear clothing that contrasts your skin tone. 

If you have a lighter skin tone, avoid white, beige and pastels.

If you have a darker skin tone, avoid black and dark shades.

4. Be Comfortable

Wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident. Pick out clothing that you actually wear to work (unless you work from home in sweat pants). If you never wear a formal suit to work, you don't need to start now.

5. Pump Yourself Up

Think positive things about yourself before you go to your session. Do NOT say 'I am the least photogenic person ever.' I forbid all of my clients from saying this before their sessions because every person is photogenic when they naturally smile.

Getting an awesome headshot is all about relaxing and feeling great about yourself. Take a deep breath and remember that you are beautiful.

6. Smile!

People want to work with and hire individuals who look trustworthy, approachable and positive. Unless you are someone who absolutely never smiles, save your serious face for your next spread in Vogue or GQ.