Authentically Being Your Personal Brand – in Good Times and Bad…

In late August I sent out an email that attracted so much attention I thought I’d better blog about it!

It started with a post about the pantsuit that Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris wore to give her signature speech at the Democratic Convention. While I talked mainly about her outfit — and what a close match it was for what we must assume is her personal brand — I did also admit to being a fan.

Many people loved the substance of the email, and asked for a way to share it with others. Yet some people really hated it, and some of them (perhaps not all of them!) also reached out to let me know. 

So here we are. Talking again — and potentially  for the last time — about politics and personal brand.

Why This is a Blog Post

It’s not so strange to have political themes running through our blogs in an election year — as we strive for currency and relevance. But the main reason this is a blog post is because posting it caused such a kerfuffle! (Wow, never thought I’d get to use that word in a sentence.) 

I was just as surprised by the reaction when the Democratic women in our Success thru Style tribe were upset by the second email, where I wrote about  the women in the White House, Melania and Ivanka Trump.

And it opened up for me a host of questions, such as:

  1. As a business owner: is it advisable to confess one’s political leanings? Yes or no?
  2. As professionals: how do we behave when we disagree? Do we no longer “agree to disagree,” but instead want to work only with people we agree with?
  3. My own personal brand: was I really being “brave,” as some of you suggested — or was I just being me?

Personal Brand and Your Business

In the second email I wrote about the women currently holding center stage in the Republican Party. The RNC convention followed the DNC’s, and I would have naturally moved on to write about them. Fair is fair, after all. And, as I pointed out in the email, they are more high style than Washington is used to — more New York than D.C. So, a lot more for a personal branding stylist to write about, frankly!

Ivanka looked amazing for her speech, in a navy blue monochromatic, off-the-shoulder, blazer and slacks that we could all drool over because it looked like something we could aspire to wear! I made this point because one of my criticisms of the Trump women’s style is that it runs the risk of not being “relatable.” They wear couture every day. Most of us do not. Yet that pretty and elegant outfit was very much on brand for Ivanka — which is what our clothes are supposed to do: reflect who we are, as well as who we aspire to be.

I have no problem acknowledging this! I can’t agree with the woman’s politics, but from where I sit in the world of style – she’s got it going on! Yet, I got crap for this too! I have to admit, I was shocked.

It distresses me to think that we live in one of the most diverse regions in the country, and yet can’t get along with people who don’t hold the same views we do. It must, in practice, be very hard to avoid them! 

Often, as employees, we don’t choose our closest co-workers. But as business owners, we do have say. Still, people of various backgrounds and beliefs are all around us. How do we manage to just work with people who share our political beliefs? More importantly, why would we want to?

Do you stack your company with just Republicans or Democrats? Do your values discourage you from hiring someone with different political views? Do you believe you can build a great company with this approach? 

Your Professional Brand

I would describe a “professional” brand as your personal brand in the world of work. Whether you are a business owner or you work for someone else, who are you in the world of work? How do others perceive you? 

It is a truism in marketing that your brand — or your identity — is not primarily defined by the way you see yourself. It is actually the way other people experience you that creates your brand. This is true whether you are a person, a small business, or a huge corporation.

So in the second email I posed some pointed questions about how we are showing up in spaces where we are not philosophically aligned in the area of politics. 

Some people thought I was way out of line with the Kamala Harris email. Some of them told me so politely. Some were so rude it blew my hair back. Really, I knew we were on a slippery slope with the civility thing — but seriously! I was dismayed. 

Whether you believe we should all park our politics at the door, stash it away in the hall closet, or whatever — when you show up in a hateful way in business (and in life), it can’t be anything but a negative drag on your personal brand. If someone outright offends you, personally, there are even nice ways to deal with that. But if they just disagree with you and you lose it — I invite you to consider the costs to your brand, and the possibilities you may be shutting off.

The word “diversity” is used to mean a lot of things these days. Race, religion, ethnicity, culture, abilities, gender preference. Why not politics? We all work together. Can’t we do it with open minds, remaining curious and respectful even when we can’t see the other side? That would be my wish for the world – especially the world of business. And especially the business spaces where women gather. I really think we need tolerance and civility in our spaces! Now, more than ever.

My Personal Brand and My Business

I guess I made my own views clear when I sent the first email. Whether it is “advisable” or not, my personal brand — my identity — is built around being accepting, tolerant, open minded and authentic — as I said in one of the emails. And I try to be that in every area of my life.

