Photographer Michael e. Stern
The day has come when you (gulp), can’t put if off any longer. You need a professional head shot, an update or a brand new one. And you want it to be really good. You may not realize it but trust me you also want to experience a good time, enjoy a few laughs and gain insight into the process of crafting a professional level head shot. But don’t overlook the most important aspect…the delivered image must work for you. I certainly keep that in mind for you. FYI, the photograph above is a self-portrait. I don’t recommend the “Selfie” technique unless you’re knowledgeable in what to do.
Competencies you can expect from me
Easy going personalities make for very easy sessions, on both sides of the camera. For some folks however it’s akin to spending time with the enemy: “the camera always takes bad photos of me.” You know it’s not the camera right? Of course you do, but many people are too nice when expressing their disappointment in the end result. And they don’t want to blame the professional who does unacceptable work for them.
What are you being nice for? They screwed up. Not you. I say to you, “What are you doing to yourself, your time and your money?” Don’t let the photographer off the hook by being nice. Demand excellence. Demand Service. Be nice and polite about it of course, but demand nonetheless. All throughout your encounters with the photographer: phone, email and in person, expect to be treated royally. It’s your right as the consumer of a professional service. Your expectation should be sky high especially when hiring a pro. You want a pro who doesn’t phone it in. One who is absolutely joyful that you’ve made the choice to hire them. One who engages in small talk while deftly handing the technical requirements of a session. Keep your standards high. A good professional photographer will already have high standards and the cost to you will reflect that.
You can and should expect two versions: a serious/in command and a smile/friendly option. I provide both versions for you and you’re free to use them as you see fit.
Back in 2009, I volunteered an entire day photographing folks who were struggling with finding employment at the time.
Of course a professional photographer should make the crucial choices in a headshot a session and is the one you will hold responsible. If you are selective in hiring an authentic professional, you’ll never feel bad about how your new image makes you look and feel. Since 1980, I’ve booked close to 5,000 sessions and only once was the subject unhappy. (He was ill and his medication affected his mood)
My subjects have ranged from CEO’s, (Michael Eisner when he headed Disney), actors, politicians, (Ronald Reagan) doctors, salespeople, employees at all corporate levels and the unemployed. And by and large they have a good time. They were respected by me, respectful to me, usually, (oh well) and appreciated someone else being in charge, if only for a few moments.
I love being in this power position because I’m trusted to deliver results, not excuses. I do my best work when put in charge. I get huge kicks out of head shot sessions. The more the merrier. I provide advice on clothing, hairstyle and accessories so the finished photograph is exactly what you want and need. I’ve done as many as 70 in a day. Way over the top but you do the duty when duty calls. I limit sessions to 8-12 people a day as this maintains the quality level I’m known for.
Still not ready? That’s OK. I’m here when you’re ready. Always.
Thanks for reading.