How Professional Head Shots Can Change Your Life


Ward-1We’ve all heard it before: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression!” It’s so true. Since humans are visual creatures, our first impressions are made with our eyes. This is the case with everything in our lives, anywhere from simply ordering food, to dating, or to purchasing a home. This applies even more online in the social-media world. In today’s digital age, social-media profiles are increasingly important in building your identity. It is very rare that you meet someone who doesn’t have a Facebook profile, LinkedIn Professional profile, Twitter account or some type of dating profile. With all of these profiles, the main focal point is the profile picture and that serves as the “first impression”.  With that being the case, it is vital that you invest in yourself with a professionally created headshot and photography to use in all aspects of your social-media life.

Another one we have all heard before is “A picture is worth a thousand words”. In the case of your profile picture, this is true as well. Especially with LinkedIn, the profile picture or lack thereof could make or break your chances at getting an interview for a job. LinkedIn statistics show that people are 11 times more likely to be viewed and considered for the job if they have a photo. If you don’t have a photo as a part of your social-media profile, people will assume the worst. Thats exactly what you don’t need.

Imagine that you are on a dating site and you found what you considered to be the perfect person for you, but they don’t have a photo. Would you believe what their profile said about them? Would you believe that they were the tall attractive blond that they described themselves as or some extremely unattractive person who is too afraid to put their real selves out there? Now imagine that you are an employer or a recruiter that was sent a LinkedIn resume to view. You read the resume and it seems extremely impressive, but there is no profile picture. Are you going to believe what the resume says? Don’t make the huge mistake of not having a photo on your profile – and don’t make the mistake of posting the WRONG picture. If “A picture is worth a thousand words” you want your profile picture to say what you’re worth!

It’s very important to have professional head shots taken to use on your LinkedIn profile. Since the picture is the first impression that you can give to the employer/recruiter, it needs to be the best. Your professionalism is reflected in the quality of the image, the degree of welcome in your expression and the overall “energy” you exude. Special attention ought to be paid to the selection of your pose, wardrobe and facial expression. A thoughtful, pleasing portrait instantaneously enhances you, pulls people in and motivates them to learn more about you. A poorly composed, pixilated or unflattering photo will quickly deflate visitors to your page. An effective headshot conveys trust and facilitates connection. Make a strong first impression with a profile photo that represents the Big Picture. Choosing the right photo enhances your brand, and provides a face and voice for the words on your profile. Never use photos of you with your family or pets–save that for your Facebook albums, not your profile picture.

It’s also smart to use your headshot or an image of yourself on your advertising materials such as business cards, newspaper ads, billboards or brochures. The reason why is that prospects, customers and colleagues enjoy doing business with people they can relate to and feel like they know. A smiling realtor’s face on business cards and fliers is one way they try to build trust and like-ability – and paves the way for very large purchases. This goes for any business. You can never go wrong with investing in professional photography… It could change your life!

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CMMS Studio and Haute Couture

CMMS Studio (Custom Multi-Media Solutions, Inc.), a Photography, Graphic Arts and Videography studio located in Loris, South Carolina has been at the forefront of fashion photography incorporating couture fashion for their models. South Carolina is the epicenter for Beauty Pageantry and the competition is fierce. All the contestants need to submit a portfolio for competition. These portfolios are subsequently used for submission to modeling agencies. Beautiful girls and couture fashion complement both fashion and striking portfolios.

CMMS Studio has been working with Tanya-Marie Design, a couture fashion design and retail shop in the Miami Fashion District highlighting the artistry of these unique fashion pieces. Finalists from the Miss South Carolina USA pageant have been showcased wearing this luxurious clothing.

During the past month, we have seen designers from New York to Paris take their bows as the autumn/winter womenswear season played out across the fashion capitals. Fashion would not be the same without Haute Couture. (Pronounced oot-cooture). Haute Couture is a French phrase for high fashion.  Couture means dressmaking, sewing, or needlework and Haute means elegant or high, so the two combined imply excellent artistry with the fashioning of garments. The term indicates the business of designing, creating, and selling custom-made, high fashion.


The petites mains, are the “little hands” of the thousands of seamstresses, embroiderers and other artisans who have produced sumptuous, precision-made attire since Parisian couture houses first appeared in the mid-19th century. They deserve even greater accolade: Along with daring and brilliant designer visions, the most striking thing about haute couture is the absolute perfection of the handwork. The “made to measure” exclusive clothes are virtually made by hand, carefully interlined, stay taped and fitted to perfection for each client.

France has been at fashion’s forefront since the 17th century, when the court of Louis XIV set European standards of elegance, craftsmanship and excess. A century later, Marie-Antoinette’s dressmaker and milliner, Rose Bertin, became so influential she was nicknamed Minister of Fashion. But the first true haute couturier is widely considered to have been Charles Frederick Worth.

The English draper founded his fashion house in 1858, presenting collections of model garments from which clients could choose. “My work is not about executing [the client's desires], it’s about inventing them,” Worth said in 1871. Eventually his label was a copy of his signature. The era of couturier as artist and arbiter had arrived.

