Your headshot session is much more than me taking a picture of you. I like what Tony Corbell has to say, "A photo is of someone. A portrait is about someone."
The images you use to promote your business or your service must portray your personality. With all of the hard work you have invested into your career, you deserve a proper visual representation of you!
Headshots for all of your advertising needs:
I wanted to create drama for this session with Tanille so I positioned my lights in a way that would focus just where I wanted them to.
The very first image took my breath away! I almost broke down in tears. It was exactly what I wanted to capture.
Then I had lit her up in other ways to showcase her hair and make-up.
My intentions for this entire shoot was to go black and white however the colors were too stunning to mute for every image. The portrait below is my absolute fave. I just adore her expression. I think she looks like a flamenco dancer.
Here is the black and white photograph I took. I love it however I am so happy to not have selected this muted format for all of the images.
Tanille has the ability to have so many different looks. A classic beauty if you ask me. During this session I got a little more creative with light and posing. Let me know what you think of these full-body images.
I offer a fine art after ever glamour session.
It's time for you to exist. in. photographs.
Call me at 217.234.2415
Melissa M. Harden
Starting with a bright white wedding gown, I tea-dyed it and ended up with a beautiful creamy vintage color dress for any occasion. ((take note of the fuzzy slipper and hot pink jammies))
It's a terrible cell phone photo however you can see the difference in color.
More crummy cell phone pictures... Nina up doing her hair.
A pretty dress, BIG hair, and a drop-dead GORGEOUS Nina and this is the end result...
Thank you Nina for being the subject of this project. This portrait won 1st place in the professional class at the Mattoon Art Council Exhibit.
Just take a look at this lil cutie will ya? Dominic stole my heart during his debut modeling session at Studio 21.
He, his big sister Jocelyn, mom, dad, and both nanas came for a family photo session.
What a blessed baby boy. He is so loved!
His sister is so very happy to finally get to meet him. Nine months was like forever to her.
Can you feel the love?
It wasn't long ago that we were anxiously awaiting your arrival.
Now you are in the loving arms of your mamma.
Born December 18th at 8 pounds, 10 ounces and 21 inches long!
Aaaw! Dominic approves this message. Thank you schweet lil man!!
Just sharing from my June 2014 journal...
Days Gone By
Upon entering a local assisted living facility, a bright-eyed elderly woman approached me. Since I had my gear in hand I asked if she was planning to get her photograph taken today. “Oh I am thinking about it!” she said with a smile. Her kind expression told me that she is a sweet soul. At my every glance she was smiling.
Skylor and Chance, my two sons, set up the props and backdrop. Such good workers. Not a second after the set was complete we had our first model. Thereafter, the pace was pretty smooth and quick. Hayley, an employee assisted each resident to my portable studio.
First, I take an individual portrait then we get the silly hats, wigs, glasses, even a feather boa, or some other goofy prop and snap away. The “models” really ham it up and have a good time. Photo sessions like these can become entertainment, like a show for them. They laugh, and then applaud each and every participant. Skylor and Chance help by putting the props back for me.
My new sweet friend came up for her turn in front of my camera. Once I took her photograph I turned my camera around and showed the image to her. She had a concerned look but still pleasant. She said, “That’s not me.” I smiled and reassured her that it is her. “Nooo” she continued, “that’s not me.” Her words resonated with my soul. She knew it was a portrait of her. She was telling me that on the inside she still feels young and full of life.
She then asked if I could dance. “No. Not formally. Sure wish I could.” I admitted. As she tapped her feet on the floor, “I used to!!”. I could see the joy fill her eyes as she reached deeply into her past.
I cannot express just how much I treasure the time I spend with our older generation. So much to learn. So much to appreciate.
Here are a few lines of a song written and performed by Jon Gibson titled Days Gone By.
I can see a picture of a boy, so young. Skimmin’ stones across a tiny stream, one by one. Catch a butterfly and let ‘em go. Climb a tree so high no one will know. These are the days gone by baby...
Melissa M. Harden
Ok.. so you have made your consultation appointment and now you need to prepare a bit for your glamour session. First of all, I want you to know that we are going to have a lot of FUN!
Here is a list of things to consider for your glamour session:
Glasses: If you wear eye glasses and contacts, I suggest wearing the contacts so your eyes take center stage.
Hair: Do you have a favorite hat, flowers, or clips for your hair? If yes, please bring them.
Clothes: Please bring all of your clothing items on hangers and make sure they are wrinkle-free.
Dresses: This is a glamour session so please bring your evening gowns- **especially the flowy/breeze-catching bottoms that can be twirled**. If you do not have one, perhaps a friend will loan you one.
Tops: Form-fitting blouses are best.. not skin tight however shape-flattering ones. Solid colors photograph best and plaids are the worst.
Pants: I typically photograph from the waist up so please be comfortable. (yes, yoga pants are just fine)
Shoes: Same thing.. wear whatever is comfy for your feet. However.. if you have a sexy pair of heels.. bring them
Jewelry/Accessories: The bigger the better when it comes to necklaces because they do frame the face well. Also please bring, belts, scarves, bracelets, and earrings.
Undergarments: Nude bras are the best because they do not show up underneath tops where black and white ones will.
Props: If you dance, are in a sport, or have unique talents please mention those to me and I will see how we can incorporate them into the shoot.
Other things to do and consider for your session:
Please wear a button-down top, have a clean and moisturized face, clean hair (a day dirty if it is hard to hold style) for your hair and make-up time with our professional team.
Please shave under arms, tweeze stray brows, and other personal maintenance.
PLEASE.. do not spray tan the day of or the day before your session!!!!
Approximately two weeks after your session you will be invited to view your images.
Go here for my boutique packages. If you have any questions at all please call me at 217.234.2415
Melissa M. Harden
Heirloom Quality Portraits or soon-to-be Obsolete Discs?
