UPSCALE YOUR WEBSITE WITH PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY

UPSCALE YOUR WEBSITE WITH PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY

UPSCALE YOUR WEBSITE WITH PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Tips for Clients

Team Portraits
Business Branding
Corporate Headshots

 

Building an engaging website takes time and experimentation. We know as our website here at Tori Soper Photography is always a work in progress.

Between creating blog posts such as this and updating our photo galleries with recent images, maintaining this aspect of our online presence is definitely a commitment and one that has consistently produced results.

With that in mind, here’s a few tips on how we, as Chicago’s leading commercial photography team, can help you create visual content that tells the story of who you are and what you do.

 

AS CONSUMERS WE ARE VISUAL LEARNERS

Most people would categorize themselves as visual learners and this directly affects the way the audience interacts with a website. If the site lacks visual points of interest, viewers will just scroll through and leave the site in a matter of seconds. This creates a higher bounce rate which Google is not a fan of. We’ll get into this in a bit more detail below.

On the other hand, if there is original visual content  including professional photography highlighting your team, products and and the services you offer, you’ll grab your audiences’ attention which will encourage them to spend more time checking out how you can help them solve the problem they are working on.

Here’s an example for you. We all like to place a face to the name. Home buying is an incredibly long and sometimes personal process. We are opening up our finances to a mortgage officer and Realtor in addition to divulging our hopes and dreams as we consider investing our savings into a new home. Having online reviews from past buyers is a huge benefit but having a professional headshot that conveys your authenticity and openness is a must. People trust what they know.

Chicago-corporate-photographer

Using professional photography to highlight your team and leadership.

KEEPING UP WITH THE NEW

Back in the early ’90’s, when the internet was beginning to make it’s way into our daily lives, websites were a basic four-color scheme with various fonts and copy and maybe some clip art. We’ve evolved from this elementary approach and now have the ability to add video, animation, and professional photography.

The technology moves fast and in order to stay attuned to our customers, we need to keep a pulse on how they expect to experience our digital marketing. Whether it’s our social media profiles, e-mail signatures or most importantly, our website, consistently enhancing our branding through professional photography is one way to keep our audiences engaged.

Ensuring our website is fast to load, has new content, is up to date stylistically and effectively uses visuals along with written content shows our audience that we are listening to them and care about their online experience with us.

“It’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.” -Douglas Warner III, Former CEO, J.P. Morgan Chase 

CONTENT IS KING

There is this little company named Google. Perhaps you are familiar. They are the leading search engine in the United States carrying close to 70% of the market as I write this. Google and it’s competitors rely on content to understand what your website is about.  It’s much more complicated than that of course and mastering SEO does involve some magic fairy dust and crossed fingers but it pretty much comes down to, in the words of Bill Gates, “content is king.”

With high-quality written content, your website can attract an audience. With fresh, high-quality visuals including professional photography, you keep your audience. Take this post for example. Of course it’s incredibly well written and you’re on the edge of your seat but if this post were only words on a page, you might just scroll through quickly. Adding in the photos illustrating the services we offer, including corporate headshots, on-location portraits and business branding, tells you everything you need to know about what we do. I might add we cover corporate events, too but that’s a story for another day.

Words are tools. Professional photos are tools. Use them wisely on your website to showcase your talent, engage your audience, keep your content fresh amd capture the best of your brand.

Chicago-corporate-photographer
Chicago-corporate-photographer
Chicago-corporate-photographer
Chicago-corporate-photographer
Chicago-corporate-photographer
Chicago-corporate-photographer
Chicago-corporate-photographer

Our corporate headshots are great for teams and we make it convenient for you by conduction sessions at your office. 

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH CONTENT

We all tend to be fans of what is familiar, what we know, what we have access to. By telling your brand story with professional photography, your website gives insight into your process, your services, your people and most importantly the passion that keeps the doors open and the lights on.

