SEATTLE HEADSHOTS // PERSONAL BRANDING // KELSEY LEIGH PHOTOGRAPHY // BOTHELL WASHINGTON

First impressions are everything. Whether we want to admit it or not, first impressions, branding, and appearance are all big parts of our culture. 

I'll be honest, if I'm going to hire someone to help me with my business for say...personal branding...and their website and/or headshot looks outdated, I will most likely skip over and go on looking for someone or something new. That might sound superficial, but don't you want someone that looks current or trending so that you have more trust in their abilities? This may be different if you know the person personally, but if you are growing your business and want to be found online, then in most cases your client's first impression of you is your picture or website.

You have to stay current in order to sell yourself as current. 

I LOVE photographing headshots. It's a perfect session for me because it's truly a portrait session, but broken down a little differently. 

Let me explain a little bit about how my headshot sessions work.

After a phone call to discuss your business, how you want to be represented, and your ideal client, we get into styling. I help my clients personally choose outfits that work with their brand and how they want to be represented to their specific audience. 

This is not your average headshot session. 

Not only do we work through two or more outfits (depending on your session fee), I also use a variety of options for your backdrop because not all outfits work with a specific colored backdrop.

I personally create and paint each of my backdrops.

I run you through several guided poses so you never are left wondering what to do.

Forget about the "arms crossed" pose. Those are a thing of the past and typically you want a photo that is inviting and not a pose that deters your audience. 

After our session, I send over several images for you to choose your favorite two digital images. 

Take a look a few from a recent session I had with this gentleman. 

 

 

EASY PEASY FAMILY PHOTOS // FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER // KELSEY LEIGH PHOTOGRAPHY // SEATTLE WASHINGTON PHOTOGRAPHER

Family photos are my jam. 

Some people cringe at the thought of family photos. We all have our thing, right? 

I'm a Speech Language Pathologist, and a mom, so I completely understand that children don't always act the way we want them to act.

I know that family sessions can be stressful. If your family is anything like mine...this is how it probably goes.

You schedule photos for 7:30PM since the light is great during that time and for the next hour. Internally, you are thinking about the fact that your youngest is going to have a meltdown because he typically goes to bed at 7PM on a normal night. And you're dreading wake-up for him the following morning.

You start getting ready around 5:00PM since you need to shower and feed the kids. You (mom) are upstairs showering while dad is downstairs with the kids. Somehow, even though the kids are supposed to be eating, they come up one-by-one hanging on your leg, whining, and demanding your attention. Your youngest starts flinging things out of your cabinets and drawers since well, you're in the shower. Then he takes your makeup and starts throwing it in the toilet (this for real happened to me). 

Meanwhile, you're yelling for help from your husband who is downstairs. He can't hear you because A) you're in the shower and B) he is blaring music with your five year old since they are having a dance party while eating and cleaning up the kitchen.  

The best moment is when your husband comes upstairs and steps inside the bathroom to see all your things spread across the floor (from the baby's spring cleaning). Some things are drying out on your rug from the toilet incident, you are sopping wet, the baby is now wet since he insists on being held, and the baby is crying. And then he asks, "what are you doing!?" in a tone that is not super loving, but instead confused and a tone that makes you feel like the situation didn't have to be that hard. 

So maybe you are a little frazzled now. Your husband brings you a drink to relax while he gets the kids in their clothes. You dry your hair, but the bathroom is really hot and so you continue to sweat after being clean and dry (one of my biggest pet peeves). You're trying to put makeup on, but ends up, makeup doesn't apply well when you're sweaty. 

Okay, okay...so now you (mom) have your makeup on and your hair is pretty much done. We had a few bumps, but nothing serious. Kids are in their outfits, they are fed, and things seem to be moving swimingly.

 Now dad is getting ready. Well, women aren't the only ones picky about their clothes. The clothes you laid out for your husband apparently don't fit anymore. Why don't they fit? Well, when you were doing laundry, you threw the sweater in the dryer accidentally since you were trying to just accomplish the task of laundry. Now his sweater is a few sizes too small and he has NOTHING to wear (according to him). So the outfit he ends up wearing makes him feel a little "meh" and not as excited about the family photo thing.

You rally up the crew, which takes about 8 hours since getting children out the door is like herding cats. Once in the car you realize that you forgot your 5 year old had a snack that may have included chocolate (and it's a hot day) which is all over his carseat. 

Shoot, now his shirt is going to be ruined. 

Oh but wait, you drive to the location to meet your photographer and now you have to put on that show of "ALL SMILES" when in REAL LIFE you are now sweaty, crabby, less confident in your outfit choice, and dealing with stains you HOPE can be photoshopped out.

Can you relate to this? :)

Here are a few tips to help ease the day of family photos. 

1) Feed your children a finger food meal the evening of photos. Something that is NOT messy. Something that is easy to make and easy to clean. You need to cut corners with time whenever and wherever you can. 

2) If your photos are scheduled for 7:30PM make sure you give yourself AMPLE time so you aren't rushed. I hate being rushed. Being rushed makes me out to be one crabby mama, just ask my husband. If it takes you 20 minutes to get to the location then this should be your timeline.

