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Why It’s Never Just “One Photo” – A Productive Rant About Everything That Goes Into A Headshot Session

June 12, 2022

Molly, the owner and chief dreamer at Molly Hebda Photography, has a passion for helping creative, purpose-driven women in business feel seen with confidence and strength. Without compromising their femininity.

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From, MOLLY

It happens less these days, but I still have many potential headshot clients who say to me that they only need one image. I guess you can also substitute this same comment into any type of photography from high school seniors to family photos and more. So to them, it should be fast, easy, and cheap.

Today there are so many different photographers, and I believe that if you look, you will find the right one for you. Many are fast and cheap, others can be expensive and many more are somewhere in the middle. I want your experience to be easy and enjoyable but I will not be your cheapest option, also not the most expensive.

Let’s think back to the last causal selfie or group photo you have taken or been a part of on your phone. I bet you that you have many more than just one photo on that phone. It took a boatload of clicks to get the shot you and everyone else there were happy to share. Then there is still probably one person, maybe even you, that said, don’t tag me. And that was just a quick, personal image, not one that will represent you as a professional in the world.

One thing I pride myself on is capturing “you” in your photos. Especially in your headshots. And that takes a hell of a lot more than one snap of my camera.

“MY HUSBAND AND I ARE KELLER WILLIAMS REAL ESTATE AGENTS AND UNFORTUNATELY HEADSHOTS ARE A THING IN OUR BUSINESS. WHEN I LOOK AT MY HEADSHOT I SEE ME AND I SEE US AS A POWERFUL BUSINESS COUPLE. IT TAKES AN AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHER TO TRULY CAPTURE THE TRUE PERSON AND THEIR ENERGY!”

— WENDY PAWLAK

There is a reason it’s not just one photo.

Typically to narrow down to your favorite 5 images during a session, we take a minimum of 80-120 photos. Many times twice or three times as much as that.

Now, I am not just loosey-goosey with my shutter, spraying, and praying we get something that is usable. There are tactics, technique, and coaching that gets us to the best end results. And all of that takes time.

It takes time to coach you for the correct posing that works with your features and outfit, add on attention to your favorite sides, and the individual usage of your headshots. Some only need a work profile, others need marketing material, speaking engagements, social media, and more.

Addressing your biggest concerns.

One of the biggest concerns from clients is that they fear that they need to lose that 10lbs they have been wanting to lose over the past decade before their session.

With proper posing, head placement, and expression I can make the most fearful forget about those unwanted pounds, straight out of the camera even before we do any Photoshop. Thankfully, I have trained with the best of the best in how to do this. I do have a blog post that addresses anxiety in a photo shoot here.

Once you understand how to hold yourself in front of the camera, we work through facial expressions. This takes time because there tends to be a lot of initial tension followed by a fair amount of laughing and giggling. We don’t just say “cheese” and let you walk away with an image that reminds us of a deer in headlights.

Coaching and guidance.

We then do all of that over and over again with different backdrops and outfits. We recommend multiple choices in outfits because we sometimes find a shirt, jacket, or dress you initially loved, just doesn’t work how you envisioned. More snaps of the camera and more time to adjust. Here is a blog post about the 3 types of outfits to bring to a headshot session.

Finally, when we have the right combination of backdrop, outfit, poses and facial expressions, clients find themselves having so much fun that we keep going! This is ultimately when we get some of our favorite shots because your guard is down, and you are actually enjoying yourself. Feeling confident, free, and beautiful/handsome/bad-ass.

This happens with every single client. Yes, there are some clients that this whole process, from start to finish, including choosing their photos, takes only 45 minutes. For most, the whole process takes about 90 minutes.

You deserve attention and time.

Each client deserves the time and attention that it takes for them to get comfortable. Time to forget about their fears, and the patience it takes to relax. Time to truly enjoy the experience.

I could just take one photo and call it a day, but that would not benefit you in any way, shape, or form.

If you are ready to finally enjoy the process of having your headshot taken, I am here for you and all of your fears! Let’s break down the barriers and have some fun together.

Oh and of course, get you the best professional images that you are actually proud to share online!

We are currently adding headshot clients to a waitlist, to be the first to know when our next available dates are available.

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