Haute couture began a slow decline in the 1950s, accelerated by the baby-boomer youth quake, the radical change in lifestyle that followed and the rise of designer ready-to-wear. Haute couture is an experimental and creative laboratory whose positive image translates into the lesser priced, but still costly designer label known as Prêt-à- Porter or ready to wear.

The fabrics available to couture designers are luxurious and include the latest novelty fabrics and expensive silks, fine wools, cashmeres, cottons, linens, leather, suede, other skins or furs.  In many cases, the design and color of a cloth, may be exclusively reserved for that designer.

Outside specialists make accessories either by design or inspiration.  Hats, trimmings, buttons, belts, costume jewelry, shoes and innovative pieces are finely crafted to complement the fabrics and fashion ideas being created.  Superb craftsmanship, a fresh idea and publicized internationally renowned names all command a price to match. Those able to afford couture are happy to pay for exclusivity and the privacy afforded by the system.

Sea tones are the colors for this season. Deep ocean blue, sea foam or jade green ensembles were seen throughout the fashion run way shows for 2013. Metallic’s are still in high demand coupled with bold accessories and sheer fabrics.

Cmms Studio (Custom Multi-Media Solutions) has highlighted these trends in their portfolio work which can be viewed on their Facebook page and web site and on Tanya-Marie Design’s  Facebook page







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Hats and hair accessories were the rage at London Fashion Week.  CMMS Studio Photography has also been on top of this trend adding millinery to their model’s photo shoots.

The British Fashion Council has opened a show: “Headonism” showcasing the newest in millinery fashion as the London College of Fashion opened “Head On” exploring the role of hats in contemporary fashion.

Historically, hats have been considered a part of an ensemble and in many cases social correctness required the wearing of a hat, especially in England.  CMMS Studio has now found a rebirth of millinery in popular culture. The recession, as a backdrop, is a part of this flourishing hat design re-birth, as headpieces have long been associated with stature. In this economic downturn hats are being worn to this effect.

Wit and whimsy set the tone for the varied looks at the fashion catwalks this year. Wildly plumed bonnets, silk turbans, veiled hats, berets, were all seen as pop culture headgear. Jaunty irreverence and spirited youthfulness defined the collections.

Unconfined by the need for neck holes and arm sleeves, milliners can express creativity with freedom as few other designers can. The inspiration can be found in the natural world (feathers), in geometry, exoticism and in history. The final product expresses the wearer’s personal style.

Bolted, the new ready to wear collection from Keely Hunter Millinery is an amazing line. Inspired by London street culture and a love of fluorescents and perspex, Bolted featured a range of ready to wear beanies and flat peak caps emblazoned with pop culture motifs.

According to Fashion-Era, known for historical fashion research, “Humans have covered their heads since time immemorial.  Initially headwear offered protection from the elements and from injury from falling rocks, weapons or masonry.  Later head coverings became symbols of status of authority.  Soon after hats progressed to become not only a uniform, but also an art form.

In fashion terms, hats are a noticeable accessory because the onlooker’s attention is first drawn to the face. A hat is the most noticeable fashion item anyone can wear.  The old saying goes ‘if you want to get ahead and get noticed, then get a hat’.  Indeed the word ‘ahead’ means just that one head further forward.

Millinery has existed in Britain since 1700.  In English courts the term milliner was used and this was derived from the term for travelling haberdashers from Milan in Italy.  These travelling sales people sold all the items necessary to dress and were called milliners.

In France hats were made by hat-makers called chapeliers.  Today the term modiste is used in France.  Today technically a hat-maker makes hats for men whilst a milliner makes hats for women.

Running parallel to these hat-making arts are feather workshops or more correctly workshops called plumassiers where feathers are dyed and made into arrangements.  Plumes have always been a status symbol and sign of economic stability.

Millinery trends will always complement fashion trends of the season. For 2013 citrus and pastel colors will be popular. We will see a lot of beautiful lace colors.

Hailing from Dublin, milliner, Paula Lawlor shares her top tips for when it comes to choosing that all-important hat to wear: “Personally a lady has some issues to address. If you are petite or a larger sized lady a huge hat with large brim may be your image to wear but practically will not suit your stature.  Think of structure and height, it will elongate your figure; you can be dramatic and carry a tall sculptured piece with ease.

Always try on sizes and styles, don’t invest in a hat just because the color matches your outfit. A big part of an outfit and the wearing of a hat has so much to do with confidence, if you feel a million dollars in an outfit you will have poise and style, that magic ingredient is in us all.”


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Reasons Professional Photographers Cannot Work Free

Dear potential photo buyer,

If you have been directed to this page, it is likely that you have requested the use of an image or images for free or minimal compensation.

As professional photographers, we receive requests for free images on a regular basis. In a perfect world, each of us would love to be able to respond in a positive manner and assist, especially with projects or efforts related to areas such as education, social issues, and conservation of natural resources. It is fair to say that in many cases, we wish we had the time and resources to do more to assist than just send photographs.

Unfortunately, such are the practicalities of life that we are often unable to respond, or that when we do, our replies are brief and do not convey an adequate sense of the reasons underlying our response.

