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A Portrait for your Profile

A good portrait on your profile is probably the best way to get people to take notice and want to know more about you. You may have an impressive CV, an incredible contacts list, and a strong list of testimonials, but without a good photo people will lose interest instantly and move on to the next.

A good profile photo is essential to your career if you are promoting yourself online. Furthermore, a bad photo will work against you.

Most people hate having their photo taken. It’s normal. It starts when we see a bad photo of ourselves, then every time a camera presents itself, that thought comes to mind “I am hating this…”  you smile through your teeth, with a grimaced worried look on your face, the camera clicks, and presto,, a BAD photo is the result! Of course it is!

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

A good photographer will talk to you, make you feel at ease, and catch you in the right moment of expression. Setting the time aside for a portrait is one of the most important things you can do for your career.

Get in touch with us now for your photo session, and dread no longer! Share your beautiful smile!

 

How iPhone Has Changed our Memories

Contrary to popular belief, I think our memories are improving with age.

Here’s why.

Having come to photography in the 80’s with my first Kodak 110 camera, I have always taken photos as a form of physical memory. I take photos in order that I can remember things I have seen and places I have been. Pretty simple. When I was able to afford my first SLR camera, it was an Olympus OM 10. I loved it. I photographed everything and anything, and as a result I can now look at old negatives and remember exactly what I was doing and where I was going at the age of 17. Something about making an image, and then looking at it again and again to imprint the image into our memories, is really something special. Over the years cameras have become smaller, and more readily available, that pretty much anyone with a phone, now has a camera. My first camera phone was a Sony Ericsson. It was not very good with low light situations, but it had so many qualities that my OM 10 never had. Ericsson was instant, it cost-less per photo, and most of all it fit in my pocket.

Then came iPhone. It changed my relationship to photography, and how I see the world. Or at least how I remember it. My memory has improved. I can take a photo, and within the metadata, I remember exactly where, and when the photo was taken. Facial recognition reminds me who is in the photo. If it is a gloomy day,  Snapseed can help me make it a more dramatic one. And I can instantly crop out the bits I don’t want to remember. I can even share my memories instantly with everyone around the globe.  So long as I have electricity, I will retain my memory.

So yes, with age so improves our memories. With iPhone, memories have become more accurate, clear, and concise.

Just look how much my memory has improved from 2004 to 2016 by remembering Brighton’s West Pier. Can you remember the days before the front section was removed?

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YOU Agency, the digital consultancy based in Brighton and Hove, recently visited Studio323 for their corporate headshots. Being a small, yet perfectly formed web implementation agency, they wanted corporate images that suited their professional image, and promoted their team as the forefront of their brand.

The starting point was a short consultation to understand the look they wanted to achieve and to get to know their team.  Once we understood their brand image, their team personality, and the design of their website, we knew what sort of images would accurately reflect the qualities the team had to offer.

Studio323 created images with both studio and natural lighting, to create a set of proof images from which the agency could then choose their favorites.

We posted the proof images online in a password protected site from which team members could log in, view, and select the final set of images.

Here are some of the chosen images from the shoot.

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Corporate Headshot Photo Day

Headshot Photo Day!

Have your haircut and mark it in your calendar… Studio323 is hosting another Headshot Photo Day!

If you are looking for a professional headshot for LinkedIn, Facebook, or any other professional profile then book your slot on our monthly Headshot Photo Day. All you have to do is book in your session and turn up to the studio looking your smartest. You’ll receive two fully retouched digital headshots that you can use for any marketing or promotional services.

Like it or not, people judge you on your looks.  Just like an actor, a professional headshot shows you take your brand seriously and helps promote your ‘business story’. So how can you stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons?

Our next Headshot Photo Day will be September 2, 2015 between 9 and 5pm.

Get in touch to book your space. Bookings cost £35 and include two photos. Normally £95, a savings of £60!

Eyes Wide Shut

Eyes Wide Shut

Normally when I am editing through a portrait shoot, I always edit out shots of the sitter with their eyes blinking closed. Of course I do, who wants to see someone with their eyes wide shut?

Actually, it’s kind of interesting to see.

Blinking is an automated response. Not that exciting on the surface. It happens so quickly and so often, that we tend to forget that we are doing it. But what happens in that split second? Where does our consciousness go during that moment?

When a flash is bright and startles the eye enough that it shuts for a moment is self defense, what is the message that is going to the brain? I would be interested to know more about it,  so I’ve put together this small selection of photos of people with their eyes closed. It places an interesting context onto the subject of blinking, and creates a story about where we go in our awareness during that instant moment that we are trying to protect our eyes.

A recent photo project I carried out in my studio allowed me several portraits in short succession, and from these I have made a small collection of people simply blinking.

Going into a place that is safe, peaceful, quiet, disarming, and silent.

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Portraits in the Age of Truth

This morning I watched a breakfast interview with Nicole Kidman, and couldn’t help myself from scrutinizing her face for evidence of surgery, touch ups, and any perceivable credence that she has made attempt to surgically sustain her youth. I was not judging her for choices to remain young on camera, I think all humans have that desire, but moreso, in the back of my mind I wondered about the human condition to remain youthful, and the level of honesty we seek and share with others, about how we age and why we choose to share or conceal our true age and stories.

Now more than ever we live in an age where truth is the flavour of the month. Wikileaks, banker bonuses, priestly secrets bubbling to the surface, MP’s making passes, the list goes on. But how about or personal truths? What age is she? What are his vulnerabilities? Things I personally like to see in a good portrait.

Looking at the portraits of Martin Schoeller, we see work that reveals stark truths about his subjects, with strong lighting and a frame that is all about face. His subjects are very close up and prints normally quite large. We see every detail in a person’s face, and if there is a mask, we see it very closely, and are brought to wonder about what is underneath it, if the subject is indeed not just the mask itself.  In the studio he sits about 4 or 5 feet away from the subject with a longer lense so the sitter has a sense of personal space, however the photo reveals an intimate distance, one we rarely find even with close friends.

Here is a small selection of my favorite works of Schoeller, most of which were taken for the New York Times.

Snowflake Photographer – Wilson Bentley

All this snow outside, and of course I have been inspired to run out and photograph my regular surroundings under a blanket of snow. Hmm, on second thought,  its bloody cold out, windy, and grey,, not a great time for photographs really.

Turkish Mousetrap Salesman

A portrait that I have always found intriguing is this photo of a Turkish mousetrap salesman, taken by August Sander during the 1920′s in a post WW1 Germany.

Seated in a formal posture with a direct stare into the camera, the sitter has a serene, yet puzzled expression on his face, and I find myself attempting to empathise and understand him. Knowing his profession and noting his physical condition in the photo, I can’t help also being repulsed, imagining his day to day activities and hygienic complications.

August Sander spent much of his life documenting the people of Germany, choosing subjects from all levels of society, and giving them equal representation in his portraits.

I try to remember this in my own work.

When I make a portrait, of course it is vital to recognise who the sitter is and what it is that they do, however more importantly, I try to connect with them on a human level to share a human experience so that future viewers of the portrait might connect with them, empathise, and try to relate.