Should you wear glasses in your corporate portraits?

Glasses can be tricky things to photograph well, and occasionally people will advise you to have your portrait taken without them. That’s OK if you sometimes go without them in your real life. If you always wear your specs, however, you probably should have them on for your corporate portrait. Below are some tips for getting great shots even with your glasses on.

Make sure your glasses are clean

Bring along your cleaning cloths and/or lens cleaning solutions to your photo shoot, and give your spectacles a good clean just before you step onto ‘set’ for your shoot. Portrait photographers usually work hard to make sure your eyes shine in your photos, and dirt and smudges on your glasses will detract from that. Scratches to your lenses and frames look less than professional, too, so bring along your ‘best’ pair of specs.

Make sure your glasses are up to date

You probably put a lot of thought into the styling of your clothes and hair for your photo shoot, but what about your glasses? Make sure the style of your glasses is up to date and suits your face. If you can, bring along more than one pair so that you and your photographer can decide together which ones will photograph the best.

Avoid glare and reflections

Glare and reflections on your glasses obscure your eyes, which is where we usually want people to look first in a photo of you. Your photographer should be able to work with their light sources well enough to photograph you without glare or reflections, but if you are having a friend or colleague photograph you, here are a couple of things to try:

  • Move into full shade and reduce the overall amount of light
  • Turn your head away from the camera, and look ‘out of frame’ of the photo. (This will help with the glare and reflections, and will also give you a more ‘arty’ feel to your portrait, which may or may not be appropriate for you depending on the end use for your images.)
  • Tilt you head down slightly. (This will in effect ‘move’ the glare or reflection from being directly in front of your eye to being more on your glasses frame. Be careful that you don’t create a double chin in the process, though!)

Avoid transition lenses

I know transition lenses offer great protection for your eyes, but they are a nightmare for photographers! If you can, bring a pair of glasses that are not transition lenses. If you only have transition lenses, then your photographer may want to take to identical photos of you, one with and one without your glasses on. Then the two images can be made into a composite image in post production so that you can have your glasses on and still be able to see your eyes.

Try some shots just holding your glasses

Some of my clients prefer to have their glasses in shot, but not actually be wearing them. Here’s an example.

And remember: Your glasses can be a statement of your personal taste and style, so they should be incorporated into at least some of your photos.

Need to book your own professional photography session? Click here to get the ball rolling for your own shoot at my Sydney photography studio.


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What makes a good profile pic?

Profile pics. I’m sure you’ve seen some doozies in your time: The “no-shirt-check-out-my-abs” style, the “I’ve cropped out my ex-boyfriend” style, the “I really don’t like the way I look, so I will make myself teeny-tiny in a landscape” ones, and my all time favourite (not!), the “I’ll pull a goofy face and point to the right so that it looks like I’m pointing to my name” shot.


So what does make a good profile pic?

Just like in one of my previous posts (on product photography), I’m going to answer that by saying “It depends”.

In truth, there is some room to move on what makes the “right” profile pic for you. A personal trainer, dance teacher or yoga instructor can probably get away with wearing lycra in their profile pic, but what would you think about a financial planner whose profile picture was a shot of them in sportswear in the gym? If you are a lawyer, and you want a profile pic for LinkedIn or other professional circles, then you probably will want something pretty straight laced, that makes you look competent and professional. If, however, you are wanting to attract recently separated women into your practice and you are planning an advertising campaign across Facebook, other social media sites, and local newspapers, then you will probably do better with a photo that still makes you look professional and competent, but is a little softer and more approachable.

Here’s Jen, who has several strings to her bow, so we created a range of different looks for her.


And an “I’m an accountant, but don’t you dare make me look like one” approach for this lady (who also happens to be called Jenny).


A conservative look for Camille, who works at a high level in the fields of finance, law, and policy


And one quiet, and one playful look for Kayte, who you may know better as Mrs Woog. If you’ve read her blog, you’ll understand the need for both!

