Is your headshot sabotaging you? Bad headshots vs good headshots

Good & Bad Headshots

What makes bad headshots vs good headshots? Is yours actually preventing you from making big moves in your career?

Does anyone even care? (Well, yes, and those people are out there killin’ it in the business world right now while the rest of us convince ourselves that no one wants what we have to offer).

See, it’s not that you’re not the perfect candidate for that position you’ve been stalking, or that you’re just lacking the skills (after all your experiences? you’ve got everything you need!). It’s just that you’re not positioning yourself out in the world so the right people can see your genius and that you are their dream come true.

You, my friend, are the perfect fit, and if you’re serious about getting your dream gig, I’m going to show you the first step to getting in the right people’s field of view—your headshot.

In this video I cover:

0:20 | The one person who steals 5 minutes of your time & why you want to be that person

1:19 | How to tell if your headshot is crappy & sabotaging you

2:06 | What 3 things make the recipe for a good headshot

2:42 | The thing about good headshots that makes your people flock to you, effortlessly

3:23 | How to brand yourself in your headshots to save you time, rejections and heartaches

4:43 | How to not get lost in the crowd…or your own photo

5:12 | The 1 overly-simple thing you can do right now to help you find your headshot style

5:31 | How to find the perfect photographer for you to help you achieve this

Since your headshot is only what gets your foot in the door, you’ll want to dive into how you don’t need to be the best to be valuable or successful next. Then you’ll be able to match your confidence to your headshots.

What makes bad headshots?

Well, you actually know pretty instinctively what makes bad headshots vs good headshots. If you’ve ever scrolled through any social newsfeed, you know you’re constantly scrolling past a million pictures. They’re clearly not catching your attention.

They’re the ones where the person’s in a traditional suit & tie with an overly forced smile on their face. There’s nothing wrong with a traditional suit & tie—but paired with a forced smile, these photos show zero personality, don’t give any insight into what that person’s like, and certainly don’t make your eyes linger for more than a moment.

So, what’s are good headshots like?

#1 — It captures your energy.

A good headshot shows what it’s like to work with you.

Are you the outgoing person in the office who’s always laughing, or are you the one who’s more reserved and focused on getting your work done?

Both are totally fine. But! You will save so much heartache, rejection and time if you depict your specific energy in your headshot.

See, by showing your personal nature in your profile picture, it’ll make people do 1 of 2 things:

  1. They’ll instinctively think, “Hm, not sure if they’d be the best fit.” or
  2. They’ll say, “This person looks like they’d be GREAT to work with!” and then precede to go talk about you to everyone else in the office.

And I’m living proof of this being the #1 thing that makes good headshots vs bad headshots!

Because mine is of me laughing, owning my tattoos and glasses in a simple red t-shirt, everyone who approaches me says, “I can just tell you have such a radiant energy because of your picture!”

#2 — It connects you to your niche audience.

People connect to people, not job titles.

Don’t believe me? In 2018, Forbes released an article stating, “…the vast majority of employers (88%) are looking for a ‘cultural fit’ over skills in their next hire as more and more companies focus on attrition rates.”

(P.S. If you don’t know what attrition means, it basically means being worn down.)

So what does this mean for your headshots?

It means dressing for the job you want, not the one you think everyone wants you to get.

So here’s a simple way to connect to your niche audience through your headshots:

• Really think about the kind of people or work environment you’d like to work with/in. (You have a choice! Really!)
• Wear clothes that match that and still truly represent you and your personality

You are your own brand, and confidently owning that that is what makes you indispensable.

#3 — It stands out.

The last thing you want your headshot to do is make you blend in with a bunch of trinkets or foliage so no one can really tell if there’s a human in the photo.

Now, you can have a headshot that uses those elements in a way that adds to the photograph, but you need a professional photographer who knows how to achieve that look.

So make sure you are the center of attention in your headshot.

Sounds silly and obvious, but a lot of us are afraid to really own who we are.