Can you imagine the family below proudly holding a DISC instead of their beautifully mounted, 16x24 print? Nah!! Just think, they will have that printed portrait for the next fifty or more years but where would a disc be? Not sure, perhaps in a box somewhere in an attic or basement. One thing I do know, by that time it will be obsolete and so will be the technology to read the disc.
No one ever gets emotional about a shiny, silver disc yet Elizabeth, cried happy tears when she first laid eyes on the printed images of her sweet family. She knows that her printed portraits will be on their walls for their friends, family, and guests to see for a very long time. A disc well, it may get misplaced, broken, or worse yet never opened for print which the latter happens more than we know.
I am not saying that I do not offer my clients digital files of their images. As a matter of fact I give them away! With each print my clients purchase, they in turn receive a digital image they can share on Facebook, email, or their phone.
It is not in the best interest of my clients to ONLY get digital files. Allow me to put it into perspective... if you were to commission an artist to create a painting of your family would you rather have the finished product or a digital file for you to print later (or never)? The same goes for the art of photography. When you go to print your photographs, will you know how to color correct, manage exposure, or know the best pro lab for quality prints? Of course not because it is my job to do those things for you.
When you order your heirloom quality portraits with me they are printed on archival mountboard.. all ready for framing. Then all you need to do is hang it on the most prominent wall of your home for all to see,
For any questions, comments, or appointments please call my studio at 217.234.2415
Melissa M. Harden, Paparazzo
Showdown at High Noon
Three weeks ago I was at one of my favorite nursing homes for a photo shoot. It was National Nursing Home Week. This facility was decorated up in a western theme. I set up my gear, western-themed props, and backdrop.
After the staff dressed up each of the residents I then snapped their photographs. They all had so much fun getting into character and posing for the photos. Honestly, I don't know who had a better time, the staff, residents, or me. We had a couple hold-ups, a few saloon gals, a couple bank robbers stopped by, there were some bad-to-the-bone cowboys, and even had an Indian visitor.
Bob, (not his real name) got into the spirit. He even tipped up a root beer bottle to make his photo seem more realistic to the theme. My new friend had a nurse dial my phone number a few days ago. He wanted to share with me just what a good time he had. Bob told me that I knew how to pose the people and get them into character. He said I was a very good photographer.
wOw! A gal could use a phone call or two like that every once in a while.
He had one request.. that I make a "WANTED: Dead or Alive" poster of him. I am just thrilled so, yes of course Bob! I will make a poster for you.
I cannot tell you how much my heart swells knowing these people are having a good time and enjoy my services. They will have these photographs to show their friends, family, and guests and to pass on for generations.
Of course I cannot share photographs of the residents however here are some of the staff...
Isn't she a beauty?!!
We found some lipstick and well... it was war paint for this Indian. Oh! And one more...
Don't they look like the roughest and toughest gang of cowgirls?
One thing I know for sure.. is the folks who live in nursing homes LOVE to have visitors. I would like to encourage you to go to the nearest facility to chat it up with a few people. You will more than likely walk out feeling blessed for having met such wonderful people.
Melissa M. Harden
Does that interest you at all? Of course it does. Nothing beats getting a great deal on a product or service you really want. Well, right now you have a chance to sign up for my email-only offers. Once a week you will receive an email with tip, tricks for taking better photographs, or on how to look your best when it is your time in front of a lens PLUS an exclusive offer to save money in my studio.
You will also have the opportunity to save some cash from local venders.
As a welcome gift, you will receive a one-of-a-kind spring cover photo for your social media account.
Answered yes did you?! Aaaw! I get it... you say you *always* look terrible in photographs. Am I right? Well, here are a few tips and tricks to help you look your best so you will not feel the need to duck away from a shutterbug.
Loosen up a bit! A headshot doesn't always have to be an individual standing in front of a neutral backdrop. If you are a dancer, you should be in your dance gear, a musician, with his guitar, and an artist, like Jodilyn, with her paintbrushes.
Before your headshot session, think about what you are most passionate about so we can implement it into your images so your true personality will shine!
Call me today to schedule your headshot session 217.234.2415 or 217.962.0048
WHY do you neeeeeed a headshot session? Because you need to ramp-up your brand. Don't sell yourself short with a seemingly narcissistic, bathroom mirror selfie. You deserve much better!
Your new headshot can be utilized for...
... Social media presence
... Business cards
... Book bio
... Kickstarter project
... Dating sites
... Acting/modeling portfolio
... Theatrical bio
... Press release
... Roll-up banners
... Email signature
... Any printed marketing materials
Now, let's look at the important details..
These are headshots so, I will only photograph you from the chest up.
Men- Wear your absolute favorite shirt... one you feel great in while wearing. You need to feel confident so you look it in your photos. I would also like to suggest that you bring a suit jacket, nice shirt, and a your favorite tie. Hats and props are unnecessary however, you may bring them for the fun of it. Please consider bringing three different shirts for the session. Oh! Most importantly, be prepared to have some FUN!
Ladies- Wear your favorite shirt or dress. One that makes you feel comfortable and beautiful. LIGHT make-up, neutral lip gloss, and minimal accessories. You want to look like yourself on your best day, and not look like you tried too hard so, please don't bother with tons of make-up. Be yourself, do your hair the way you would for every day.
Please consider bringing three different shirts or dresses to the session.
Eye glass wearers- If they are not anti-glare, you may want to consider taking them to Eye Express to have the lens removed just for the shoot. It's easy to do and it only takes a minute. (They are not far from my studio).
Now you know what to bring, wear, and do before the session. What are you waiting for? Call me and let's get this shoot on the calendar!
Blessings to you~ Melissa M. Harden at Studio 21