How often should a profile pic be updated?

Most people don’t update their profile picture(s) often enough….but then you knew I’d say that. What else would you expect from a portrait photographer? A lot of people can get away with using the same shot for a couple of years. If you’ve been really clever about your choice of clothing and the style of the shot such that they’re pretty ‘timeless’, then you may be able to stretch its use out a little longer. For most of us, though, our looks change considerably in that time. And the older you are, the more the aging process speeds up, the more frequently you need to update your photos. Debra Sinclair of Liquid Mango Consulting recommends having professional portraits taken “at least every 18 months to 2 years”, and social media strategist Paula Agius of Social Cocktails says that if she had enough flattering images of herself, she would update them with every new season, or even as frequently as once per month.

Why so frequently?

She says, “What’s great about updating your profile picture is that notifications of this update are pushed out to your network by most of the social platforms and [these] are weighted with higher importance to other competing content”. So updating your profile pic can in fact be part of your social media strategy. How simple is that?

Bettina Deda of BD Colour Design uses this very strategy in her business. She says, “I update my profile [picture] depending on milestones or interesting projects in the business, or if I have published a new book.”

Clever, don’t you think?

In summary, here are some reasons you should consider having a professional portrait taken for your business
  • You are currently using a poorly taken selfie
  • You are currently using a photo of yourself cropped from a group pic
  • Your current photo is more than a few years old
  • You have had some major change to your appearance (e.g. lost or gained weight, significant change to your hair style or colour, you have started wearing glasses all the time)
  • You are targeting a different segment of your market
  • You are re-branding
  • You have a promotion or a campaign coming up where you will be needing a range of good images to use in a co-ordinated manner for social media, press releases and print campaigns


You may also want to read this related post on how to crop your profile pic. And if you’re ready to get down to business with updating your online image, then click here to get started.


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It’s time to update your corporate portraits when… {Sydney corporate portrait photographer} » vividity blog - [...] a previous post about what makes a good profile pic, I listed the following as reasons you might need to have a new corporate portrait [...]

Why people book luxury portrait sessions: The 50th Birthday

Meet Sanchia.

She had seen some photos I had taken of a friend of hers and decided that if she was ever to get what she really wanted for her 50th birthday, then she should probably stop waiting for her husband to read her mind and just take matters into her own hands. So she called me and booked a shoot for herself and her family.

Here’s what she had to say about the experience:

“Sharing one of Jen’s photoshoots with my family was such great day.  Jen made us feel so welcome and comfortable. She was in touch with us frequently before our shoot, helping us decide what clothes to bring and letting us know what to expect every step of the way, so we felt confident that we were in very professional hands. Having our hair and makeup done by Eloise and Helen was a treat, and we felt like models. When I first saw our images from the shoot I thought, “Wow!” and I now have our beautiful folio box in our lounge room, and I select different photos to display on the little matching easel. The day spent with Jen doing the photo shoot is not just about the beautiful photos you have for ever but also the memory of a truly special day spent with the friends or family you are having the photos with.  Jen makes this a very special day.”

Want to share a day like this with your family? Click here to get in touch.

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How to make a cup of tea.

I’ve been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work here at vividity land. One job has been to revise my workflow for the different kinds of shoots I do….. which got me thinking about workflow in other areas of my life.

Here’s my typical cup of tea workflow:

Put kettle on.
Sit at desk and work.
Hear kettle boil. Ignore kettle until finished the work you were doing.
Turn off kettle and prepare cup and teabag.
Burn hand on handle of kettle.
Get tea brewing.
Return to work.
Work for half an hour or so.
Think, “I’d like a cup of tea”.
Go to put the kettle on and notice the tea already brewing.
Touch cup to see whether still hot. Think it is still hot because any tiny bit of warmth feels hot on a burnt hand.
Add milk.
Attempt to drink tea.
Miss mouth.
Clean up mess.

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