With the help of the right photographer, you can catch the attention of more casting directors and agents. In fact, visuals can often make or break your chances of landing your dream audition, which is why it’s essential to get your headshots right.
Here are some tips that will help:
- Stick with a basic backdrop
When it comes to taking professional acting headshots, a basic studio backdrop is a better bet. This way, you minimize any distractions and keep the focus on you. It’s fine to shoot headshots on location, but you should still ensure your background is fairly simple.
- Practice your facial expressions
Before you schedule a headshot session, take a look at what other professionals are doing in terms of poses. Once you find a few poses and expressions you like, practice them in a mirror prior to your photo session. Knowing how you want to pose will also make time for more headshots while you’re in studio. And since you want to walk away with a variety of photos, make sure you are going to your session with a variety of poses in mind.
- Don’t overthink your outfit
Since headshots focus more on your head and shoulders, you don’t need to overthink your outfit too much. Stick to solid colors and statement pieces such as a blouse or blazer. You should also be wary of any accessories that might take the focus off your face. With that being said, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan your outfit at all (you definitely should), but it’s okay to stick with something basic, but professional.
- Think twice about the photographer you choose
Picking the right photographer will make a big difference to your results as well as your overall experience. Only go with photographers that offer headshot sessions and preferably, someone who works with actors specifically. Don’t forget to review their portfolio to ensure you like their photography style.
With these simple tips in mind, you are on your way to taking better headshots that will benefit your career as an actor.
Contact Melissa to schedule your headshot appointment!
Senior portraits can be displayed just about anywhere, but there are certain spots in a home where they really stand out.
To help you think outside the box, we have put together a few ideas you can use once you receive your child’s senior portrait prints.
Use Your Favorite Spots
Which spots in your home do you love spending time in? This could be anywhere from a dressing area, to the living or laundry room. Add one of the prints to a frame, so that you always have a special reminder of this important milestone.
Over the Fireplace
Have a fireplace in your home? This is the perfect place to hang a senior portrait, whether it is framed or printed on canvas. If you have more than one child, you can create a small photo wall above your fireplace, so that everyone gets a spot.
Change Up Your Bookshelf
Yes, your bookshelf is designed to house books, but this doesn’t mean you only need to use it for reading material. Get creative by combining your favorite books with one or two framed senior portraits and other knick knacks.
Move Away from Frames
If your décor has more of an artistic feel, you can always place small canvas prints on easels. These look great on side tables in either the bedroom or living room. Plus, they make for instant conversation starters about your senior.
Spruce Up Your Foyer
It’s always nice to be met with beautiful family photos and portraits when you enter a home. Change up the frame sizes and colors to create movement and to add a creative touch to your foyer.
Incorporate Them into Their Grad Party
Planning to host a grad party at home for your senior? Why not use some of their creative shots as décor? This is a party to celebrate them, after all, so make them the center of attention in every way possible. If you want to take it one step further, you can even use these professional photos to create Christmas decorations.
Whatever you do, make sure that you print your child’s senior photos. You are hiring a professional photographer for the occasion, so make it count.
Call or text Melissa at 217-962-0048 or click here to schedule a complimentary consultation.
For most parents, senior portraits are a distant memory. They have changed a lot over the last two decades, incorporating more creativity and individuality than ever before.
Seniors have a lot more options available to them, ranging from traditional sessions in a studio to trendy urban shoots. This is the perfect opportunity for them to showcase their unique talents, passions, and personality, while also creating a lasting memory.
However, with all the available options, portrait sessions can quickly become overwhelming for both parents and seniors.
Here are a few quick tips to help you prepare for your child’s upcoming senior session.
Make a Note of the Yearbook Deadline
Knowing the yearbook deadline encourages you to schedule a senior session instead of putting it off until the last minute. Depending on your requirements, a senior photo session will start with a yearbook portrait followed by creative shots that are unique to your child. In most instances, it takes at least 2 weeks to receive the final images, so plan accordingly.
Keep Your Senior’s Schedule in Mind
As a parent of a senior, you already know how frantic their schedules can be. Before you go ahead and schedule a session, sit down with your senior to discuss a good time. They should be just as involved in the planning as you are. Even the specific time of day matters when scheduling a senior session. Ideally, you want to take photos just after sunrise and just before sunset, as this is when the lighting’s the best. However, the right photographer can make any time of the day work. Midday should be a last resort though as the lighting is far too harsh.
