Professional Head Shots: How to prepare!

First lets define what a professional head shot is! It’s a close-up portrait of the head and shoulders that focuses attention on the face. People assume it to mean a 3/4 or full length shot that they are going to use for business marketing too. A lot of us need great head shots to make a statement about who we are and what we do. Consider an actor who wants to land a role in a movie, or a model that wishes to star in the next big fashion craze or the athlete that represents his team – Professionals need head shots to market their image and help sell their brand or business.  No business owner or professional wants to be portrayed in a negative manner because it will carry over into their reputation. The quality and style of your head shot conveys how you conduct business.


So, what is it that makes a great head shot?

A good headshot should:

  • – Be taken by a professional in a studio or on location in a controlled environment at the right time of the day

  • – Depict a relaxed, natural and comfortable you

  • – Communicate your style and personality

  • – Clearly define the purpose or need you have for the image

How do you prepare for a professional head shot?

In the week prior to your photo shoot, consider taking extra care of yourself. Think about the style of shoot you want and communicate that clearly with your photographer.


The largest and most visible organ you have needs to look its best. Make healthy choices. Avoid the sun so you don’t come in looking like a lobster after a day of going for “sun kissed”. Drink plenty of water, this will make your skin hydrated to fill in lines and give you a healthy glow. Eat healthy and most importantly, GET YOUR SLEEP!


Don’t cut or dye your hair right before the shoot. It can look too vibrant and unnatural on camera. Colored hair looks more natural after 1-2 weeks worth of shampooing. A new hair cut looks its best about a week after it’s cut.


If you want to whiten your teeth before your session, start as early as possible and use a safe whitening method. Also, you can have your teeth whitened with your dentist.


The best rule of thumb for facial hair is to commit to the look -it’s either a beard, mustache, or nothing at all. If  you’re going for clean shaven, treat yourself to a good shave that morning. If you have a beard or mustache, trim it neatly.


Treat yourself to a manicure or neatly trim your nails (yes fella’s this applies to you too!). If you choose to polish, a neutral/skin tone or clear coat won’t distract from your face. Many women enjoy french tips and designs, so……if you and your girlfriends had a spa day and you’re a rainbow girl, just be conscious of how it matches your wardrobe for the photo shoot.


This is a big one, and we definitely recommend it. If you hire a make up artist be sure to discuss exactly what you want and clearly define your style. I wouldn’t recommend going completely bomb shell if you rarely ever wear make up. This won’t be who your client sees everyday and it’s best to stay natural to you. If you are doing your make up yourself, don’t wear it heavy. A close head shot may show clumps of mascara or heavy foundation. Think of accentuating your features in a subtle manner.


Choose the exact clothing and accessories to wear the day before. Make sure they are clean and pressed ready for your shoot and that they fit you appropriately. I find it helpful when clients bring options, you don’t have to limit yourself to one item. Choose wisely as you don’t want to be able to tell what decade the photo came from. I typically recommend nothing with bold, distracting patterns or colors because it takes the emphasis away from you. Safe color choices include dark solids and lighter soft shades. Avoid white unless you have a great tan or it’s under something (such as a jacket, cardigan, or sweater). V-necks accentuate the neckline and are great for men and women (just watch that cleavage ladies, keep that classic beauty).


Rule of thumb, ties look best when their tone is between the suit and the shirt. Stay away from really reflective, shiny silk ties only because it can be a distraction in-camera. As far as jewelry goes, something small, classic and also not reflective. You don’t necessarily want a client viewing your head shot only to notice your jewelry before noticing your face.

Don’t Rush

We don’t want having your head shot to be “just one more thing” you have to do. Know or GPS the location of your shoot and allow yourself plenty of time to get there. Give yourself at least 10-15 minutes to spend at the studio before your shoot. A comfortable pace will help minimize stress and bring out your best.