Circumstances vary for each situation, but we have found that there are a number of recurring themes, which we have set out below with the objective of communicating more clearly with you, and hopefully avoiding misunderstandings or unintentionally engendering ill will.

Please take the following points in the constructive manner in which they are intended. We certainly hope that after you have had a chance to read this, we will be able to talk again and establish a mutually beneficial working relationship.

Photographs Are Our Livelihood
Creating compelling images is the way we make our living. If we give away our images for free, or spend too much time responding to requests for free images, we cannot make a living.

We Do Support Worthy Causes With Images
Most of us do contribute photographs, sometimes more, to support certain causes. In many cases, we may have participated directly in projects that we support with images, or we may have a pre-existing personal relationship with key people involved with the efforts concerned. In other words, each of us can and does provide images without compensation on a selective basis.

We Have Time Constraints
Making a leap from such selective support to responding positively to every request we get for free photographs, however, is impractical, if for no other reason than the substantial amount of time required to respond to requests, exchange correspondence, prepare and send files, and then follow-up to find out how our images were used and what objectives, if any, were achieved. It takes a lot of time to respond to requests, and time is always in short supply.

Pleas of “We Have No Money” Are Often Difficult to Fathom
The primary rationale provided in nearly all requests for free photographs is budgetary constraint, meaning that the requestor pleads a lack of funds.

Such requests frequently originate from organisations with a lot of cash on hand, whether they be publicly listed companies, government or quasi-government agencies, or even NGOs. Often, it is a simple matter of taking a look at a public filing or other similar disclosure document to see that the entity concerned has access to significant funding, certainly more than enough to pay photographers a reasonable fee should they choose to do so.

To make matters worse, it is apparent that all too often, of all the parties involved in a project or particular effort, photographers are the only ones being asked to work for free. Everyone else gets paid.

Given considerations like this, you can perhaps understand why we frequently feel slighted when we are told that: “We have no money.” Such claims can come across as a cynical ploy intended to take advantage of gullible individuals.

We Have Real Budget Constraints
With some exceptions, photography is not a highly remunerative profession. We have chosen this path in large part due to the passion we have for visual communication, visual art, and the subject matters in which we specialise.

The substantial increase in photographs available via the internet in recent years, coupled with reduced budgets of many photo buyers, means that our already meager incomes have come under additional strain.

Moreover, being a professional photographer involves significant monetary investment.

Our profession is by nature equipment-intensive. We need to buy cameras, lenses, computers, software, storage devices, and more on a regular basis. Things break and need to be repaired. We need back-ups of all our data, as one ill-placed cup of coffee could literally erase years of work. For all of us, investment in essential hardware and software entails thousands of dollars a year, as we need to stay current with new technology and best practices.

In addition, travel is a big part of many of our businesses. We must spend a lot of money on transportation, lodging and other travel-related costs.

And of course, perhaps most importantly, there is a substantial sum associated with the time and experience we have invested to become proficient at what we do, as well as the personal risks we often take. Taking snapshots may only involve pressing the camera shutter release, but creating images requires skill, experience and judgement.

So the bottom line is that although we certainly understand and can sympathise with budget constraints, from a practical point of view, we simply cannot afford to subsidise everyone who asks.

Getting “Credit” Doesn’t Mean Much
Part and parcel with requests for free images premised on budgetary constraints is often the promise of providing “credit” and “exposure”, in the form or a watermark, link, or perhaps even a specific mention, as a form of compensation in lieu of commercial remuneration.

There are two major problems with this.

First, getting credit isn’t compensation. We did, after all, create the images concerned, so credit is automatic. It is not something that we hope a third party will be kind enough to grant us.

Second, credit doesn’t pay bills. As we hopefully made clear above, we work hard to make the money required to reinvest in our photographic equipment and to cover related business expenses. On top of that, we need to make enough to pay for basic necessities like food, housing, transportation, etc.

In short, receiving credit for an image we created is a given, not compensation, and credit is not a substitute for payment.

“You Are The Only Photographer Being Unreasonable”
When we do have time to engage in correspondence with people and entities who request free photos, the dialogue sometimes degenerates into an agitated statement directed toward us, asserting in essence that all other photographers the person or entity has contacted are more than delighted to provide photos for free, and that somehow, we are “the only photographer being unreasonable”.

We know that is not true.

We also know that no reasonable and competent photographer would agree to unreasonable conditions. We do allow for the fact that some inexperienced photographers or people who happen to own cameras may indeed agree to work for free, but as the folk wisdom goes: “You get what you pay for.”

Please Follow-Up
One other experience we have in common is that when we do provide photographs for free, we often do not receive updates, feedback or any other form of follow-up letting us know how the event or project unfolded, what goals (if any) were achieved, and what good (if any) our photos did.

All too often, we don’t even get responses to emails we send to follow-up, until, of course, the next time that someone wants free photographs.

In instances where we do agree to work for free, please have the courtesy to follow-up and let us know how things went. A little consideration will go a long way in making us feel more inclined to take time to provide additional images in the future.

Wrap Up
We hope that the above points help elucidate why the relevant photographer listed below has sent you to this link. All of us are dedicated professionals, and we would be happy to work with you to move forward in a mutually beneficial manner.

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