For all of the written content that has been carefully created for our websites, we can give even more insight by visually illustrating this. Photograph your people doing what they do, working in teams, brainstorming storyboards, having a great time together as they develop new ideas that benefit your clients. Showing these behind the scenes images, a day in the life of your team is what is called branding photography or corporate lifestyle photography. These images are great for home and services pages within your website.

The must have About Us page should show your off the leadership and team at its’ best. Our location portrait sessions feature our clients in their home or commercial office, outdoors, really anywhere that will help us create a background that is interesting. The other popular option is corporate headshots. In this case, we provide a color backdrop and can also provide custom backdrops if that might do the trick for your team.

As Chicago’s top commercial photography team, we’re pros at helping our clients develop image libraries that upscale their brand. When you’re ready to take the next step and create images that capture you as a leader in your industry, we’ll be ready! For more information on our services, rates and for a custom proposal, please get in touch!

Three Reasons To Hire A Make-Up Artist for Your Photo Session

Three Reasons To Hire A Make-Up Artist for Your Photo Session

TIPS FOR CLIENTS

WHY WE RECOMMEND HAIR & MAKE-UP STYLING

Chicago-Portrait-Photographer

With 20 years in the business of commercial photography here in Chicago, we’ve focused on providing the best in corporate headshots and on-location portraits and we are big advocates of using the professional services of hair & make-up stylists.  Here’s our take.

BETTER RESULTS

We have one chance to make a first impression and being the visual people that we are, we are always taking note of appearances.

Make-up artists are pros at making you look like you’ve had the best day. Even if you’re not one to wear make-up or just think you won’t need it, remember, the camera sees us differently than we see ourselves.

The lighting we use for our corporate headshots and portraits though soft and flattering can emphasize inconsistent skin tones and the oils that collect on our face. The hair & make-up artists we’ve partnered with are experts at identifying how this lighting affects our subjects and they use their experience and artful techniques to smooth skin tones and help you achieve a polished and professional image.

Chicago-Portrait-Photographer

Tools of the trade. 

Onset at one of our corporate photoshoots. 

BE MORE CONFIDENT

So many of us are not the biggest fans of having our photo taken. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones that is a natural but most of the clients that we’ve worked with benefit from a bit of coaching and a boost of confidence during their headshot sessions. Having a professional make-up artist to help you get ready, give some feedback on wardrobe and be there on set to help you achieve absolute brilliance is a confidence builder for sure.

You’re job while you’re with us is to focus on showing us your best self through the poses we coach your through and finding the the most authentic expressions that are both inviting and compelling.  Feeling a little pampered and walking into your headshot session primped and powdered can make you feel a little empowered. Hurray for that!

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.”
— Edward Steichen

IT’S THE BEST INVESTMENT

Next to investing in your professional headshot with us, that is. It’s really a story about value.  You’ve decided that updating your corporate headshots and personal branding is a priority so take the next step and treat yourself and your team to a little pampering and ensure that you look more polished and professional than your competition.

And remember, these professional portraits can be used in so many ways and on so many platforms.  From websites to social media profiles and email signatures, you name it. You’ll be able to get so much mileage out of your headshots so consider this another investment in yourself and your team.

Chicago Portrait Photographer

Making magic on set for another team headshot session. 

HOW CAN WE HELP?

Do you have questions about how we are handling photoshoots during the time of Covid-19? Great question and we have an answer for that. Keeping our clients and crew safe is our number one priority and we’re taking steps to ensure that we protect all of us. To learn more, please click here

Any other questions about this article or to check into rates and availability, please get in touch!

 

 

Create the Perfect Shot List For Your Next Event

Create the Perfect Shot List For Your Next Event

EVENT TIPS

CREATING THE PERFECT EVENT SHOT LIST

With 20 years of experience photographing everything from galas, fundraisers, product launches, conferences and more, we know that a well-documented shot list is the key to capturing the big moments and the smallest details of each special event. Let’s get the shot, every time.

Attendees at the annual conference for the Partnership for A Healthier America do stretching exercises to break up the day

FIRST STEP: WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE IMAGES

Consider how the photos will ultimately be used. Will the content be integral for marketing another event, used to engage attendees on social media? Determine the audience and then you can focus on the art direction for your content. 

