professional headshots

5 Tips for Hiring a Pro Photographer for Your Business


In looking for a photographer, obviously seeing their images is paramount and is often what leads you to pick up the phone. But as in all steps you would take for your business, it’s important to look a little deeper than just the images when making such an investment. 

Breadth of Work

Ask to see a comprehensive sampling of their portfolio. Seeing they have worked with individuals and companies in a variety of businesses demonstrates they understand that one size does not fit all. Your headshots or website photos ought to fall in line with your brand and what you are trying to communicate. This doesn’t mean they have to have photographed in your exact industry, but knowing their work runs the gamut ensures they’ll know what to do with you, as well.  


Knowledge of Light

A good photographer understands light and how to work with it. This does not mean your photographer has to be a master of artificial light or off-camera flash, but you want them to be able to walk into any shooting situation and know how to make it work for what you want for your business.  As questions and take a thorough look at their portfolio. If every image style and set up looks like same, there’s a good chance they may only know how to work in one lighting scenario.

They Ask Questions

If you’re hiring a pro, chances are you’re spending some decent money. Make sure he or she asks questions about you, your business and what you are looking to accomplish. I spent 10 years in marketing and brand development prior to starting my photography business and imagery is a huge part of your brand. Consistency in look and feel most certainly extends to your photos. Make sure your photographer understands your vision and talks to you about how they will make it come to life.



In any business interaction, responsiveness is key. Photography is no different. When your photographer responds to you immediately, makes themselves available for conversations and questions, and provides quick turnaround on items, you are getting an inside look into how the rest of the relationship will go. If you find yourself waiting on them from the outset, it will continue that way.


Finally, ask for referrals. Experience is everything. And I don’t mean years in business or number of clients. I mean the experience previous clients have had. As is the case in most professional services, the photographer can be the very best at what they do, but if they are difficult to work with, eventually that end product comes at a price. Talk to two or three previous clients to decide if the photographer is right for you.

If you can click off on all of the items above, chances are you’ve found yourself not only a great photographer with knowledge of their craft but a smart businessperson with whom you can build a lasting professional relationship. 

Believing Your Own Awesome

At what point do you let yourself believe your own Awesome? I had two clients pay me very big compliments over the course of the last 24 hours. And in both instances, my initial thought was “phew. Pulled that one off!” Really? What is that? Why not let myself believe I am exactly what I am to them and what I’ve been to countless clients over the last 7 years? I have two theories on that. The second is probably the most likely. So let’s start with the first. The first is if I let myself believe my own awesome, then I’ve got an ego. And having an ego means I’m a full of myself, class A jerk. It could also mean I stop working to learn and challenge myself. I lose my hunger and my edge. I also realize most of that is likely complete lies I tell myself. Like I said, it’s a theory.

So onto theory #2. If I believe it my own awesome, then it’s real. And that is scarier than any ego I’ve ever come up against. It means I am truly as good as they say I am. And that means I can go as big as I’ve ever wanted to go. I think that’s been true for a long time. But it’s easier to stay small. To quietly make enough money to contribute to my household, pay for the extras, take my family on vacation. But going bigger (which I really do want), means really going bigger. Saying out loud what my clients say to me. That I really am awesome at what I do and how I do it. That those ideal clients are truly attainable. On a consistent basis. I know that because they are happening.

I pour my true heart into my craft. I light up when I do it. If you’ve worked with me, you’ve seen the pure joy I do not hide when I glance at the back of my camera. Like a little girl.

So, there it is. Plain and simple. We are our own roadblock to believing our awesome. It’s easier to be “good.” Great is overwhelming. I’ve told many people in my life, I am painfully self-aware. I know my potential and I know what keeps me from achieving it. Stupid self-awareness.

And by the way, if you’re waiting for me to provide an all-encompassing answer to get past this, I don’t have it. But I’m certain I’m not the only person who feels this way, so I’m sharing. I will figure it out, in time, as I’m a constant work in progress. 

Year in Review

I still look back at starting this journey more than 5 years ago and remember how afraid I was to start. What if I failed? Fell flat on my face? I had a hard time even saying I had started a business. I kinda felt like a fraud. That's a distant memory now. 2015 was a better year than I could have imagined. And rather than talk about it, I picked some of the many highlights from the year to share. Thank you to all who made it such an amazing year. From the cities and beaches of NJ and PA and all the way to Chicago. I'm beyond grateful.


When you get a look at this beautiful woman, you will be shocked to find out that she does not like herself in pictures. Never has. Until now. This is why I love this job so much and why head shots have become one of the most fulfilling aspects for me. When people tell me that they never like photos of themselves, I get excited because I know we will make something beautiful. And with Jamie, like so many in the past, I knew it immediately. I look through my lens and I see the beauty that they do not. It’s not their fault. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t like herself. It’s just that we’re all our own worst critics. But I looked at the back of my camera during our shoot and told her she was going to be very happy because I saw so much beauty there. Patting myself on the back is not the main reason why I wanted to share Jamie’s session (although I do enjoy that too). From one entrepreneur to another, I am really excited for her. Jamie is a registered dietician with her own growing Arbonne business. Arbonne sells skin care, cosmetics and a nutrition line for overall health and wellness. Not surprising that, as a dietician, Jamie specializes on the nutrition side of the Arbonne business. For awhile, she was working with Arbonne as a supplement to her full time dietician position. In the more recent past, she was able to leave the full time job and dedicate herself completely to the growing business and her two young children. She’s happy and energized. It’s a beautiful thing to see and it translates in her photos.

And finally, Jamie and I went to high school together. We had not seen each other for the better part of 15 years and I was really happy to see her again and honored she trusted me to do something that made her very uncomfortable. In addition, her father was arguably my favorite teacher in high school. His English class was a haven for me. In addition, he was supportive and encouraging to me during a challenging teenage time. So Mr. Brady, congratulations on raising a beautiful, smart, talented woman. And I thank you so much for having strongly supported another.

For the Love of Headshots

It’s completely natural to fear what you don’t know. What you’re not comfortable with. Several years ago, for me, one of those things was headshots. “I hate them,” I’d say. Hard to believe because now I’d do them everyday of the week and twice on Sunday. Understandably, I was comfortable with natural light, outdoor, family portraiture. But as I’ve learned to read and understand light and not only work with it in its natural state but also its artificial, on-camera/off-camera, bounced, diffused, soft boxed and umbrellaed states, I’ve fallen in love with all commercial work. Headshots, website candids, yoga and actor portfolios and more. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe the majority of the these look best when done with natural light. But understanding the ability of light, in its many forms, opens up countless opportunities for making great photography.

So, a couple of months ago, when a childhood friend came to me and asked me to create custom photography for his growing asset management firm’s new website, I jumped. I worked with great people in their natural business environment and the results were more than I could have hoped. And as soon as the new website launches, you bet your ass I’ll be showing it off.