Here’s what makes your headshot stand out powerfully:

• It’s simple
• Your face is the main focus
• You have 1-2 eye-catching colors involved

And since we’re talking about being your own brand, why not make those colors your favorites, or ones you look best in? They don’t have to be bright red and blue to be eye-catching.

How do you achieve this when having photos taken is so damn uncomfortable?

I’m glad you asked, my friend.

It’s crucial that you find a photographer that:

  1. Specializes in headshots (would you go to a foot doctor to perform heart surgery?)
  2. Vibes well with you (so you trust them and can relax at your session) and
  3. Matches a style you’re interested in (because you will both be disappointed if you try to make a photographer recreate a headshot you saw on Pinterest that doesn’t match their own zone of genius)

And that’s all there is to bad headshots vs good headshots!

Final tip: bookmark this page and have it on hand the next time you update your headshots so you don’t waste your money on the wrong headshots or feel like you can’t take a good picture!

All good things,

P.S. Did someone come to mind while reading this who, when you see their headshot, you’re like “GIRL. That is NOT you”? Yeah… share this with them. They’ll thank you for it later.

Lauren is a personal branding photographer between Baltimore and Philadelphia in York, PA. She takes killer high-end headshots that make you say, “That’s me?!” and “That’s me.” at the same time. If you’re looking for candid event photography for your Baltimore- or Philly-based business, or other commercial photography, take a moment to browse!

The One Thing That Really Makes You Valuable (Hint: It’s Not Being The Best)

Do you really have to be the best to be valuable?

You have an idea for a business that makes you rattle on about it to anyone who will listen. Hell, you even daydream about the day Oprah will interview you for it! But when it comes to actually selling it, you clam up. “It’s no million-dollar life coaching package…I’m not sure the font I’m using even pairs well with my message. Who would want to buy this? Is my offer even valuable?

Our fear of not being good enough keeps us from seeing how much value our products and services actually bring to the table for the people we work with.

As a result, it can stop us from putting ourselves out into the world to share what we have to offer.

And because we’re too nervous to share what we have to offer, we can deny thousands of people the very thing that could change their lives!

We think we have to have every piece of the puzzle together before we can present ourselves and our services to the world. But the reality we can’t see is that that ideology inhibits us.

I promise you—people want what you have to offer, but what you have to offer goes way beyond your quality and presentation.

So, what makes your offering truly valuable?

If you’ve been feeling like you’re not going to get anywhere because your brand’s quality isn’t top-shelf yet, watch this video and think again.

In it I cover what really adds value to your brand, product and service, along with:

• 0:33 | How I’ve failed with my product but still ended up with happy clients (and what really mattered to them)

• 1:32 | What role feelings play in your value

• 3:14 | Why it doesn’t matter how you feel about your work or your product

• 3:33 | How my experience with different tattoo artists influenced how I felt about my tattoos

• 5:48 | What you actually have to be & do to be valuable to your clients or people you’re working with (and how it benefits you)

What are you waiting for? Get clicking!

If you’re interested in learning how you can find more success by being yourself through your personal brand and your brand’s images, swing back around to the website and get started.

All good things,

Lauren is a personal branding photographer between Baltimore and Philadelphia. She takes killer high-end headshots that make you say, “That’s me?!” and “That’s me.” at the same time. If you’re looking for candid event photography for your business or other commercial photography, take a moment to browse!

Courtney’s Studio Headshots

Courtney’s Studio Headshots

Courtney joined me in the studio to capture her most recent achievement: graduating from the police academy.

When I first spoke with her, Courtney said when she was in college she made a point to study something she was interested in and enjoyed. For her that was criminal justice.

Fast forward years later to her most recent graduation, she wanted to make it known through her photographs that she earned what she does for a living; many people along the way tried to tell her she wasn’t cut out for the job.

I think these photographs speak that truth for themselves.

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Here’s to the many endeavors ahead of you, Courtney!

Looking for some shots like these for yourself? Shots that you feel like you can say that’s me to? View more or book your own session.