Finally, I am devoted to the success of women – on a planetary scale. Although I am a Democrat, there have been many, many Republican women I have liked and admired over the years. I expect there will be more of them in the future. When they are trailblazers, I will acknowledge them — no holds barred! That’s just who I am.

A Stand for Civility and Agreeing to Disagree

Am I naive, or was there once a time when we weren’t so polarized?  And now, are there actions we can take together to come together, to ensure we are all seen and heard — even when our politics are not on par?  The world is in turmoil. About this, I know, we can all agree. It would seem to me that we need each other now more than ever.  My plea is for unity.  Emotional support. More love than hate.  

How you decide to show up in both good times and bad is your personal brand.  What will you choose? 

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

 

Virtual Meeting Makeover: Rock Your Style In Virtual Meetings!

Less than 7 seconds to make a first impression. Six months to change it!

TELECONFERENCE: Wednesday, July 1, 3:00 – 4:40 p.m. ET

The One Problem I Can Solve For You Right Now: Rocking Your Style in Virtual Meetings!

Life is constantly providing us with problems. If it’s not our personal problems, and our families’ problems, it’s the world’s problems, inherited problems. The problems these days can seem overwhelming. Few are the times we’ve had to live with this many levels and layers of uncertainty.

I wish I could do more about racial and social inequality, global pandemics, the economy, and so much more. I do what I can, and choose to live and work with others who do the same. But in these tough times I persist also in my business, in my own little corner of the world. My passion is showing women how to stand out from the crowd, be recognized as the experts they are, and find business and personal success on their own terms.

So, the one problem du jour that I can help with is rocking your style in virtual meetings – at least that’s what I’m hearing from my clients.  I have been helping women look beautiful and feel confident for years.  But how to project beauty and confidence virtually is indeed a new problem to solve. So we’re going to do a video conference!

Both Your Professional and Your Personal Brand are On Display

Virtual meetings are the new conundrum. Women are learning that how you show your style in virtual meetings is dramatically different from how you show up in person – but that it’s just as important! Your personal brand is on full display – sometimes for hours at a time! Yet, in the first couple weeks of the quarantine, some people were showing up to work calls in pajamas! Wow.

And are you now applying this other little trick – dressed to impress just on top – with PJ’s or sweats on the bottom? Just don’t forget and stand up. Don’t give your colleagues and clients something to talk about later – other than your incisive mind and cogent comments! (Don’t tell, but I still do this from time to time. It feels a bit naughty! But, it does save time, and can feel like one of the perks of working from home!)

But, seriously, how we look on camera and what’s around us in the background does communicate a lot. Like everything else about a woman’s personal/business brand, it can and should be managed. In a virtual meeting, conscious or not, you project an image; and that is something to pay attention to.

So this is our new world…Lights! Camera! Action! All of a sudden, we’re thinking about how we look in a new way. And from where I sit, it seems to be causing a lot of heartburn.

I’m calling the July 1 video conference the “Virtual Meeting Makeover,” and I promise it’s going to be a lot of fun! More importantly, we’re going to include every single thing you need to know to “Zoom” like a pro.

So…What (Exactly) Do You Need to Know to Zoom Like a Pro?

If you know me, you know we will start with your personal brand.  I ALWAYS begin work with my clients by laying this foundation..

  1. You have to understand your personal brand before you can understand how to show up as your style in virtual meetings. It’s about really knowing what matters to you, your values and belief system, how you want to be remembered by others. Once you know your personal brand the next task is to understand how to communicate that.  So when we talk about your hair, makeup, jewelry, wardrobe and the setting behind you.  We will want to understand what you want to communicate.
  2. Let’s take the setting behind you. Are you in a room with nothing on the wall? What does that say about you? Is a wall of bookshelves behind you? (If so, what books are on those shelves)? Does the camera project something softer, like flowers or artwork behind you? (Again, if so, what kind?) Some people like virtual backgrounds. We’ll discuss this as well.  They can be complex to pull off and the scene you choose also communicates. Believe it or not, I even notice the mug someone is holding when I talk to them online.
  3. There are lots of technical considerations as well. Is your face well lit, or are you backing on a window, your face kind of creepily in shadow? Does your camera placement force us to look up your nose? Or do we feel like you’re towering over us – appearing to dominate? These may seem like small things, but they’re not. Getting them right is easy – once you know how.
  4. Maintaining eye contact is essential! Eye contact is our primary nonverbal means of communication – it’s how we connect with one another. The odd thing about video conferencing is that, when we see another person on the screen, we are inclined to look at their image – which makes us feel like we’re making eye contact. But that’s not the case. Focusing our gaze at or just below the camera is what gives the impression of direct eye contact. I actually have a hack for this that I will share in the webinar.
  5. Yes, your hair, make-up and wardrobe matter – a lot! But even for these standard expressions of our personal brand the rules are different in the virtual world. And the world of the video conference has norms, etiquette, protocols that are unique to this platform. There’s quite a lot to know!

