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Learning from the best. Or how to shoot great portraits of regular people.

Headshot Portrait of Yves K. by Patric Pop Photo in Genève / Geneva

Headshot Portrait of Yves K. by Patric Pop Photo in Genève / Geneva

Is he an actor? No. Is he a model? No.
Who is he then?

Answer: a regular guy shot by Patric Pop.

Ever since I have been working as a professional photographer, I am putting my focus is on creating the very best images for all of my clients. Originally, Yves was sent over by his CEO at HP to shoot some decent corporate headshots with me - I spare you the original image he had been using on his Linkedin profile – and out he walked with some absolute knockout images!

That is also the reason why I do keep reinvesting a lot into continuous training to learn from the industry's leaders.

I recently completed a training with Jerry Ghionis in Los Angeles.
If you are not familiar with Jerry, all you need to know is him being the most awarded photographer ever of the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International), earning him the title of Grand Master.

Will I start now shooting weddings? I do enjoy working with people, but there is so much going on such a special day, not sure yet if that industry is for me.
But working with Jerry Ghionis made me look at my work differently.

Look at your client.

While in the past I had been focusing on the light, I started to look more at where the shades define the portraits. This process lead me to deepen my portrait work and to bring in more depth into my headshots. Depending on the facial features of each of my clients I do choose the lighting style and background color that suits them most.

Winning the Headshot of the Month competition.

With my improved way of working, I did win the international Headshot of the Month competition in September, with the shot of Yves that you see here.
In the final round of votes for winning the competition, my image did win by a 2/3 landslide against Emmy award winner Tommy Collier!

Not only is this a greatly appreciated feedback, now I am invited to New York City to work for 3 days with my mentor Peter Hurley, the master of Headshot photography over the past years.
He will also take my own headshot! The full « Shabang » as we Associates of the Headshot Crew say !

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How many shades does your portrait show?

How many shades does your portrait show?

How many shades does your portrait show?
Accordingly to British researchers, men stare in the mirror 18 times, women even 38 times a day. While these impressive numbers of checking in with your mirrored self reassure you about your familiar features, yet, we seldom take the opportunity to to see us under a - please allow the pun - different light.

Stepping in front of the camera of a professional photographer changes the way you look at yourself. Flaws may be appearing more than expected on the tethered computer screen connected to the camera. When stepping out of your comfort zone, you are confronted with unfamiliar treats brought up by me, your photographer.

First, I do objectively assess all of your face’s features and do coach you to make you look your best. And if I see the potential, we do go the extra mile. In this case, I am absolutely thrilled by this shot taken of Vincent Leroux, who by day works in the high-end real estate business and by night turns into a …

Instead of hiding them, I wanted to portray his trademark, the prominent scars resulting from an emergency surgery when he was a toddler, with over 100 stitches after a dog did chew half of his face off.

And I am very pleased to learn that Vincent is so happy with the result that he took away the tame corporate headshot and uploaded this portrait as his official LinkedIn profile pic.
For sure he stands out of the crowd now - who knows if we are launching a new trend by showing a different shade?

As always, I am happy to answer any questions.
Patric Pop

Official Associate of Peter Hurley’s Headshot Crew

Paying attention to your look pays off: +167%

Paying attention to your look pays off: +167%

Paying attention to your look pays off: +167%
This testimonial from my client Zhanara is a wonderful example of how our online presence is valued.
« I always wanted to do a professional headshot which would look beautiful yet smart and natural, which is always a challenge when you work in non-beauty industry as it is hard to keep a balance between all of them. I enjoyed working with Patric and grateful for all ideas and coaching he provided me with to make my best shot. When I changed my profile picture on LinkedIn, the visibility of my profile has increased by 167% vs the previous week – people really do pay attention to your look! »

The way how we position ourselves in the wide world of the interlinked web determines also who notices us. Chances are that we leave a lasting first impression on the viewer, and that recruiters bookmark your profile for future reference.

While I do consult and coach countless clients in outplacement who are seeking to change jobs and transition to new careers, I do have the chance to also work often with individuals who put emphasis on their perceived value.

Investing in an updated Headshot generates improved interest in your profile, stirring up a conversation with business partners, potential clients and within the company itself.

What outcome would you hope happening to you as a result of a new Headshot?

“The harder I practice, the luckier I get.”

“The harder I practice, the luckier I get.” To quote one of the all-time golf greats, Gary Player, I do see this happening all the time in my role as professional Headshot photographer.

While I do have the chance to shoot all year long clients from very diverse fields – smaller and medium-sized entreprises, CEOs, mommy + newborn, kids, teenagers, families, members of the committee of a golf club, etc… – I am often asked to shoot clients looking for a new work experience.
Whether they still are in the job, or have been unemployed for some time, all of my clients have one thing in common: they realized that in order to be seen on the market, they need to do everything possible to stand out from the crowd.

 

Ghosts don’t get seen: upgrade to a professional Headshot picture.

Your profile picture says a lot about you. But what happens when using placeholder images on your social media accounts?
LinkedIn calls that placeholder image “Ghost”. And just like a “real” ghost in real life, those placeholders on LinkedIn leave a weird impression to anyone seeking to get in contact with you.
We all know how getting noticed gets more difficult by the day. And while a perfect Headshot Portrait could make all the difference, a great many users keep using their “Ghost” pictures.
 
