Posted by: Michelle Stella Riordan | April 2, 2013

You Only Get One Chance to Make a Good First Impression…


You only get one chance to make a good first Impression


Whether it’s your business card, your website or your social media pages, your professional photograph should be up to date.  I find it quite amusing when you meet someone and then see the 10-year-old glamour shot on their business card. We age.  We change.  Get over it. 


Next up. You want your photograph to reflect as much of your personality as possible yet you need it to be professional and approachable.  If you look miserable, who is going to want to do business with you?  You can easily tell who took their own photo standing in the bathroom mirror on their cell phone.  At the very least have another person photograph you with a CAMERA with some natural lighting.  DO NOT take a photo on your web cam or cell phone.  To me, it says I am not worth taking the time and ‘Unprofessional’. 


We all get stuck in the day-to-day business of, well, running a business.  Giving yourself a new look always makes you feel better.  Just ask any woman coming out of a salon. 


Here are some tips I go over with any one in need of updating their head shot:

1 – Schedule a session with a professional.  The first question I ask is if you would like this done in the studio or on location.

2 – Hair and makeup (for women…or men…not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

3 – Hair: Do not change, cut or color your hair within 2 weeks of your photo session.  You and your hair need time to adjust to a new look. 

I actually had a woman come straight from getting her hair color touched up at the salon and they sent her out with the stain all around her hair-line fully aware she was headed to a photo shoot.  It took us over an hour to work on removing the coloring out the mask of her face. 

4 – Makeup:  Should be a little heavier than normal to allow for lighting but we don’t want you looking like a circus clown.  Enhance your best features; eyes, lips and cheeks.

5 – Clothing:  I always recommend solid colors.  Stay away from just black and white.  Think about what color looks fabulous on you.  Blues are a versatile color that tends to go with many skin types.  Red is a very powerful color and yellow is not for everyone.  I encourage all of my clients to bring a few selections that we can mix and match.  Some bring half their closet.  And please make sure your clothing has been ironed. 

 On location photography, Head shots, corporate photography


Linda Dick – Jockey Person 2 Person

6 – Jewelry: Keep it Simple Skippy…KISS rule.  I don’t say stupid.  This isn’t a fashion shoot so you want to select some pieces that enhance your look.  You don’t want your jewelry to be the first thing noticed on your business card or website.  My thought is that if your diamonds look like the Hope I probably can’t afford you. 

7 – Shoes:  unless you need a full length photo, I don’t even worry about it.  But just in case also go with something clean and not ostentatious.  Proper stockings or socks should be worn as well. 

8 – Bra:  Don’t laugh.  We have to talk.  There are so many choices out there.  I know but the point of this is that if you wear some cute little lacy thing under a silk blouse, it’s going to show.  Don’t wear a black lace bra under an off white blouse.  I can’t hide it and do not want to spend hours in Photoshop removing it. 

9 – Jacket or no jacket…that is the question.  It depends on your line of business and your normal look.  It doesn’t hurt to photograph both. 


10 – If you look like your passport photo then you probably really need a vacation…this has nothing to do with your head shot but I’m all about making you laugh!


Last but not least…

We all have some feature we are critical about.  Voice your concerns about your image to your photographer.  It makes the process easier for both sides.


I am always available for any questions.  Thanks.  Hit me with your best shot!!!


 Erika Larkin Golf Pro, Stonewall Golf Club, Corporate photography


On location with Erika Larkin-Golf Pro Stonewall Golf Club




Michelle Stella Riordan

Anyone can take a picture.  I leave an Impression.

Photography By Exposure

The Event Photo Booth

Corporate, Special Events Photographer



  1. Great advice! Love the sample photos!

    • Thank you. And thanks to you for creating and maintaining great info in the Team WIN newsletter.

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