Join my video conference – July 1, from 3:00 – 4:30 PM where I will discuss these topics at length.

Honestly, who would have thought we would find ourselves in a world where online would be the primary place we socialize? Yet we’re having meeting after meeting for our businesses. We’re having virtual coffees, conferences, happy hours and parties. We’re having family game nights – all online. Virtual meetings are where we live most of our lives right now.

You may be starting to stray from the confines of home now that the world is opening up, but the CDC warns us to shelter in place as best we can until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine.

So whether you have had only an occasional virtual meeting these last few months, or you’re living your life online, you will want to show up at your best in this new medium. Why does it matter? Because it takes fewer than seven seconds to make a first impression. And from all the research, we know it takes at least six months to change that first impression. For the longest time, people thought first impressions were only made in person. Well, now’s the time to think again!

What We’ll Cover in the Virtual Meeting Makeover Video Conference

By now you’ve realized that rocking your style in virtual meetings requires a very different set of skills from showing up in person. So it’s time to take this new environment by the horns, master its nuances, and make the camera your friend!

Here’s what we’ll be covering:

(This is a preliminary list, based on feedback from many of you guys.)

  • how to design your background, even in a tiny space ( or a messy office, a basement, etc.)
  • where to locate the camera so you look your best
  • eye contact (it’s harder than you think!)
  • what to wear and not wear (the camera hates prints!)
  • how to light yourself – for free! (Or if you want to spend hundreds of dollars, we’ll cover that too.)
  • preparing your household (Assuring no photo-bombing by roommates, lovers, spouses, or the kids you’re now homeschooling!)
  • how to be responsible for your “listening face” (You’ve seen it as a speaker or presenter, in the faces of a listening audience.)

So, while this won’t be a technical training, we might also deal with some unwritten do’s and don’ts that reveal you as either a rookie or a pro. (Don’t you love those “unwritten” rules?)

And, again, I promise it will be fun and interactive!

As always, we have some AMAZING BONUSES for the first 20 people to sign up! So don’t wait!

We didn’t ask for this, ladies! COVID-19 has forced it on us. But we are professionals. Every day brings a new challenge. Honestly, I don’t think the world will ever be the same and virtual meetings are here to stay.

So…let’s DO this thing! Let’s master yet another skill and move on to greatness!

P.S. Send me your suggestions for more topics to cover – and, if you dare, your most embarrassing Zoom moment!

Video Tips: Wear This not That

If you are a speaker or someone doing video to promote your brand or business, no doubt, you have fabulous content to share!  Video is compelling and a great way to communicate your brand and your story.  But it is time consuming, it can be expensive and there’s a lot to consider.

One thing that can be overlooked – how you look.  Take the time, even in a Facebook Live to consider your hair, makeup, and wardrobe before stepping in front of the camera. It can be SO easy to ruin a video by unknowingly wearing the wrong things. Take it from me, I am an expert on what to wear, but not without committing some faux pas along the way!  In this blog I will share a few of them so you can avoid making the same mistakes I did.  Here are 10 things you need to know to show up at your best for video:

#1 Wear your ‘wow colors” near your face

The colors near your face will either drain you of life or highlight your best features.  There’s a palette of colors that look best on each of us and especially great on video.  Some colors to consider: Your best red, green, and blue are usually great choices depending on the background. 

#2 Stay clear of black and white

There are lots of reasons not to wear black and white.  For one thing they make it hard for the camera to create an accurate exposure.  This can be handled in post processing… But why take the gamble? 

Also, white will commonly wash you out, while black is harsh and runs the risk of bringing attention to any circles or crevices. Yikes.  Even navy runs this risk (exhibit A on the right there).  I recommend bright crisp colors instead of dark ones.

#3 Be business brand free

This one is relatively self-explanatory: be sure to avoid wearing shirts that have visible logos, brand names, or loud text.  These can be distracting for the viewer, so keep it brand-free!

#4 Show off your personal brand

As always, be true to who you are and what you want to communicate.  Dress in a way that is consistent with how you look when your clients meet you in person.

