Why You Need a Professional Portrait

When I introduce myself as a portrait photographer the majority of people say some version of: “Ugh, I need a new headshot.” If you’ve been meaning to update your portrait, read on.

Why do you need a professional portrait?

Melissa, consultant

Melissa, consultant

You have a digital identity as a professional that is your job to upkeep. The portrait on your professional social media profiles or your company’s website can often be the first time someone connects your name with your face. Even if your portrait is just going on LinkedIn, you want it to look good. And when you have a portrait that you are proud of, it eases that anxiety. If you wouldn’t wear your casual clothes to the office, why would you share an equally casual or unprofessional image of yourself with the world? You can frame the perception your clients have of you by the visual story you tell.

Why do we shy away from having portraits done consistently?

This comes down to two things: everyone wants to look good and people are scared to spend the money.

Tricia, consultant

Tricia, consultant

Without fail, we are our own worst critics. Most people are super uncomfortable in front of the camera. I am, too, believe it or not. But I relax when I know that the person taking the image is a) making me feel comfortable b) cares about what I look like and c) wants to make me look like the best version of myself. I want the photographer to tell me what to do with my face, or let me know that what I am doing is good. I want her to study my expressions and capture that moment that I don’t even know is happening. Spend time with me and I will care about what your face is doing, what your eyes are saying and and what story you want to tell. I want to capture every emotion from serious to hilarious.

Rory, art historian

Rory, art historian

Good news is that if you don’t change your look often you won’t need to update your headshot every year, but it’s imperative if you’ve shaved off your beard, for instance, or changed industries. You can probably get away with having the same portrait for a couple of years. But be straight with yourself: do your images look dated? Will someone recognize you?

The investment you make in your professional portrait will pay for itself as it will boost your confidence, you’ll be organized and ready to digitally share your image when the need arises, and the perception of you and your work will be mirrored in its professionalism. Plus, when you’re busy, it’s quite nice to spend a little extra time on how you look and have fun during the photo session!

Questions? Or are you ready to schedule your photo session? Feel free to email me directly or fill out this form to be in touch.

3 Reasons to Have Family Photos Done


Something to hold, gift, and treasure.

I absolutely treasure photographs of our parents, grandparents and even great grandparents. It’s incredible to see the resemblances and hear family stories. Though we are all taking family shots and videos with our phones everyday, how many do you want to print and hang on the wall or gift to friends and family?


Parents deserve to be in the photos, too.

Moms and dads are always behind the camera. Us moms, especially, rarely get in there with everyone. But those are the images that will hold the deepest meaning for our kids as they get older.

It could be that the next few years bring a lot of change, like new jobs, new homes and new cities. Creating a visual diary through family photos is a beautiful way to document not just growing up, but the inevitable process of life.


All the cliches are true.

They do grow up so fast and there is no time like the present. Am I right?

Your house will never be neat enough, the kids might be fighting, and dog might have puked right before the photographer shows up but guess what? That’s real life. And that’s never apparent in the final results. It just makes a good story in the end.

Plan now and reserve a day this year to schedule your family photo session. Do you have a family reunion coming up? Or a visit from the grandparents? Or do you simply want to document life in the present moment, get in touch and we’ll make a plan. Email me or fill out the form.

How to Prepare for a Photoshoot

Producer Anne Gillies

Producer Anne Gillies

The impetus to schedule a portrait session is usually fueled by a project or a big event: you're building a new website, you need a portrait for publicity, you've gotten engaged, or you're making holiday cards. These times can feel busy, and most people feel nervous about being photographed. That is totally normal.

Here are some easy-to-follow tips to prepare for being photographed. This goes for professionals as well as family portraits.

Rest is best. Daniel Tiger is always right. Think about giving yourself some breathing room in the days approaching your photo session. Get some sleep and don’t overpack your schedule.

Healthy intake. Drink lots of water, avoid foods that irritate your skin and be kind to yourself.

Grooming. Avoid a major hairstyle change (unless that’s what you want to document!) and give yourself enough time to make appointments with your favorite beauty professionals.

Wendy, boxer

Wendy, boxer

Simple is better. When thinking about clothes, accessories and your space, remember to keep it simple and appropriate. You don’t want what you are wearing to distract from capturing the perfect expression or moment.

Try on your clothes. As far as simplicity goes, think about necklines, colors and tailoring that flatter you.

Trust your photographer. Having a portrait done is a partnership. By taking good care of yourself prior to the photo session, it allows me to connect with you, learn about you and make the best images.

Waiting for Yaya

When my daughter was 6 months old, we found a wonderful babysitter, Lexi. As my girl learned to talk, Lexi was given the nickname Yaya. So on the mornings of Yaya's arrival, Ellie waits for ages at our window screaming, "IS YAYA HERE YET?" And it's the best.


Intentions of Morning People

I love being part of CreativeMornings/Buffalo. For the July 2018 event the theme was Intention, with the amazing speaker Myron Glick of Jericho Road. I offered a portrait for any willing attendee. All these amazing faces showed up!

A trick I often use when photographing someone is to ask them to close their eyes for a moment. This softens the gaze and can assist with a more natural expression. With the theme of the event in mind, I asked each participant to focus on an intention he or she had for the moment, the day, the month, or the year. And when he or she was ready, eyes opened and I captured that moment of intention.

I was fiercely impressed with the willingness of strangers and friends alike to share that moment with me. You are all inspired. See everyone up close here.

Time Capsule at Grindhaus, July 2018

In my 20s I worked at this amazing shop in Boston with some of my best friends. Looking back, it was a pivotal moment in my life. I met my future husband when I worked there and we all look back on those days with the acknowledgement that we as women together lifted each other up and made each other stronger.

A friend introduced me to Grindhaus, a special cafe in the Allentown neighborhood of Buffalo. I was invited to show some of my photography, but immediately I wanted to document the faces of the women working here. Women owned, female empowered, and so achingly cooler than I ever could be, I quickly witnessed a fierce community. Selfishly, it reminds me of a different time of my life, and I wanted to create a time capsule for them to show how beautiful they all are at this moment.

Thank you Megan, Ari, Bella, Nicole (LJ) & Vanessa.