My Favorite Tips for Professional Portraits

Photographing women entrepreneurs is my jam. I have the best time taking portraits of my fellow rock star entrepreneurs in Charleston. As a business owner (and especially as a photographer!) I know how important it is to have a great photo of yourself that not only represents the real you, but also your brand. When customers know what you look like, they make an immediate personal connection that will turn them into clients. 

Three boss ladies that understand this are my great friends Hilary Johnson, founder of Hatch Tribe, Lauren Gicas, founder of Coalesce Events, and Shree Summerlin, founder of Aurora Social Co. Hilary hired me to take portraits for the cover of her book (a wonderful read for any entrepreneur!) and Lauren needed a fresh set of portraits for her website and social media. I’ve worked with Shree several times to capture her brand (check out my 3 tips for an on-brand photoshoot featuring Shree)! 

If it’s been years since you were in front of a professional camera (not your iPhone!) or you’re in need of a head shot refresh, I’m giving you some examples of ladies that rocked their portrait shoots with me.

1. Choose Your Location Wisely

When you’re planning your portrait refresh, think about where you do your best work for your customers. If you do incredible consultations behind a stylish desk, then that’s where your portraits need to be! If you’re at the farmers’ market selling goods every Saturday, consider having your portraits taken there. It’s all about showing off you doing your best work, and where you are the happiest and most helpful to your customers. 

Lauren and I toyed with the idea of taking photos in her office, but it made more sense for her to be out and about in her element. When Lauren is truly doing what she loves, she’s working at all of the great event venues in Charleston, not stuck in her office! We decided to take photos in the French Quarter, which allowed us several options for backdrops. It also feels quintessentially Charleston! 

Shree’s office screams Aurora Social, so it was a no-brainer to shoot in her office.

2. Outfit Options are a Must 

Having two outfit options on hand is the best way to get the most variety out of your portrait shoot. Hilary was the queen of outfit changes! She thought about the color scheme of Hatch Tribe’s branding and chose her clothing accordingly. She also kept the patterns simple, so nothing was distracting from the focus of the photos. 

Lauren wore a versatile outfit that was a little more formal with a blazer, but she could take it off for a more casual look. She also brought a few accessories to make her outfit pop.

3. Take Advantage of the Light 

Everyone loves a good filter right?! If your shoot is outdoors, schedule your portrait shoot in the morning or evening to give you that glowy, natural look that we’re always seeking in our Instagram posts. The time just after sunrise and before sunset eliminates harsh shadows. You may have to get up a little earlier or stay out after dinner, but I promise you it’s worth it! That golden hour glow is no joke, you guys!

Consider your location, outfits, and shoot time when scheduling your next professional portrait shoot, and you’ll be on your way to converting more followers into clients! 


Beach Day on Sullivan’s Island

My favorite beach in Charleston is on Sullivan’s Island. Hunter lives only ten minutes away, so you’ll often find us there on the weekends. I love going for a full day or for a walk during sunset. Last Sunday, we headed there for a few hours to relax and enjoy the weather before it gets too hot (a problem we’ll soon have in Charleston). 

Sullivan’s is also home to a few of our favorite restaurants just a block off the beach. We love stopping at Beardcat’s Sweet Shop for gelato. We’ve been listening to the new Phoenix song Fior di Latte on repeat, so we had to try the gelato flavor. It’s pure full cream milk and sugar, and it was absolutely delicious! I highly recommend both the song and the gelato.

Do you have a favorite beach day ritual? Let me know in the comments!  


A Week in Colorado Part 2

Part two of my Colorado adventure is here! If you missed part one, get caught up here!

Day 4: Coors Brewery and Boulder 

There are so many breweries in Colorado that you could plan an entire trip around tasting local beers. The Coors brewery is located in Golden where we were staying, so we decided if we were going to do a brewery tour, it had to be at Coors. It’s the largest single-site brewery in the world, so it was cool to compare it to the small craft breweries we frequent in Charleston. The tour was self-guided, so we felt like we didn’t learn as much as we wanted to. It was still a worthy stop on our trip if only for the free Blue Moon at the end!

We headed to Boulder that afternoon as several people told us it was a can’t-miss city. We stopped into Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery for a delicious lunch and walked around Pearl Street to explore the shopping. Thursday was our most relaxed day, and we needed it after climbing to crazy altitudes and hiking the first part of the week!

Day 5: Red Rocks Park 

On Friday, we woke up ready to tackle Red Rocks Park. Hunter and I knew we wanted to return after seeing Phoenix at the amphitheater there. We started out with a trail that runs through the rocks and it was one of the most fun trails we did all week. Major Jurassic Park vibes.

We headed back to the amphitheater to check it out while there wasn’t an event going on. There were tons of people doing workouts on the steps. Especially at 6,400 feet, I could not relate to the people doing a burpee on each of the 70 rows of the amphitheater. Hunter decided he’d run up part of the 380 steps, and afterwards he said he felt like his lungs were bleeding. I think we’ll leave the working out at Red Rocks to the Coloradans!

Day 6: Downtown Denver

My sweet friend Katherine from high school lives in Denver, so we met up with her on Saturday to explore downtown. She took us to a delicious brunch at Devil’s Food in the Washington Park neighborhood. Afterwards we headed to Union Station where you can grab a beer, pastry, or an Amtrack train. Across the street, we stopped in Tattered Cover, a book store you could hole up in for hours. 

At least three people told Hunter and me to visit Little Man Ice Cream in the Highland neighborhood, so we stopped there for an end of the day treat. Thanks for showing us around Katherine!

We didn’t want our week in Colorado to end! Hence the sad faces on the plane. We are headed to Boston for a few days in July, so we are glad to have another trip to look forward to!

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