All good things,
Lauren

york pa photographers

Lauren is one of the many talented York PA photographers, though she’s strayed away from the mainstream and focuses on personal branding photography. She makes sure your brand’s photos match where your business is going, not just where it’s been. If you’re looking for a personal branding photographer near Baltimore, York Pa photographers, Philadelphia photographers, commercial photography, product photography, or headshots, get in touch with her!

Hailey’s Studio Headshots | York PA Photographers

Hailey’s Studio Session | York, PA Photographers

Hailey joined me in the studio to update her headshots and showed up as her most comfortable and confident self.

How’d she do that? By being her.

She came decked out in rainbow nails for Pride (I couldn’t stop staring at them…you’ll see why in a minute), a kickass skeleton shirt, and her vintage-vibe frames. No overly done makeup, no stiff hairstyle, no dress shirt—just her beautiful self.

You don’t have to be anything but you to make a double-take worthy headshot; the response to Hailey’s photos ranged from “Dude she looked killer!” to “This is so natural I love it!”

Have a look for yourself:

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Hailey’s a graphic designer who has seen her work appear in Target. (She said she stood in the aisle crying awkwardly in front of strangers when she saw it in person for the first time. I love that—very much.)

Art’s been a huge part of her life, and I—and everyone else—completely adore that she brought that into her headshots.

Because you don’t have to be what you think everyone else wants you to be in order to get where you want to go.

In fact, the opposite is true. Be who you are, and the right job, the right audience—the right everything—will start to line up for you. (We’re both living proof.)

Looking for some shots like these for yourself? Shots that you feel like you can say that’s me to? See more or book your session.

All good things,
Lauren

lauren mudrock photography

Lauren is one of the many talented York PA photographers, though she’s strayed away from the mainstream and focuses on personal branding photography. She makes sure your brand’s photos match where your business is going, not just where it’s been. If you’re looking for a personal branding photographer near Baltimore, York Pa photographers, Philadelphia photographers, commercial photography, product photography, or headshots, get in touch with her!

Business Motivation – Take the Step

Take the Step – Business Motivation

Need some motivation in your business right now? Think about this:

I had a realization today that, at almost 25 years old, I could live two—possibly 3—more of the lives I’ve already lived. That’s a long time.

What also came with that realization was that so many of us are willing to hold onto the same story of who we are for all three of those lifetimes.

That’s a long time, guys. That’s a realllly long time of giving up on yourself.

If you’re afraid to start again because you feel you’re already too far down a certain path, give yourself the chance to live that new life you’ve been dreaming of.

Believe in yourself, or at least start to trust the universe. Leave the job. Start the business. Complete that project just because it’s something to do. Put yourself out there. Wear that outfit. Spend the money. Take a chance. Accept the compliment. Leave the shitty friends. Join a club by yourself. Find people who believe in your dreams.

Why not? You’ve got all the time in the world.

Here are just a few people I’ve been lucky enough to work with who I’ve seen make those changes, despite what their life’s story could have told them to be.

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Bryan L.
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Jake S.
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Austin R.
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Hailey P.
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Courtney B.

There are many of us, and you will find them as soon as you take that first baby step.

Here’s to creating a new life, today and always.

All good things,
Lauren

P.S. Looking to take that step? Join the community. Looking to see yourself in your highest potential? Sign up for a session with me.

“Personally transformational.” -Austin R.

Lauren is a personal branding photographer near Baltimore and York, PA. She believes that none of us are as strong as all of us, and that everyone should have branding images that match where their business is headed, not just where it’s been. If you’re looking for Baltimore photographers, York PA photographers, or photographers in Philadelphia, reach out! She does studio headshots, personal branding photography, product photography and commercial photography.

Candle Product Photography for Absolute Scents

Product Photography for Absolute Scents Candles

Abby Riggleman and I collaborated to bring her soy candle brand, Absolute Scents, to a new level with product photography that matches her candles’ vibes. Her brand deserves it after all, with unmatched scents ranging from warm fall fragrances to your favorite cozy cocktails like Irish Coffee and Smoked Old Fashioned.