When I do see a “ghost” picture on LinkedIn, I do wonder if that person has something to hide. I understand companies and organisations trying to select the best candidates ruling out any possibility of discrimination by basing their decisions solely on the candidates’ work experience and not on looks.

However, I did experience the following insight with a Headshot client of mine. After her firm was dislocating from Switzerland, my client was hunting for a new job. Yet, she kept using only that “ghost” profile picture on professional websites.
Then she came to see me to have her Headshot Portrait taken. Knowing her job interview would take place the following week, I did express-rush the selection process and retouching of the final images.

After sending the final images, I did upload one of these images to my website portfolio on friday mentioning my client’s name.
On the day of her interview, my client still had not uploaded the fabulous new Headshot Portrait image to LinkedIn and was keeping the “ghost” placeholder pics.

By coincidence a couple of days later, I did check my website’s analytics and found there had been 7 (seven!) search requests using my client’s first and last name ending up on my website - and obviously on her Headshot Portrait! And yes, my client got that job.

As LinkedIn says, if you do post a picture of yourself, people are seven times more likely to click on your profile.

As Associate of the global Headshot Crew in Genève / Geneva, handpicked by my mentor Peter Hurley, the most successful professional headshot photographer of our time, I encourage all of you to put all chances on your side by either replacing the ghost image with a real profile picture, and even better upgrading by getting a professional Headshot Portrait taken that reveals your full potential.

I am looking forward hearing from you.
Wishing you a Happy Halloween and please don't scare me with lousy profile pics…

How to get the best Headshot Portrait Photo taken when wearing glasses.

Chances are, you probably have to wear glasses at work.
As Associate of the globally operating HeadshotCrew Portrait Photographers in Genève / Geneva, handpicked by Peter Hurley, the most successful professional headshot photographer of our time, I encourage all of my clients to wear their glasses at their headshot photo session to work together closely and to achieve stunning results.

And if you are like me, who has been wearing glasses since the tender age of seven, not having your glasses on makes you feel naked. Me and my glasses are inseparable and I make it a must to be known for them. Interestingly, many of my clients are insecure wearing glasses in front of the camera, to the degree that they feel embarrassed, intimidated or simply shy.

And this specific case is no different of the many I have seen: while Anabel is super friendly and the kind of person whose' presence and conversation you will enjoy over a good dinner after work, she is not at ease in front of the camera. Holding back, holding her breath, creating mental stress and physical tightness. She wanted to start the session without glasses despite the fact that she wears them most of the time.

Comparison of the before and after headshot: shortly before booking my headshot session, she did see another professional photographer in Geneva. And the result from that photo session (shown in the small picture) gave her all the right to be doubtful on a positive result. As you can see in that one first deceiving image, she looked stressed, in pain, very unhappy.

I understand that other photographer’s motivation to move the studio flashes to the side to prevent unwanted reflections on the lenses. But moving the lights so far aside created deep contrasted lines on Anabel’s face. There is simply not enough light illuminating her face and in addition of having her long strands of hair dropping on dark clothes, creating this very dark, contrasty, even gloomy picture. I don't know who took this crappy picture (and I honestly don't care - I would never ever give away such a picture for free or - god beware - charging money for it!), but it gave me the opportunity to excel and do better, as well as rebuild my client's confidence in herself and making her look good with her glasses on!

With my coaching technique I do help my clients achieve the best results, getting them to radiate naturally and showing confidence and approachability.

If you would like to take a picture of a friend wearing glasses, I recommend not using the on-camera flash (or smartphone flash) and using ambient light. Have the person turn the head until you don't have any unwanted reflection on the lenses.
And if you do shoot in a studio with strobes, well then you should be enough professional to have figured the best angles and how you position your lights…

And you - What are your fears of having your picture taken?
Share them with me and I can reassure you that my «Happy» Headshot Portrait package has all the potential to leave you deeply satisfied. Or even accepting your photo being taken and being serene with the more extensive «Bliss» Headshot Portrait Package.
Looking forward hearing from you. – Patric Pop

When a Business Executive Coach decides to get her Headshot Portrait done, what are you waiting for?

As Associate of the globally known HeadshotCrew Portrait Photographers in Genève / Geneva, handpicked by Peter Hurley, the most successful professional headshot photographer of our time, I recently did have the absolute privilege to shoot Business Executive Coach Anne Moity from Potential Centric Coaching.
Until she came to see me for a corporate headshot portrait, she was using a quick snap taken at her office - which certainly was ok compared to most corporate pictures that are out there on LinkedIn or similar social media sites -  but which showed her not being at ease. This unease translated into a lack of confidence, which is quite the opposite of this strong woman.

At the photoshoot, I had the opportunity to work with Anne using my own coaching techniques to bring out her true nature. This woman certainly has to offer tons of business experience and together, we managed for her headshot to find the perfect balance of showing this experience, confidence, trustworthiness and approachability.
I managed to capture these subtle nuances in a timeless corporate portrait, where even her smile is credible and winning you over.
You may read her raving feedback on the testimonials page.

If a Business Coach has felt the need to redo her Headshot to stay updated in the age of personal branding on social media, what are you waiting for to book your Headshot photo session?

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