You should feel that your photographer cares about you, so ask questions! We will take the time to answer and put you at ease. This is your shoot after all, we are here to support you. Look up and make eye contact with the camera. It eases camera shyness and promotes a genuine expression. As professional photographers we are good at detailing your vision. We’ll do our best to get the shots you want, but we can’t read your mind. Be honest. If you want something special or different, or if you were unhappy with a previous headshot experience, tell us. On that note, if we adjust your posture and ask you to move a certain way, we really are being that technical to give you the best image. The camera sees differently that the human eye, we’re moving you to make the camera see YOU in the most flattering way.

Lastly – stay up to date with your photos. In the digital age, things move fast and decisions are made sometimes within seconds. Make the best first impression possible!


Imaging USA 2016

My very first trip to Imaging USA and what an experience!!!! (I don’t usually use that many exclamation points so you know it must have been special!).  I mean how could a conference packed with industry leaders, both young and old, not entertain thousands of photographers. From the top fine art photographers like Clyde Butcher (, legendary photojournalists and life long National Geographic photographer Sam Abell (, modern masters of weddings, portraits and fashion like Jerry Ghionis, Lindsay Adler and Peter Hurley and Commercial photographers like Dean Bradshaw and John David Pittman and who could forget the keynote speaker Mrs Amy Purdy who’s inspirational story of overcoming obstacles in her words “forces us to get creative”. Below you will find my top 5 takeaways that I will be putting into action this year and a series of tips from the photographers and speakers whose classes I attended.

Now to put it all into action with my 5 top takeaways from Imaging USA!

  1. For starters I learned to never be scared of putting my full personality into my work and marketing. Not that I feel reserved now, but, I do sometimes feel like I hold back with some clients, scared that my personality will not be a perfect match for theirs. Allowing the ideal client to accept me totally as a human being and totally loving my style is definitely worth working towards and will positively affect the images we create together.
  2. Never stop learning! Yes I know this is as much a life lesson as is it a reason to continue to educate myself in my career. But seriously, with technology changing at lightning speed now, and software updates happening every other day it is vitally important to stay competitive and never loose touch.
  3. Work to develop a style that is as unique as me. In a world saturated with images from mobile phones and apps like Instagram making it easier and easier to upload and share, how do your create a style of your own and how do you make images that will be recognizable as a ‘Carl Kerridge’ original piece of Art?. It’s a tough question to answer but this year I am challenging myself to define and embrace my style.
  4. Think like a director. I am a still photographer, not making movies with huge Hollywood studio sets, but Dean Bradshaw’s explanation was that you still have to control your entire environment to make great images. The more I think about this one the more it resonates with me and I have made a conscious effort to examine the stories I am telling through the lens, looking for answers to the question behind the motivation for me to push the shutter button.
  5. Compose the picture and wait. I have Sam Abell to thank for this one and I think it might just be the most important lesson of all. It is too tempting with digital capture and our growing desire for instant gratification to simply push the shutter button without properly taking the time to visualize the final image, set the composition, layer the photo and control the lighting. We are often too busy and simply moving too fast. So this tip from a photographer that worked with film his entire career and has 2 images listed in the top 50 at National Geographic is well worth paying attention too.

Fun tips from the teachers!

  • Begin at the back of the photo and work forward, see the layers and separate them – Sam Abell
  • The promise of photoshop is perfection, the promise of photography is truth – Sam Abell
  • The most important thing is insight, the curiosity to wonder and muse – Dean Bradshaw
  • Lighting should always serve the story, fit it with the concept – Dean Bradshaw
  • Stories connect us with a shared purpose – JD Pittman
  • Obstacles can either stop us in our tracks or force us to get creative to overcome – Amy Purdy
  • Connect your passion with your purpose – Amy Purdy
  • Put the technical stuff in your back pocket and learn the art of communicating – Peter Hurley
  • We are the clients mirror so tell them what their face looks like – Peter Hurley
  • Photograph subjects through the eyes of a loved one – Jerry Ghionis


With all these great tips I hope you are excited to get out and shoot something new, rediscover a passion that you have for image making or fine tune your skills in one area. Below are several photojournalistic images I made at the event, enjoy..

International student at Imaging USA

International students get there own lounge with free chocolate, I was so tempted to say I was from England..

