Yesterday I was excited to reunite with two of my former colleagues (and friends) Michael Batten
and Diana Saxby who I first had the pleasure of working with in a local legal firm 20 years ago now.
Although I'd not seen Mike in years I'd been following him in the virtual world for some time and was really impressed by the professional head shot photos he'd been showcasing on his social media pages.
When Diana mentioned to me over coffee that she'd like to update her picture for her own website I was quick to recommend Mike and arranged an appointment for the three of us to meet (I'd been booked as the professional makeup artist, however reluctantly ended up agreeing to have my head shot done at the same time).
Diana absolutely hates having her photo taken and I'm definitely not a natural in front of the camera and am always critical of any photos of myself and am always quick to de-tag! Little did Mike know he really had his work cut out for him that morning.
A quick re-read of Mike's LinkedIn profile reassured me that he'd be able to put us both at ease and achieve that perfect picture. I was completely intrigued on what Mike's magic would be.
Was he going to rock up with aromatherapy oils and a massage table?
Did he have some sort of hypnotherapy trick hidden up his sleeve?
Was he going to bring with him a cute puppy to distract us from our nerves?
Well, what I can tell you is, he arrived on time, smiley and professionally equipped with his mobile studio.
After professionally applying Diana's makeup using products with little or no SPF (as this is picked up by the camera flash and can cause what's called "flash back" meaning that the model looks as if their face is 10 times whiter than the rest of their body), I also made sure I used mostly matte products to avoid shine. As Diana has mature skin, much like many of the mother of the brides I makeover, it's always nice to add a little shimmer in the right places to give a more youthful glow.
A quick change of outfits (as we learned that solid colour works best and to avoid busy patterns) we were now nearly ready to shoot!
We had a short coaching session on how to stand tall (believe me this sounds a lot easier said than done unless you've ever practiced pilates or ballet, then this will come in handy). We were taught how to hold our necks, our arms and some other really useful tricks including how to pull our faces. There is definitely an art to all of this. I had no idea that one of my eyes squints more than the other when I smile so I was given some useful tips on how to balance this out.
So within an hour and a half we were both done!
I'd definitely highly recommend Mike to anyone that needs a new profile picture for their business, company website or even a professional picture for an engagement announcement. I would be more than happy to assist as the professional makeup artist and stylist too.
I'm looking forward to seeing our images soon where we will be able to pick out the best one to be edited and use as our corporate head shot.
Olga Taylor -