Compromise with Your Child
You may have a specific idea about the photos you would like to see, but this is about your child and what makes them feel confident and comfortable. Most senior sessions allow for several outfit changes, so use this as an opportunity to find a happy balance between what you want and what your senior wants. Be patient and hear them out before you brush off their ideas. Their portraits should represent who they are and what they love.
Prior to a senior session, get your child to open up about their passions, hopes, and dreams. This information will help guide the shoot and ensure the most authentic photos. Knowing what your senior wants these photos to represent will also guide their outfit and location choices.
Don’t forget to include your senior in the search for a photographer – a photographer’s style needs to fit in with the images you hope to create.
If you would like to schedule a free, in-studio consultation, just click here: Schedule
Melissa M. Harden
Driving east on Route 16, toward Charleston, IL for twenty years or more there was a billboard proudly displaying a headshot of an insurance agent. The longer it was up, the more faded it got. The years of sun-bleaching made that man appear younger and younger. Now, if that were only the case in real life… that we look younger as we grow older….
So back to the question, is it time to update your headshots? Ask yourself these questions;
Having an old, outdated headshot can cue your future clients to think perhaps you just don’t care. Clothing trends, hair style, and background can tip a savvy client to whether or not this is a fresh or an archaic version of you.
Below are headshots of Haley Watkins, owner and operator of Sapphire Salon and Spa in Mattoon. Her hair color was a perfect reason to update her headshots. So, if it's time for you to get fresh headshots. Please call me at 217-962-0048 for details and we can set up an appointment. It’s truly a quick process and I’ve been told multiple times that it’s painless to boot!
Hope to see you soon!
Maddie absolutely loves all things Taylor Swift!
When she asked me to capture her in the 'Folklore vibe' I was thrilled to do so!
Click the link below to see all of the fabulous art our local photographers submitted!
Lacie Dague Haarmann of Designs by Lacie did some sprucing up on my logo. Small adjustments yet I think it's just right. Let me know what you think. :)
Mattoon Flower Shop and Melissa M. Harden at Studio 21 collaborated by creating a space for gorgeous prom photos. There were over fifty prom goers at the event between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM. Sit back and enjoy the show.
On April 9th, I went to Doudna to set up a pop-up studio for the Charleston High School prom goers. Everyone looked sooo good! They were a little shocked that I was photographing them for free. What is more fun and rewarding than photographing a bunch of gorgeous people going to a fun event?!
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Is your DREAM session outdoors, with horses? In a flower field? If not, where? If your click the button below, we can set up a free consultation and studio tour. While you are here we can chat about everything you want your session to be and then some!
Your wouldn't leave one of the most important time of your life to an amateur now would you?
Contact Melissa to make your senior portrait dreams come true!
This is what a VIP session at Studio 21 looks like. Fun outfits, accessories, posing direction, lights, fog, and awesome portraits!
Want to learn more?
Just click the button!
My office is slowly becoming a mini museum of all sorts of cool items. Some of my treasures are from my family and friends. See the name plate in the photo above? That was on my grandfather's mailbox. My late brother, Lester, was named after him. I didn't know my grandfather very well since he lived in California and I grew up in Mattoon, IL. We didn't even meet until I was a preteen. I am grateful for the time, however short, that I had with him.
The pencil sharpener on the wall to the far right, that was my late Uncle Jack's. He used it a lot in his line of work as a foreman at a company called International Extrusion in California.
The camera is a welded metal-work piece that was created and gifted to me by a client-friend.
Looking around my office and seeing all of the different tools and imagery inspires me daily.
What inspires you?
Want a fabulous gift item?
I just couldn't resist adding this classy crystal holder to my offerings. It holds six-two sided 8x6 sturdy, mounted portraits for you to proudly display on a desk, counter, or bookcase. You can change up the portrait whenever you want to.
Just in case you are curious... portrait consultations and studio tours are complimentary. All you have to do is hit that button, I'll contact you to set a date. Easy as pie!
