Look Your Best For Your Business Headshots

William Morton Visuals photographs busy executives in San Diego
William Morton photographs investment executives in downtown San Diego

Shooting professionally since 1991, William Morton has specialized in commercial and corporate photography for the last 8 years. Now relocated from San Diego to north Dallas, Morton Visuals offers professional business headshots in our Farmers Branch photography studio or in the convenience of your own offices.

Morton Visuals wants to ensure that you look your very best for your headshot session. To that end, we consulted with professional Makeup Artist Mary Erickson, a 30-year veteran in the world of commercial print and advertising. Recently retired, Mary now focuses on her highly successful professional makeup store. Her recommended tips are listed below. (The photographer’s comments are added in italics.)

  • Bring shirts with a collar as well as different necklines.
  • Women should bring at least 6 different tops to choose from. Men should bring several (3-4) different shirts.
  • No sleeveless shirts for headshots, they can make the arms look big and distracts from the face.
  • No solid white. If you’re very light-skinned you may want to avoid solid black.
  • Solid colors are ideal; stay away from busy patterns and busy prints. For men, a dress shirt often gets “scrunched” under a suit jacket or sports coat. If the shirt is striped or patterned, retouching those wrinkles will be virtually impossible.
  • Bring a lint brush or lint roller, fuzz will show on dark colors.
  • Make sure your clothes are pressed and clean – very few photographers have irons or extra time. Photo retouching on soiled or wrinkled clothes will usually cost extra. Bring your wardrobe to the shoot on hangers.
  • Stay away from clothes with big buttons or ornaments that shine and compete for attention.
  • If you wear earrings they should be small studs. Keep jewelry at a minimum, because anything flashy will distract from you.
  • Men should be clean-shaven, and a recent haircut is recommended.
  • If desired, we can recommend a professional makeup artist to ensure that your makeup is flawless.

Remember, whether your headshots are for your social media presence or your professional resume, you want to present your very best image to your prospective clients or employers.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.

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The Value of Photography to Your Business

I recently had an opportunity to do a presentation on business photography for my Farmers Branch Chamber of Commerce, and I decided to focus on the value of photography for the business owner. In the first of two parts below we’ll talk about the value of, the need for, and the types of photography relevant to most businesses.

How Prevalent are Photos?

Some basic numbers, which will be quickly outdated (if they aren’t already):

  • Facebook has 1.5 billion users, 2/3 of whom use it daily
  • 56.5% of the US population are on Facebook
  • Facebook has over 400 billion photos, with 400 million being added every day
  • Every day 1.8 billion images are posted online
  • Instagram has amassed 400 million users, 40 billion photos, and adds 80 million photos every day
  • Instagram has grown so quickly that Facebook just bought it for $1 billion.
  • YouTube has more visits each day than Facebook, and it’s the #2 search engine in the world (behind Google)

[Update 2/10/2017: Some new, updated stats are available. Internet Trends 2017. Stats & Facts in the U.S. and Worldwide]

Why Are Photos So Popular?

Life moves at a much faster pace today than in decades past. Our shorter attention spans are likely born of our information overload. The advent and pervasiveness of smartphones and mobile devices have changed the way we not only receive information but also how we communicate. We want immediate gratification. We don’t want to leave voice messages, so we text – allowing responses even if someone is in class or in a business meeting where they can’t talk. Business is now about information availability and speed (and ease) of transactions. And of course “a picture is worth 1,000 words.” I believe that this last point is the key. We don’t have – or take – the time to read anymore, but rather take in our information in imagery. Thus the rise of the Facebook meme.

Types of Photography

More to the point of the presentation, there are many types of photography of benefit to businesses.

  • Portraits represent people
  • Advertising represents a product or brand
  • Marketing and P.R. represent events
A few of the types of photography offered by William Morton Visuals.

What Can a High Quality Image Do For You?