Don’t you wish you could smell through the internet? Yeah, me too. Luckily I got to spend plenty of time with a few of her best scents during her candle product photography session.

Read on as you browse through this candle product photography collection to gain some insights on Abby’s growth as an entrepreneur—you may find some inspiration yourself.

irish coffee candle in coffee beans
candle with pear product photography

Q: How’d you get started in all of this? Where’d your inspiration come from?

A: My inspiration came from walking into my family’s distillery everyday and being surrounded by these incredible aromas. From mash cooking, to our honey whiskey notes, and the scent that fills the room after we make a smoked old fashioned cocktail. I imagined capturing those scents but I didn’t quite know how. 

honeycomb candle product photography
cigar box and candle product photography

Q: Why do you do this? What gets you excited about your candles?

A: I started this company out of a hobby. I moved back home after graduating college and I needed a creative outlet, something that was my own. Once I taught myself how to make candles, which was such a fun and inventive process, I put them on display at the distillery and I sold out almost right away.

From that moment, I knew I was onto something. And as I kept selling, I kept getting inspiration for new scents. None of my scents are common. I blend multiple fragrances to get something entirely unique. 

candle product photography with cigar box

Q: What value do you seek to bring your customers?

A: Let’s be real. Candles won’t save the world. But what my candles do is bring people joy. They bring warmth into the home and into people’s lives…a unique fragrance with a long burn time. 

lauren mudrock photography

Q: What insight would you give to help other entrepreneurs find confidence in themselves?

A: My advice for other entrepreneurs is patience and momentum. Your long term vision is extremely important, but don’t underestimate the value of patience. Learning a new skill, starting a new company, creating a website, finding a client base, all takes trial and error. Be kind to yourself because this process isn’t easy, but it can also be fun. Enjoy the journey of building something for yourself. 

candle on table with pears

Abby herself is such a genuine person, someone who cares a lot about the quality she puts into her work, who knows how to flow of the world around her, and has such a calming presence. If you think her products are great, the service you experience with her will turn you into a loyal customer forever.

You can purchase your own warming fragrance just in time for pumpkin season here! Can’t wait to curl up, read a book, and sip some Irish Coffee with them this fall <3

All good things,
Lauren

P.S. If you’re looking for product photography that matches where your brand is headed—not just where it’s been—let’s connect!

Lauren is a branding photographer between Baltimore and Philadelphia. She focuses on personal branding photography, product photography, and headshots to help creative entrepreneurs match their images to where their brand is headed, not just where it’s been. If you’re looking for headshots near Baltimore, headshots near Lancaster, product photography, or personal brand photography for your one-man-show or creative business, get in touch! Let’s play bigger together.

Kristen & Jesse | Longwood Gardens Engagement Session

Longwood Gardens Engagement Session | Philadelphia Wedding Photographers

Kristen, Jesse, and I (and Elisabeth and Nancy) headed out to the overwhelmingly beautiful Longwood Gardens at Kennet Square this week to hang out in fancy clothes and celebrate their upcoming wedding in Malvern, PA next September.

There’s so much to appreciate about this session—smoosh faces with their puppy, Gracie; visits from our friendly tour guide, Pierre the cat; lots of laughs; and gorgeous views. Enjoy!

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Kristen and Jesse with their dog Gracie

Cheers, my friends! Looking forward to having some good fun at Farmhouse at People’s Light next September!

All good things,
Lauren

P.S. Looking for your own wedding photos? Start here!

Lauren is a personal branding photographer near Baltimore and Philly. While she specializes in studio headshots, personal branding photography, and commercial photography, she also loves dabbling in wedding photography (her previous focus). She loves connecting with anyone looking for a good time, so if you’re on the prowl for some personal branding photography, headshots near Baltimore, or any Philadelphia wedding photographers, get in touch!