Some of the advantages of becoming a Studio 21 VIP are the unique or exclusive locations, one-of-a-kind props, and modeling opportunities!
Liv is the OG VIP here ate Studio 21! We had so much fun creating art together. Check it out!
Applications are only open for 4 weeks!
Let's see if you think this program is for you...
Hit this LINK if you want to apply. There are limited spots so don't think on it for too long. ;)
Today, my mission is to share the difference between those awesome small prints and what we should admire on the walls of our home and office. Studio 21 is a full service photography studio. I will guide you on which prints will work best for gifting and the different sizes and materials for installing your masterpieces. You may be asking yourself, "Materials?". Studio 21 offers wall art in metal, acrylic, linen, and mounts. At your consultation and ordering session, we will discuss which will suit your decorating style.
Let's get started!
What is a gift print exactly?
It is an 8x10 or smaller. These are intended for you to gift to others. They are wonderful for displaying on desks, table tops, shelves, and bookcases.
Wall art pieces are substantially larger. They make a statement all on their own.
Wall art galleries are a collection of wall art pieces that compliment each other.
In my experience, most people think that an 8x10 is a large print and needs to be on the wall. As you will see in the photos below, that it is really too small to showcase by itself. A fantastic presentation is a collection of 8x10s. I personally prefer metal prints on float mounts however, in 11x14 frames with mats are another great presentation.
As you can see, one tiny 8x10 on the wall just isn't working. To create an interesting gallery, it takes multiple prints. The larger ones are nice by themselves however they present much better and even "tell a story" with more than one.
I would love to meet you, show you the different wall art materials, and to see how we can get some gorgeous art work on your walls! Click this button for your complimentary consultation and a tour of the studios.
Melissa M. Harden
Just letting the world know that I am in L♥VE with my new crystal albums! They are absolutely fabulous! This album is wrapped in black leather with a beveled crystal cover that features your favorite portrait. Talk about an elegant heirloom! Your family will pass this gem down the generations! I carry it in 12x12 and 10x10 sizes.
Now, let me tell you about the super cool keepsake boxes. They come with twenty mounted 5x7 portraits and a personalized crystal USB. ((do you see a theme here?)) These photos just do not do them justice. You reeeally need to see them in person.
You could call me for a complimentary consultation and tour of the studios (insert grin here). 217-962-0048 or hit this button below. :)
Right before a portrait session, Nina handed me a beautiful purple, satin bag and told me to open it. She had the biggest smile on her pretty face so, I knew it was special. When I opened it, and read those beautiful words, I could have just bawled!
You see, Nina has been my biggest fan from the first moment we worked together in my studio. She has been calling me 'World Renowned' for years. Why? Am I truly a world renowned photographer? No. Not yet. She is speaking to my future. She is giving me the gift of positivity but really more than that. She has complete faith in my abilities in my profession and God to bless me. I already loved her beyond measure but now I know without a doubt that she is and always will be in my corner.
I am thankful for the beeeeautiful camera strap but more than that, I am most thankful for her unfailing ability to lift me up and give me another reason to smile.
"Every time I think of you I thank God for you."
Philippians 1:3-5 ♥
Alyssa Gullion, Haley Watkins, Paula Turner, and Chance Harden
I cannot brag enough about this team of mine! They are absolutely TOP NOTCH! I am thrilled with their work ethic, attitudes, and the end results of their awesome work!
Everyone should have a team like the Studio 21 team!
Lifestyle photography is all about capturing you in your element. If your element is working at home, the session should be there, are you a wine taste tester, you session should be at a winery while you sip and test wine. Indoors, outdoors, at your desk, cooking, traveling... let your imagination run wild! There are several types of headshots sessions and Lifestyle is the most freeing because you are truly being you!
If you are ready to update your headshots just call me! 217-962-0048
Here is a link to all of the different types of headshots sessions that are available at Studio 21 in Mattoon.
It is bitterly cold outside and most of us we are indoors with dry air heat. You know what that means right? DRY SKIN!
Get out the body lotion and the lip balms to keep you from itching, scratching, and your lips from cracking and bleeding! Aw come on now... it only takes a few seconds and it will help you feel more comfortable.
Take care of your skin! I mean, it's holding you together right?! lol