Escalator filled with people at Imaging USA

Streams of people all day long attending one of the 70 workshops offered at Imaging USA

Staff member with 'photographers are awesome' sign at Imaging USA

Amazing staff helped us all weekend long, reminding us we were there to enjoy ourselves

Model posing on a chair at the Imaging USA convention

Test model for the ICE Light system by Jerry Ghionis

Instructor showing photographers lighting tips

Hands-on instruction at the Canon booth demonstrating back lighting

Photographer Lindsay Adler demonstrating lighting set ups at Imaging USA

On stage with Lindsay Adler for a lighting demo

Hanson Fong demonstrating his speed lighting with a model

Break out session with Hanson Fong demonstrating a two speedlight model shot

Photographer Peter Hurley using his flew Westcott lighting to demonstrate a headshot

“Turn your nose towards China” says Peter Hurley

SC photographer at Imaging USA

SC photographers represent!!!, there were a few more of us flaoting around but we loved this group shot

Bridal portrait with beautiful back light.

One of the model brides posing by the Omni Hotel

Jerry Ghionis and me

Yes Jerry Ghionis really did tell me to sit on his knee. Looking left and smiling cheesily at nothing at all.


Find your own inspiration at Imaging USA, the PPA’s annual conference and if you see me there don’t forget to say hello.

Cinemagraphs and Vlogging – From our Blog to Yours!

To Vlog or to blog ’tis the question, but did you ever wonder if there was something more?

You’re scrolling through Facebook, what do you do first? Do you stop to watch the videos or do you read through a status update that is a paragraph?

The attention span of a modern internet user has diminished severely since the days of Thomas Paine. This is why video has emerged as a favorite among a majority of consumers. A viewer sees the content of your video, gets the info quickly, then can proceed at the pace they like. If you are promoting an educational aspect, your video can direct and teach the viewer (possibly) faster than if they had to sit down and read the information to transcribe it into memory.

Vlogging, essentially, is saying what your blog would contain, but through video. Earlier this year, I researched business trends and drivers for the photography industry. All of my sources pointed towards the same direction. The internet will most likely fully encompass our future generations. Tech companies are designing protocols for equipment that would allow us to have true virtual realities of our web experiences. Here’s a fun fact, artificial intelligence just got a financial boost from supporter Mark Zuggerburg. So, yes, the monetary needs are being met to fund this innovation.

Future clients and professionals will need video in their business and products. Why? Because of how we interpret the world around us and how we want our world to be. Our brains have three main methods of interacting with information and experiences. Those three methods are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. We learn from the world around us by seeing, hearing, and doing. With the internet playing so much into our consumer’s visual experience, a vlog gives its viewer a human face to connect with. That is the one thing words can’t do. A video has quick information that brings traffic to your site and has the closest one-on-one feeling the internet can host. This is why video and vlogging can be empowering for photographers and entrepreneurs who want to be known individually. Words connect the audience to a mind and ideas, a face connects the audience to the person.

In your business, what is your desired end result? After that, then what? Where is your niche?

If you’re going to vlog, is one video hosting site better than the other? Video has a huge boost in gaining traffic in a Google search engine, especially if its a Youtube video. Why? Google bought Youtube, and Youtube gets millions of viewers every day which guarantees traffic to somewhere. One of  Youtube’s biggest competitors is Vimeo. So, what’s the debate of Vimeo verses Youtube?


  • Pros
    • It is the most popular viewing platform.
    • It is great for SEO because Google Owns it.
    • It does offer a free platform for hosting videos
    • Does have paid advertising solutions
    • Does give royalties to music artists (that’s why you have ads on many videos)
    • You are allowed to dispute interruptions if you have rights to the music in the first place.
  • Cons
    • Can have low quality with your content in video.
    • You might have competitive advertising in the side bar of your video (no way to truly monitor/control this).
    • Competitors can place ads on your video in hopes of steering audience. (Rude? Heck yeah, only way to get around this is if your audience has the Red Program, but this is never going to be a guarantee.)
    • Employees may not be able to see your content at work (some businesses still restrict sites to deter unproductively at work).