6:40PM leave the house

7:00PM Arrive to location

have a few minutes to collect thoughts, clean up disasters and spilled milk (have some hangout time)

7:30PM Photoshoot

3) Bring clean/non-messy snacks to give your children during the session. Marshmallows, pretzels, oyster crackers, and water in a sippy cup that doesn't leak.

4) Give your kids something really easy to wear while they are getting ready and for the drive to the location. Then put their photo outfits on right after you arrive to your location (during your hangout time).

5) Don't stress if your kids aren't doing what you want them to do. Kids are kids. Have clear expectations going into this that your kids will continue to act how they normally do. Expect the worst so you are happy with the best. Your photographer will have tips and tricks to get your kids to at least appear like they are having fun in photos :)

 

 

 

 

 

HEADSHOT PHOTOGRAPHER // BOTHELL WASHINGTON // KELSEY LEIGH PHOTOGRAPHY

I was BEYOND tickled when I had an inquiry asking for headshots not just for business, but for personal use as well. 

What kind of personal use? Her profile picture for her dating profile on Match! 

This is such a brilliant idea since profile photos are your first impression of potential dates on match making sites. 

I had her bring a few different tops and we also played around with different hairstyles since I wanted to give her options of both fun and maybe even a little flirty ;) 

Give me a box, a fan, a backboard, a window, and a camera....and we will make magic!

 

 

DREAM CHASING WITH BUMPS AND BRUISES // SEATTLE PHOTOGRAPHER

Some of you may not know this, but I am a Speech Language Pathologist as well as a Photographer. I love servicing others and found that speech therapy was a perfect mix between my calling to be in something educational and clinicial.

A few years ago, when we lived in a different state, I started my own business providing speech therapy to children. My business became quite successful in a very short amount of time. I thought running my photography business might be similar (logistically) to how I ran my speech business. BOY, I was wrong!

I am a go-getter, but I've quickly realized that after having two kids, my "go-getter" skills come and go in between naps times and snotty little ones. So, priorities took hold and I quickly started to tell myself, "that can wait."

Which brings me to blogging. Blogging is something that I should do as a creative. I tend to put this off to the back burner because I don't always have my ducks in a row when it comes to keeping my website updated, or getting my email list figured out. 

I am always such an advocate for supporting others and their process in how they reach their goals. I fully understand that mistakes will be made and lessons will be learned when you are on a journey to your dream. So why am I not as forgiving with myself when I don't have it all together? I think this is something we all can relate with. We are always more critical of ourselves than others. 

So, if you are on the path of dream chasing with bumps and bruises along the way....join me! Tackle that to-do list knowing it's not perfect now, but it might be close some day. 

My To-Do....blogging.

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HOW TO TAKE YOUR OWN SELF PORTRAIT // BOTHELL, WASHINGTON PHOTOGRAPHER

Sure, it seems simple enough to take your own photo. You've mastered the selfie, but I'm talking about taking your own self portrait with your DSLR.

I know there are a TON of gadgets out there. Many of which I'm not aware of I'm sure, but I know I have the basics. I have a tripod, a camera, and a basic remote that connects to my DSLR camera.

Some of you may be saying, "why would you even take your own self portrait?" Great question! I was in a bit of a bind. I needed to check out different pockets of light in my home for a education course I am a member of, and also needed an updated headshot. Self portraits are a great way to try out new lighting set ups, new backdrops, etc. It's great practice without the added pressure of getting the perfect end result right away. It allows you time to practice before photographing your client.

It takes SO MUCH energy for me to take self portraits. I mean it is painful. I have two children under the age of 5 which always add a stressful and creative twist to the madness. Usually by the time I've gotten the shot to be in focus, one of my kids have photo bombed in the background or they've knocked the camera over mid-shot. I also use these HUGE boards as my backdrop, so getting those out of my garage and into a place that my baby won't reach is always a challenge.

Plus, when you decide to take a self portrait, you have to actually get ready. I live in comfy clothes when I'm home with the kids so it's kind of a big deal for me to dress up. When you take a self portrait for a headshot, you have to take time doing your hair and makeup because you know that it's going to take forever to get that ONE shot (if you're me) and you really don't want to have to invest time into getting ready again if you don't have to.

Ok, as I'm re-reading this, it really sounds like I'm terribly lazy. I'm not lazy, I'm just a little picky about when I'm going to invest time into getting ready. There's a mindset that needs to take place.

So, you've mustered up the energy to take a self portrait with your DSLR. Now what?

Grab something in your home that is as tall as you or your focal point. My son has a t-ball stand that did the trick for me since I sat down in my photos. The tee is just as tall as my approximated sitting height. Place the object at the exact location where you will be sitting so that you have the appropriate depth of field covered when focusing. I love to use back button focus (it's a game changer, learn it if you haven't already). I got my camera into manual mode, back button focused on the tee, then exchanged out my tee with me (I didn't plan that I swear). 

This was me about midway through. I'm sure you can sense my delight in this process.

I talk a big game here about how much work this was (and it was), but, it was great to try new lighting scenarios, get a new headshot, and to look presentable for a day :)