 

 

#5 Wear solid colors and avoid patterns

Even subtle patterns can be a problem.  They can be distracting and pull the viewers eyes away from you and they often create the moiré effect

(when lines on the screen look like the are moving).

 

<—Quel moiré faux pas ! (French for “what a moiré faux pas!”) 🙂

 

 

#6 Consider comfort a priority

Make sure you can move easily and freely, wearing lightweight garments that don’t make you sweat.

#7 Say yes to makeup but don’t over do it

The lights can wash you out but unless your personal brand is ‘glamorous’ you still don’t want to over do it.  You’re not an actor on stage in front of an audience–today’s high definition cameras pick up everything (in fact, be sure to wear powder so you aren’t shiny, otherwise, you might end up reflecting the lights).

#8 Jewelry should be quiet

Big earrings and statement necklaces are great but if they move and jingle you don’t want them on the set.

#9 Avoid trends

Your video may be around for some time to come.  Don’t date it with trendy clothes or styles.

 

 

#10 Don’t wear glasses unless the videographer confirms there are no shadows

Unless you are in a very controlled environment, don’t wear glasses.  They cast shadows that can’t be avoided and can ruin how you look and distract from your message.

 

See how my red glasses cast a frightening shadow around my eyes?

 

 

 

 

Finally, do yourself a favor and always do a final bathroom double take.  I recently traveled to L.A. for a conference and paid a nice sum to be video taped.  I didn’t go on stage until midday.  I looked in the mirror in the bathroom but there wasn’t a full length mirror so I only saw myself from the neck up.  The videographer didn’t mention there was a big wrinkle across my tummy and a few others in my skirt.  Geez.  I know better. I’m an Image consultant… This will clearly be video I will never use.

So be sure to look in a full length mirror and check out your backside while you are at it.

 

Isn’t this better?  

 

 

 

I had great success in all of these events even though the video wasn’t 100% what I wanted.  So if you wear the wrong thing, don’t beat yourself up.  It clearly happens to the best of us.  But I share this so you can indeed learn from my mistakes and first hand knowledge.  It makes a difference what we wear.  And video has it’s own set of rules.  Follow these easy tips so you know you will look amazing on video and can focus on all that compelling content you have to share with the world.

What’s Your Your Image and Style IQ?

Does Your Image Pass the Test?

What's Your Style IQ?You have 10 seconds to make a first impression. How you dress and groom yourself speaks for you even without you saying a single word. It’s not just what you’re wearing but how your clothes fit you.

How do you score on this image and style test? Give yourself two points for every statement that you can say “yes” to.  This quiz applies to men and women so go for it!

  1. I know my personal brand, I always shop and dress with this in mind, I never wear clothes without thinking about what image they will project.
  2. I know about my body proportions and my body shape; I know what clothes look best on me.
  3. My clothes fit me very well. There is no pinching at the waist, my pant length is right where it needs to be, the cuffs of my jackets are just right.
  4. When people look at me they can tell right away that I’m someone who takes care of details. My shoes are polished, my purse or briefcase is of good quality, and my belt doesn’t show any hints of wear or change in waist size.
  5. My hair is more than cut, it’s styled by someone who knows how to make me look my best.
  6. My clothes are always clean and if a shirt or jacket needs pressing, it’s pressed. No one has to say to me, “Hey, did you know you have a stain on your shirt?”  I take care of my clothes. I always present myself in a respectful way.
  7. When I shake someone’s hand, I’m never self-conscious. I groom my fingernails and don’t have chipped polish.
  8. I know which colors make me look the best. My wardrobe consists of only clothes that help me reflect my best self. Colors that don’t flatter me left my wardrobe long ago.
  9. My tailor knows me by my first name. When I purchase clothes I visit my tailor right away because he knows exactly what to do to help me get the best fit. I take pride in knowing that I’m someone who walks out the door every day in clothes that fit well. I never look sloppy or disheveled.
  10. I don’t wear too much cologne or perfume, people are comfortable around me.
  • If you scored 18 to 20 points, read no further, you are most definitely conveying a strong, polished image that is making heads turn. I’m sure this will impact both your personal and professional success. Great job!
  • If you scored 12 to 16 points, you’ve got some understanding of how image works for you or against you in the workplace. With a few tweaks, you’ll be on top of your image game in no time.
  • If you scored 8 to 10 points, your image is not working in your favor. Don’t panic.  But if you want to project a winning image you might want to consider making some changes.  There are people who know how to do this and can help you along the way.
  • If you scored 0 to 6 points, hmmm, I recommend you stop everything and find some assistance.  Your personal image is your brand and your brand needs updating.