  •  Put a face to the name
  • Change you from an impersonal corporation to a friendly neighbor
  • Show your style (see our prior blog post on Does Your Image Represent Your Company Culture)
  • Personalize your business
  • Illustrate what you do and how you do it

studio-setting business photographyComerica Bank manager photographed by William Morton Visualsbusiness photography by Morton Visuals for First Bank annual reportoffice group portrait of Labrum Wealth Management

 Other benefits include:

  • Highlighting key moments of events for marketing next year’s event
  • Public relations: awards presentations, community support events
  • Social media content – build your brand
  • Entertainment, particularly at events
  • Take-home advertising for ongoing marketing

Do images affect sales?

According to MDG Advertising, 67% of online shoppers rated high quality images as being “very important” to their purchase decision, which was slightly more than “product specific information,” “long descriptions,” and “reviews & ratings.”

Recently Sports Illustrated magazine released their annual swimsuit edition with three different covers – and they weren’t the first to do this. The magazine industry well knows how important the cover image is to that month’s sales on the newsstands. National Geographic photography is famous for the power of their images, a driving force in their success.

Images are king in social media. Aside from the fact that more and more social media channels are primarily image-based (Instagram, Snapchat, 500px, Flickr, etc.), statistics show that even text-based social media channels show a significantly higher ROI with the inclusion of photography. Adweek reports that SHIFT measured 5 times the engagement on Twitter postings with pictures vs text-only tweets.

In our follow-up blog post we’ll discuss the acquisition of photography and how important that process is to businesses. Until then, please feel free to share this article via social media, and add any comments here!

Chamber of Commerce Group Portrait

Morton Visuals is proud to be a new member of the Farmers Branch Chamber of Commerce! Last week we were invited by Chamber President Nanette Foght to join the luncheon at the Brookhaven Country Club. Morton Visuals agreed to provide pro bono event photography of the meeting, including the induction of the new Board members. Afterwards we also captured a group portrait of the entire Board of Directors, now led by newly installed Chairwoman Marilyn Kolesar-Lynch of Brookhaven College. We look forward to working with the Chamber over the coming year and meeting more of the Farmers Branch business community!

Group portrait of the Board of Directors for the Farmers Branch (Texas) Chamber of Commerce are photographed by William Morton of Morton Visuals at the Brookhaven Country Club on 12/08/2015.
Farmers Branch Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Glamour Portraits for Makeup Staff

Morton Visuals had the opportunity to photograph the staff of Camera Ready Cosmetics recently. We very quickly realized that these would not be (and should not be) typical business portraits. These aren’t lawyers or realtors — these are people that live and breathe the beauty industry, and they are accustomed to having everything look “just right.” So owner/photographer William Morton decided to break out the ring flash for a markedly different look.

Morton Visuals uses a ring flash for glamorous portraits
William Morton using the Paul C Buff Ringmaster to photograph the Camera Ready staff.

Over the span of two half-days William worked with each manager and employee to bring out their personality and beauty, producing a cohesive wall of portraits that are similar yet still unique per individual. Each subject got to review his or her images immediately after shooting, and if they weren’t 100% satisfied with their smile, expression, or anything, we continued shooting until they felt they had an image that represented them they way they wanted to be represented. After a little basic post-production — no one wanted the overdone magazine look, but opted for “real” — the images below emerged. It’s hard to go wrong with great subjects!

Portraits of the staff of CRC makeup
The beautiful faces of Camera Ready Cosmetics

Camera Ready Cosmetics can be found at http://CRCmakeup.com, on Facebook, or Twitter. And they have a showroom in La Mesa where “makeup artists come to play.”

Executive Portrait for an Annual Report

Banking executive photographed with a First Bank client in the San Diego office.
Senior Vice President and Regional Manager photographed for the First Bank annual report.

William Morton had the opportunity yesterday to photograph Senior Vice President and Regional Manager Bob Jondall in his downtown San Diego office. Destined for First Bank‘s annual report, the client wanted a view of the San Diego bay in the background. Unfortunately the weatherman didn’t get the request, and delivered a thick marine layer over the bay. So we found an alternate view showing Balboa Park in the background. Studio strobes were added to the sunlight beaming in the windows to capture this conversational moment, with Photo Assistant Angela Hess sitting in as the client. The final image was composited and delivered 2 days before deadline, to a very happy Creative Director. I love working on location with professionals!