STEP TWO: START BUILDING YOUR SHOT LIST

There will be moments that are absolute must have’s such as awards presentations and keynotes. You’ll want to begin building your list around these defined events. The candid shots can come in between these times to be sure to capture the unposed moments such as audience engagement and networking experiences.  

“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in the fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.”  Henri Cartier-Bresson

MUST HAVES TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SHOT LIST

1. Critical Details: this includes general information about the event including the website, onsite contacts (email and cell phone), approximate start-end times and location(s).

2. Run of Show: this should include the most up-to-date schedule, along with locations/room numbers for sessions and panels, etc. This will help us to understand the flow of the event so we make sure we are exactly where we need to be.   

 3. Must-Have Moments:  Let us know what shots you’ll be looking for from each touchpoint of the event. Of course, much of this we will cover by default however if there is a moment where there is a break in the keynote for an award presentation and you’d like us to get that presentation along with a photo of the presenter and recipient looking on camera, we need to be sure we are in the right position and direct the subjects to smile for us. The more we know, the better. 

 4. Additional Details: We are fans of maps, agendas, bios and more. If you have any supporting content that can help us provide the best event coverage, please pass this along. 

STEP THREE:  ASSEMBLE THE PHOTOGRAPHY TEAM

You’ll be looking for the team of event photographers that is a good fit for your event. Portfolios, online reviews and your own network are a great resource for referrals. We’re fans of experience as it takes time to refine the skills needed to adapt to the constantly changing flow of events, know how to move quickly, unobtrusively and always be in the right place at the right time. 

STEP FOUR: PREP THE EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY TEAM

Here’s the chance to review the shot-list with the content creators to elaborate on all of the details.  Reiterate the art direction and branding while leaving room for creative freedom. Confirm the call-times, onsite contacts and venue information.  As for the dress code, we default to all black but there may be cases when the brand requires something else.  

STEP FIVE: PUT IT ALL ON PAPER

Make sure the event photography team has an easy to read shot list and schedule along with venue map if applicable. Images for social media will be shared with you during the event so be sure to share the online folder where you’d like these files sent to. We recommend DropBox and for smaller events have also used text to send a few highlights. 

STEP FIVE: USE THE CONTENT 

The images we provide will help to expand your audience on social media. They can be used in collateral materials to market the event to next years’ sponsors, in strategy reports, awards presentations, company newsletters and the event website and app. The more platforms where you can publish the photos, the more you’ll see how the careful planning and execution paid off.  

Feeling Confident For Your Headshot

Feeling Confident For Your Headshot

One of the main components to a great headshot has little to do with the technical skills of the photographer and instead comes directly from the person in front of the camera. When we’re creating your portrait, we’ll be working together to make sure you’re feeling comfortable and confident in each frame.

Confidence is that element that turns headshots that are flat and ordinary into portraits that draw upon something much more profound than just the lines and curves that physically represent you. This is what we’ll be looking to draw out together in your session.

Natural confidence in front of the camera really is a rarity for most of us, including myself so I get it. But there are a few things you can do to prep yourself before your headshot session and that can also help while you are on set, because when you’re more comfortable you’re more confident.

 

 

You Be You 
Every single person photographs differently. It’s all about angles. Take a moment to stand in front of a mirror to see what I mean.

Starting with your head at center, slowly rotate it a few degrees at a time to the left and then right. Do the same up and down. There are literally thousands of combinations, right? Each one presents you in a slightly different way based on the angle and your expression. The same is true moving down your body and doing the same with your shoulders, arms, core, legs, and feet for full-body portraits. 

Of course, part of my job is to help you determine your best angle.  When you’re in front of the camera, go back to that no-pressure zone of just posing for the mirror. Imagine you’re just delivering another stellar selfie, and you’ll be just fine. 