  • Pros
    • No video advertisements
    • Cost Effective business account
    • Maintains visual content quality
    • It is more niche oriented, which means it has a strong community presence in that niche.
  • Cons
    • Less traffic than Youtube
    • Possible interference with Google search engine.
    • Does have a limited amount of uploads
    • Might have lagging when uploading


It’s taking your content to a higher level. What professional wouldn’t want the most optimization?

In addition, I am very interested in  “Moving Stills.” It’s the “break out of the box” moment! It’s making a photograph move as a single art piece, which can be put on display by itself and in a video. It’s called a cinemagraph. As a fine art photographer, I’ve contemplated how this could be incorporated into my current social media and marketing.

  1. How cool is it to have your art actually breath?
  2. Would it make me stand out amongst my peers?
  3. What is it going to do to the products my clients are looking for?


If you’d like to learn more, look towards Jaime Beck and Kevin Burgs. They coined the phrase “cinemagraphs,” and they have been pioneering the field since 2011. Personally, I think the idea of taking one of your fine art pieces and making a detail of the image move slightly is an added attention grabber. That difference could drive more clients to you because you have the capability to produce a product that stands out from the crowd. 

The skills of blogging, vlogging, and cinemagraphs will become more competitive as time progresses.

Blogs and written text can’t be replaced, it’s tradition for a reason. It would be beneficial to have a vlogging channel because short and concise videos are shared more often than links and text. Which means Cinemagraphs are on track with the competition and will likely become more popular in the future. The fashion industry has already embraced them. Fashion photographer, Lindsay Adler has a great blog experience that demonstrates the production of one of her cinemagraphs.  When I look at this particular blog, I’m thinking WOW, SEO hotspot! She has written text that meets the advised word count for blogging(plus it is clear and concise), she has pictures and video that demonstrates her educational tutorial, then she has the cinemagraphs. When it comes to social media outlets, she covered the diversity spectrum.

  • She can post to Facebook, the cinemagraphs play with Facebook’s automated video player scroll control and can be shared.
  • She can post to Twitter, the cinemagraph continuously plays like a GIF and can be retweeted.
  • She can post to Pinterest and Instagram using the included photos, and her audience can repin the content.
  • She can post to LinkedIn and Google+ by using a traditional blog and video sharing.


She literally hit the social media sweet spot, able to post and interact with stunning content in every platform. Specifically, her post to Facebook and Twitter might catch viewers attention for effectively because of its automated playing format. Take this into account as well, the iPhone 6 has the capability to add video to a picture for its owner. The new phone records a few seconds of video before the image is actually taken. This is a phenomenal new way to capture a memory too. Undoubtedly, this will influence the amount and quality of future social media posts. Also, it’s going to change client preference, taking a toll on the demand for prints, how clients want to document their moments, and the new “frame” that’s going to be able to display this product. 

While something may seems as if it is the next perfect solution for your business, don’t forget about

You and Your business. 

In general, there are some fine details you need to think about before scheduling out the time to do vlogging, a cinemagraph, or blogging. If vlogging isn’t for you or you don’t have the means for cinemagraphs, there are clients out there who will love your blog and be loyal subscribers. There are going to be the book lovers who prefer and enjoy reading and researching in a traditional manner. There are people who are going to be there to support you because they love you, what you do, and want to know what you have to say regardless of the format style! Narrow down what’s right for you because at the end of the day you’re going to have to be the one doing it and your passion deserves your best. You need to know yourself, who’s not your client, and who is your audience. There’s no right answer here, even though one of these ideas sounds like the new golden ticket…

  1. Are you ready for a consistent stream of public speaking and public relations?
  2. Can you construct AND commit to a marketing calendar with content that interacts with your audience?
  3. Are your prepared for the hours of pre and post production it takes to make a professional video and cinemagraph, or write and review a blog?
  4. Do you believe you can make an effective impact on your audience through this medium?
  5. Can you afford the cost to design and create what you want to do? If not, how can you get there?


I believe artists that can incorporate and design all three mediums will help show us that our creativity is limitless. They will be the inspirationists who learn and teach us to do this in the most cost effective and visually stunning manner. They will carve out and conquer this new road in our industry.



