Don’t have a good Linkedin Profile picture?

Came across an interesting article while I was browsing through Linkedin. Apparently, ” The worst photo faux pas you could do is get stuck without a photo. People with a photo are seven times more likely to get viewed. Don’t lose out because you’re too shy to show your face. What if you were buying a home? Would you make a bid without seeing a photo? Same goes for choosing a new client or connection.” More, here: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-worst-linkedin-photos-you-can-have-2012-7?IR=T&

This probably explains why I have been getting so many requests of late to take corporate portraits. From my experience, corporate headshots need to be done with some thought and care. Else you can end up looking cheesy, whereas if done right, can make you look like the go-getter sales person of the year (replace sales with HR/ Finance/ Marketing etc etc). Those who’ve seen Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glenross will get my drift.

So yes, the challenge with most corporate portraits is to give you enough gravitas, but also to make you look approachable, and of course with great lighting. I love this challenge!

Now you’re interested and would like to know more about getting a corporate portrait done? Read on:

- I have a fully equipped home studio with lights, backdrops, changing room, restroom and all the other facilities which I use for my fashion and portraiture work, as well as for those seeking corporate portraits.

- Please fix up a date with me at least 4 days in advance.

- A corporate makeover session starts at SGD 290. 

- I definitely recommend going for a “natural” look as far as makeup is concerned. If the hair needs to be done up, please visit a hair salon prior to the shoot:-)

- Clothes- Your finest corporate wear! The studio is airconditioned, so if you think you look good in a suit, bring it along. ideally bring along at least three changes of clothing, with a mix of light and dark coloured clothes. Preferably in plain colours (no loud patterns or screaming stripes!).

Additional questions, I’ll be more than happy to them- please feel free to contact me on [email protected]

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Hard disks die, printed albums don’t.

(The article was originally published on the Secondsguru.com blog. Original link: http://secondsguru.com/blog/print-your-photos-now-preserve-memories/)

It’s hard to imagine that your parents were once young people themselves, free of the care and responsibilities that befall one as one “settles” into marriage, children, chasing careers and paying off mortgages and going through the vicissitudes of a normal life. That they actually had a sense of fashion through the 70s and 80s before dad jeans and walking around the house in housewife clothes became the norm.

I went home recently, and spent half a day trawling through the hundreds of prints accumulated over the years. Every family has it’s resident photographer, the one ‘documenting’ with every click and whirr of the shutter, the passing of a family’s years. In our case, it’s most definitely my mother with her Agfa Optima. Friends, relatives, my sister and I, the neighbours, our family pets, no one was spared the attention of the Agfa. The mantle passed on to me later of course, but I don’t think I’m anywhere as obsessive as she used to be. It’s still a joy to give my mom a digital camera and have her blast through a few dozen exposures before she pauses for breath.

Everytime I hold these prints in my hand, it transports me to a different time. The print has character and while we’ve all been aging, the photographs have not exactly been sitting alone in a state of pristine preservation. Along with our own wrinkles and laugh lines, the prints have developed their own crinkles and creases, along with a fading out of the colours that so many digital photographers strive for in Photoshop.

The curse of technology is that while we have digital cameras, which in the course of a lifetime will yield hundreds of thousands of photos, we rarely take the time to segregate the best ones and preserve them. The digital file format is very fickle and impermanent- who on earth remembers what event DSC_2322.jpg represents- and it’s existence depends on our own cataloguing abilities and the care with which we handle our memory devices. And despite the best care, all memory devices eventually fail.

We’re of course in an age of instant gratification. If digital cameras take a few milliseconds in between frames, we declare that the camera is “too slow”. If files take more than a few minutes to transfer, we get frustrated, forgetting the fact that it was only a few years ago that large images would take forever to open up on dial up connections.

With all this convenience however, I know very few people who actually print their photos. It’s more common to hear about the person whose hard disk crashed thus erasing permanently pictures of the infant years of her child. Why don’t people print photos anymore? I don’t think it’s because printing is inconvenient- if anything, printing services have become more convenient and faster now. It’s just that it’s not accepted as a regular part of the process of photography – at least not for the casual photographer. The easy option is to just leave it on a hard disk with a mental note to later on select the good photos out of the bad ones and print them and keep them in an album “some day”. Meanwhile, the pile of photos grows larger and larger, and everything gets dumped into one hard disk, which finally decides to meet its maker one day.

So I wanted to put out some tips for you, the one documenting your family’s history:

  • Having a repeatable workflow
    Workflow is nothing but the process which you follow from shooting, to editing, archiving and printing. The more you make this a habit after your shoot is done, the more ingrained it becomes.
  • The editing process
  • The tough part is usually editing the files and cataloguing them. What is editing? Editing is nothing but the process of selecting the best files and then making changes to these files such as colour corrections. Usually it’s difficult to be your own editor, but I’d recommend being merciless as an editor, if you really want to become a better photographer.

  • Archival of files.
  • Go buy the largest portable external hard disk you can afford. Have a meaningful naming convention for your files, and after every shoot, come home copy the files over to your folder. I usually have two sets of folders for every shoot, one which has the original files and the other which contains the selected, edited files. Never leave the files only one hard disk though. I sleep better at night knowing that my files are copied across three hard disks.
    Cloud storage is another option with the likes of Dropbox and Amazon.

  • Printing
  • A lot of us never get to this step.
    I would really recommend buying a home printer. These days home photo printers can be had very cheaply, and while ink costs are high and you’re probably spending more per page than you would at the print shop, the fact is that you’ll get a lot more prints done. After all how many of us want to take the time out of our busy lives to go down to the print shop and then go back again a few days later to collect prints.
    I recently bought a Canon Pixma MG 7170 for home use and the print quality is terrific. I usually prefer printing bordered 6X4 size prints on Canon Satin paper- the prints are gorgeous and I have to hold myself back from printing large quantities.
    The alternative of course is to take it to the printer (make sure your files have high enough resolution for you to be able to print the size you need), wait for a couple of days and then collect the finished prints.

  • Storage of prints
    I’ll just say that any material which keeps your photos away from direct sunlight and humidity is a good method. I personally prefer using plastic storage boxes with tracing paper in between prints to ensure the prints don’t stick to each other over time.
    When it comes to albums, I actually prefer the ones which have a plastic sleeve into which the photograph can be inserted.
    Don’t forget though, your precious photos should age over time- it’s that patina which gives the photo character and evokes a sense of nostalgia!

  • Documentary style family photography

    Madan and Reena were leaving Singapore after four wonderful years, and wanted to document their last few days in town before jetting off to colder climes. As Madan was travelling, we decided to do two shoots spread over two rather rushed evenings.
    Shooting this family was a lot of fun, especially because the kids mostly kept flying through the air like shooting stars.You’ll probably agree with me when I say that this is a high energy family!

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