Just You & Me
Self-sabotage is real. You let all these future thoughts of who will see the photo, what they’ll think, and how they’ll judge take control of your confidence now. It allows self-doubt to creep it’s way into your photographs and this doesn’t work in our favor.

Check all thoughts aside from what you’re doing here and now at the door. As far as being nervous in front of me, your headshot photographer, realize that I’m too busy judging myself to judge you. My singular focus is to deliver the the most enjoyable photography session possible by ensuring my own skills and artistry are on point. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy the process. 

Wardrobe Choices 
You’ll want to make your wardrobe choices depending on the kind of photoshoot you have. If you’re doing a corporate portrait against a backdrop we provide, this style guide can help. Alternatively, if you’re looking to do something more casual such as an environmental headshot for branding where we use your office as your backdrop, then you have some more room to play. In each case, it’s best too wear colors that not only compliment your skin tone but also coordinates well with your backdrop or environment.

I suggest you approach that choice from a highly personal standpoint. What makes you feel confident? What makes you feel comfortable? What do you love not on the rack but actually wearing? And whenever possible, play it safe and bring options as we can make some decisions together on set.

 

 

Do Some Research
Look around in magazines, on social media, and other sources for examples of what you’d like to accomplish. Look at backgrounds, lightening, poses, clothing, accessories, angles, props, and so on. 

Use your research as a tool for inspiration more so than emulation. You’ll gain confidence in knowing your likes and dislikes and testing them out to see if they work specifically for you. 

Be Open During Your Shoot 
When we work with you, it’s an us thing. As with any relationship, this requires honesty and openness for success. I want to make sure that you are comfortable or if you need a break, want to regroup and I‘m also open to your questions and suggestions.

This openness removes all confidence blocks and allows us both to deliver. At the end of the day, we’ll have created portraits that you’ll be confident to show off.  

Event Photography Highlights from the 2019 NEA EXPO

Event Photography Highlights from the 2019 NEA EXPO

We recently returned from Scottsdale, Arizona where we were the official event photographers of the National Eczema Expo 2019 Annual Meeting. This is the second year we’ve been asked to cover the conference and it was three full-days of key note sessions, panel presentations, exhibitors, kids’ camp, pool parties and more.

The National Eczema Association is the leading resource for 30 million Americans that are living with eczema which causes the skin to become red, itchy and sometimes enflamed. Though eczema is common and often times mild, in many instances it can become very severe and difficult to manage.

Through the annual EXPO, the NEA brings together a community of medical researches, patient advocates, medical providers, patients and their families in order to educate, encourage and create a safe space for unhiding eczema.

 

 

The EXPO greeted the 400 registered attendees with spritzers, plenty of EXPO swag, a fantastic view of the 27-acre resort against a backdrop of the McDowell Mountains and educational seminars by some the leading doctors in the industry. 

On the exhibitor floor, attendess were able to meet with medical teams working on the latest treatment for eczema and check out some of the newer therapies including acupuncture sessions and massage. Of course, to keep the fun going between the support group sessions and the breakout meetings, they threw in a photo booth for those family and friend group shots.

 

Multi-day conferences can take their toll on our bodies so to keep things on the healthier side, the EXPO offered allergen free snacks, early morning yoga, water aerobic classes, spa treatments and plenty of time to check out the 10 swimming pools, high-speed waterslide and 45 waterfalls.

While the adults attended seminars and breakout sessions, the kids got to hang out at EXPO camp where the little ones had a chance to check out the wildlife and their older siblings took part in vision boarding, skin care tutorials and question/answer sessions with medical experts.

The last night was the closing bash where it was time to play dress-up, grab a cocktail and get on the dance floor to show off some moves. As event photographers, we’re big fans of DJ mixes, disco lights and dancing and love to get right into the middle of the mix to cover the energy.

 

This years’ theme was #unhideECZEMA which emphasizes body positivity and helped to create a space where attendees were able to share their experiences living with eczema and how it has affected their lives. This was an empowering, kid-friendly, educational and fun conference to photograph and we’re looking forward to photographing the event next year in Orlando!