Thinking about yourself as a brand is a powerful concept and dressing this way is something you can do on any budget.  It all starts with knowing who you are and deciding what image you want to convey.  Getting to the point where you have a closet full of clothes that work for you takes time.  By shopping with a plan, spending the time to think about how you look now and where you want to take your personal image will pay off. It will leave you feeling empowered and you will exude self-confidence.

WANT MORE PERSONAL STYLE TRICKS, FASHION TIPS, AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS? BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO CYNDY’S E-MAIL LIST AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

Professional. Authentic. You. How to Discover Your Style for Success

Cyndy Porter Photography Image Consultant Professional BrandingCyndy Porter Style and Photography empowers professional women through personal branding, image and
fashion consultation.

Do you want more customers or a promotion? Do you want to attract like-minded people into your life? First impressions are formed in less than 30 seconds and your appearance significantly shapes that first impression.

The first and most important question: What do you want to convey? Creating a mission statement, a logo, a look and feel are among the first things a new business does as it puts it’s business plan together. I suggest you do the same. This will drive all other decisions you will make about your wardrobe.

In general, we know what not to wear. Too much leg and too much cleavage may get you undesired attention and impair your climb up the ranks. Dressing unkempt is equally an image killer. How you dress tells a story and it should be unique to you. It will set you apart from the crowd, and get you noticed in desirable ways.

Personal Stylist, Image Consultant and Photographer in Northern Virginia

DON’T KNOW YOUR STYLE TYPE? DOWNLOAD MY EBOOK/QUIZ AND FIND OUT!

Are you edgy, driven, confident and smart…  or, approachable, loyal, trustworthy and dedicated?

These are two different women and they should have different hairstyles, clothes and accessories. Will they still have a professional wardrobe? Definitely.

Be authentic.

For the moment, set aside preconceived ideas of what an executive, CPA, doctor, lawyer, banker, or business owner, should wear. Accept that you can also be feminine, bohemian, creative, edgy, genuine – however you may see yourself. Find four or five adjectives that define you. Now ask yourself if your clothes, accessories, make-up and hairstyle tell the story you wish to communicate? These adjectives should become your style words and they should be your key when shopping and dressing.

WANT MORE TIPS, TRICKS AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS? BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO CYNDY’S E-MAIL LIST AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

Style ProTip: When to Shop the Trends

Have you thought about when is the best time to shop?  Do you just do it on impulse or do you plan your shopping trip?

I believe you should always dress and shop with intention.  This keeps those orphans (the items that don’t go with anything) out of your closet and it helps you created complete outfits that work.

Updating  your fall wardrobe is easier if you have a plan.  The shops have a plan, so here are some things to consider:

When Should You Shop Early?

  • If you’re warm blooded, you run warm no matter what season it is. Shop early for the lighter weight fabrics like silk/wool blends, cotton jersey, or lightweight cashmere.
  • If you need transitional clothing that bridges two seasons or you plan to layer, shop early. You’ll use these same pieces next spring when the weather is unpredictable.
  • If you get an early peek at all the new trends, you’ll quickly discover what it is you can’t live without. By shopping early you won’t be disappointed if a style sells through and it can’t be found again.
  • If any part of your body is hard to fit (including your feet) shop for the difficult to fit areas immediately so that your sizes will be available.
  • If a coat is high on your needs list, shop early for the best selection.

When Should You Shop in the Middle of the Season?

  • If you run cold, skip the early deliveries and shop in the middle of the season to get the heavier weight wool, thicker cashmeres and 4-ply jersey knits.
  • If you attend holiday events or have a demanding winter social life, shop as soon as the holiday clothes hit the racks. Don’t wait!
  • If glamour is your middle name, anything metallic or anything embellished with sequins or beads is usually showcased in the November timeframe. Shop early before it’s all gone.
  • If you want to add a new color to your wardrobe but it isn’t the first thing you can spend on, you can shop mid-season to see if it’s on sale.

When Should You Shop at the End of the Season?

  • If you desire to expand your coat selection, even though you have the basics, this is a great time to invest in extra coat styles for the different slices of your lifestyle. Maybe you need that grand entrance coat or more athletic, casual jacket. Variety is especially nice when you find it on sale.
  • Go late in the season for handbags unless you have an urgent need. While shoes have to fit you and your size might get sold out early, handbags are higher ticket items that go on sale and can be used for a long time.
  • Novelty items and items in precious fabrics that suit your wants rather than your needs will be further discounted after the holidays.
  • A few accessories that you find at the end of the season–earrings, a watch, a wallet—may be on the January sale table but be practical enough to use all year long. Other items to look for would be pendants that suit your style, a cocktail ring, or a tote bag for work.

