Headshot Marathon in Asheville

Twice a year we host a day of headshots here in our Asheville studio, a “Headshot Marathon” if you will. This is a fabulous opportunity to update your personal branding for your business, social media and your own advertising. The best part? You receive your portrait choices digitally in web and high printable resolution AND matted and ready for framing.

Do we photograph headshots normally? Absolutely! The nice thing about a marathon setting is that because there are a few appointments available for the day, you are able to enjoy a taste of our services with a bit of a discount. Normally our professional branding sessions are $550 each, include: a preparation consultation, photo shoot at our studio or at your location of choice, professional hair and makeup styling, 2 wardrobe changes a 1 hour photo shoot and an in person reveal and ordering session where you choose your favorite 2 images from your session. Whether you opt for our full service headshot appointment or an appointment at our bi-annual marathon, you can rest assured knowing that we strive for not only great imagery for your needs, but also a fun experience for you with the highest level of service.

When was the last time you had a professional portrait taken for your business and personal branding? According to Salesforce.com:

“Your profile (social media) should be viewed as an online resume and needs to be as professional as possible,” adds McLain, who suggests updating your headshot once a year. “Recruiting in the tech industry, I expect candidates to have a thorough and polished social media presence,” adds Cesarz. “Not having a completed profile is more of a red flag than a profile lacking a picture. A profile with a picture of a landscape or a pet picture is worse than no picture at all and comes off as unprofessional.”

Sara Elisabeth Photography also touches on some key points about headshots and your industry in this LinkedIn article.

“More and more companies are opting to use the same photographer for their entire staff. Companies, large or small should consider hiring a photographer to capture professional branding images of their staff because it demonstrates unity and consistency in a world where the image is more and more important.” – Sara Shirley of Sara Elisabeth Photography


personal branding - professional - headshots - business

Are you rocking a selfie for your personal branding? My husband is an ad designer for a local sales publication and more often than not, comes home in complete disbelief at how many professionals send him quick and dirty headshot “selfies” from the local coffee shop or worse yet, seat-belt strapped in their cars to be included in their magazine. I just shake my head. For those of you that may be guilty of this, (c’mon now, we’ve all done it even if just for a profile pic on Facebook) consider what your potential clients, or worse yet, your past clients are gleaning from this seemingly harmless photo of you. I’ll even use one from my social media as an example (give me SOME credit here, it was a few years ago ;-D)

car selfies - bad branding - unprofessional
Car selfies, what do they really say about you as a person?

On a personal level, I was really excited about my new earrings, those giant feathers of glory right there. Gah! I still love them! I wanted to show them off in between the boutique and my outing for the night. A little personal splurge. Now, on a professional level with that as my social media “branding” what might that image say about me as a professional photographer?

Not so much, right? The image is blurry and over filtered, I’m in a CAR for crying out loud, light is all over the place and there is a funky border? If you were considering me for my portrait services and decided to do a little digging on me on social media before reaching out for your session, would you feel confident about my ability to provide you with a great service? My past clients (I’m friends with many of my past photography clients on Facebook) might see this image and think “Really? Really Cat? You charged me MONEY for your photography service and THIS is what you come up with for your very own profile picture?” Yeah, it would leave a bad taste in my mouth too.

professional - headshot - asheville - branding
How about this one? What does this image say about me as a professional?

What about this one? Is that a bit better? Sure, it’s not fantastic but it is football fields beyond that first image isn’t it? I’m well styled in hair and makeup (Meghan Pulliam btw), you can easily read my facial expression and my pose is simple. The image is clear.

Now, what does this image say about me as a professional?
Now, what does this image say about me as a professional? Image courtesy of Jesseca Bellemare 2014

To be clear, this is not a headshot. However, what do you get from this image? How might it affect your first impression of me? What does it SAY to you? Chic and stylish, polished, maybe that I’m curvy and might connect to some body image issues that a client might have, that I care about my own image enough to shoot with a professional and include styling so that I am putting my best foot forward with something as simple as social media? It’s not so simple is it? That branding is your first interaction you have with any potential client and it needs to convey that you are worth every penny you charge and, that in caring enough about your own public image, you will care tenfold about each and every client experience that comes through your door.

portrait profile pic collageNow, is that to say that I don’t have “other” images as my social media profile? Not at all! There are fun ones, images with my wonderful dogs or with my husband. From these images you might even decide that I’m fun or adventurous, or that I love my family. And those may help your decision about whether or not you choose to hire me for my service. What none of those image says is “I am a professional and I care about you and your experience with my work.” THAT is what your headshot needs to convey.

On the Studio 828 Photography business page, in the past I’ve leaned more towards having a logo as the profile image simply because it creates recognition in my readers’ news feeds when I post. Though, I think that may fall by the wayside. I’m finding that my followers connect more with me as a person AND a business when they see ME. I am my the face of my business. Whether it is when I post behind the scenes imagery or video, the bounce on the engagement is always great. Returning clients and potential clients connect with my business through me. That being said, by Monday August 3rd (see how I’m giving myself a deadline here?), I will have photographed new headshots for my social media presence. It is just as important for me as it is for you. When was the last time you updated your personal branding? Be honest now…was it more than two years ago? Three maybe? Why don’t we go ahead and get you in on August 15th then? There are only a few appointments available for the day so please reach out for your personal consultation today.

Remember, the headshot is the new handshake.


All My Best,


UPDATE: I did it! I found the amazing Lauren Gregory of Lauren Gregory Photography and she was kid enough to handle me, insecurities and all and captured this lovely headshot for me! Yay! I’m updating as we speak!

headshot - photographer - asheville photographer
Image courtesy of Lauren Gregory Photography in Lexington SC

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