Remember it takes years to build an amazing wardrobe that tells your unique story and complements your natural shape and features.  Think about your priorities and your budget and only buy items you LOVE.

Is Your Professional Headshot Working for You?

How's Your Professional Head shot Photograph Working?Odds are your ideal client will see your headshot before they meet you, creating a first impression of you and your business. Professional headshots are so crucial in today’s connected world that doing business without one is much like doing business without a logo.

Your headshot should tell the story of who you are. Easier said than done? Indeed, it is a challenge if you do it on your own, but a good professional photographer will know how to capture what you need.

I always hold a pre-session consultation with my clients to be sure we both walk into the session prepared to make a great image that tells the right story. Whether you work with me or another professional photographer, these are the seven key ideas you should consider and discuss with your photographer to be sure you get a great headshot:

1. Wardrobe:

Find clothing that compliments your skin tones. Clothes that are the same color as your eyes or blend with your hair, skin and eyes are always a good choice. A headshot should bring attention to your face so be sure you clothing is subtle and does not lead the eye away from your face and to your clothing.

Wear clothing that matches how your customers or clients see you. If you show up for a client meeting in a suit and tie, that is the style you should wear for your headshot. If you are more casual then that is what you should wear.

2. Setting (environment and backdrop):

Professional head shot photography in Loudoun Northern Virginia DC

The setting is important and needs to compliment your wardrobe choice providing color harmony. It also needs to match your business model and job position. Think about where and how you work, and make sure the backdrop or environment matches. For example, a CEO or lawyer would most definitely have a different setting than a Realtor or an owner of landscaping firm.

3. Props:

Props can be great for storytelling. Think about an artist in her art gallery, a photographer with a camera in hand, a CEO in her boardroom, a lawyer in front of a law library, a realtor in front of a white picket fence.

4. Pose:

Posing is important; it is something that takes professional photographers years to master. Here are a few trade secrets:

  • If you want to look thinner turn sideways.
  • Whatever is closest to the camera will look exponentially larger than what is further away, most of us want large eyes and small bottoms so lean in and push your bottom side away from the camera.
  • Most people have one eye that is smaller than the other, it is often best to put the smaller eye on the side towards the camera unless you have another reason to prefer the other side of your face.
  • Your stance will also tell a story so think about who you are and your professional persona when you strike a pose.

5. Lighting:

Studio lighting can make or break a great headshot. Lighting is key to the concept of taking a three-dimensional object (humans) and putting us on a two-dimensional medium (business card, photograph, screen). We do this with the use of shadows. Like other art concepts that have been in existence for hundreds of years, there are lighting techniques that are proven to complement the human face. Make sure the photographer you work with has an understanding of natural or studio lights to maximize your appearance.

How's Your Professional Head shot Photograph Working?6. Expression:

Your expression is not the icing on the cake, it is the cake. A really good photographer can do everything else right: a great choice in clothes, backdrop, pose, and lighting but if the expression looks forced or unnatural it will not be an effective headshot.

My suggestion is to find a great photographer who has credentials and proven technical skills and who can make you feel comfortable.

Your new headshot will not only improve your professional image it can help stimulate sales; depending on how and where you use it, it can even get you dates!

7. Post Processing:

A professional photographer will allow you to pick your favorite headshots and then enhance them. A good image becomes great in post processing; blemishes are removed, stray hairs cleaned up, skin softened, eyes brightened, and teeth whitened. Make sure your photographer plans to enhance your headshot after you see the proofs.

Cyndy Porter is a DC Metro image consultant and professional photographer with the experience and understanding you need to make your best first impression – in person and across all business and communication channels. Contact Cyndy today for more information on her image and style consultations, workshops and professional headshot photography!

A Unique Profile

I am sure that many of you reading this are wondering why I have changed my business and what it means for you and Cyndy Porter Creative Photography. First I want to say that I haven’t changed my business, Girl Style Photo I’ve only given the business a unique profile and I’m loving it! Cyndy Porter Style & Photography is about much more than just creating images, it’s about changing lives. I am passionate about building self-esteem and celebrating beauty. I want to empower women to feel beautiful, have confidence, and accomplish great things in their life as well in the lives of others. By blending Photography and Style for women and girls of all ages, we are not changing the business, but rather changing lives and celebrating beauty.

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