Look for our upcoming blog where we interview experts from Fuel Your Photos and Superstar SEO for tips, tricks, and enhanced education for businesses. Post questions you’ve always wanted to ask, topics for discussion, and any other ideas in the comments. Interviews will be happening in the next two weeks, so we’ll engage your ideas until January 19th. We will collect and direct as many inquiries to our professionals to be evaluated and answered!

Carl Kerridge is a location and destination photographer based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He specializes in wedding, event and commercial photography. He is passionate about the fine art and photojournalistic aspects of photography. Traveling in and out of the United States, Carl has dedicated the past 15 years to studying/experimenting with his craft, teaching educational workshops, and advocating a global awareness through art. To learn more, visit his Website, follow him on Instagram or connect with him on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

e3 Studios: Architectural Photography

#Cameraliftinglife: e3 Studios


Founded in 2008, e3 Studios is a woman-owned business that has dazzled the Grand Strand with their style and class. Haven’t heard of them? Well, I guarantee you have seen their work with their interdisciplinary design in the local and interior architecture and interior design services. Their vision and mission are forces to be reckoned with. Not only do e3 Studios understand the technical details of building designs in relation to its space, but the reason the buildings are being built in the first place – for people. All of our business offices and spaces are for people to work in, for people to have comfort in, for people to be inspired by, and for people to be taken into tranquil settings. 

I have had the pleasure of documenting this year’s completed projects and laughing with Erin Blalock and Ashley Goheen. These two women rock e3 Studios and I love capturing their bubbly personalities and friendship, especially when Erin limits Ashley’s caffeine consumption! Some of my favorite memories include the girls lifestyle shoots. I call them my little “goofball kids” because they were just super fun, giggly and had a hard time keeping a straight face. Remember I said that architecture is in my blood? Well, it comes from my Father, a self-employed Architect for the past 40 years. Walking up to meet them, the jokes would start and they’d get me every time. I’d be teased that if my dad came to work for them, they’d double their profit just because of his accent! You know? They possibly could because even I jive with their sense of style and color theme choices. I can really relate to e3 studios, and I can see their commercial color schemes in my home. Not to mention, my assistant has begged for a few of their pieces as well – specifically their rainbow lounger and glass sculpture designs.

I am thrilled and fortunate to have met this dynamic team. Building their business on passion and dedication, these two ladies are remarkable!.
Check out their awesome new website designed by The Brandon Agency in Myrtle Beach to see tons of my commercial and lifestyle photography.


Carl Kerridge is a location and destination photographer based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He specializes in lifestyle, commercial, and event photography. He is passionate about the fine art and photojournalistic aspects of photography. Traveling in and out of the United States, Carl has dedicated the past 15 years to studying/experimenting with the craft, teaching educational workshops, and advocating art for a global awareness. To learn more, visit his Website, follow him on Instagram or connect with him on Facebook.


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#CameraLiftingLife: Photography for Careteam+

Spotlighting Healthcare Advocate, Careteam+!

Many individuals lack or have no forms of preventative healthcare services. Today, 133 million Americans suffer with chronic illnesses. These diseases demand medical attention. Included are 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS. Healthcare hasn’t always been as inclusive as it is today. Viruses, such as HIV, were discriminated against because we didn’t know how to cure it. The stigma around HIV clouded its hosts, the very people who needed medical help the most. It wasn’t until the Ryan White Care Act of 1994, establishments received grants to take care of these people in need. The Ryan White Care Act reminds us of the fight a mother and son won. They demanded no one be discriminated against. Ryan White and his mother wanted to educate the Nation about HIV/AIDS and have institutions that helped live with it. Read more here…

In Myrtle Beach, that aid is Careteam+. Careteam+ started as a safe haven for uninsured individuals with HIV. They provided aid to Horry, Georgetown, and Williamsburg Counties. After the death of Ryan White, the perspective of HIV altered with more lenient views. The community began to accept and embrace it’s sick members. Instead of calling it a disease, we renamed it a chronic illness. Patients got better treatment and they were living normal, happy, and healthier lives. From there, Careteam+ grew to include other chronic health issues too.  Eventually, it branched out to provide primary health care for all of its patients’ families. If you would like to learn more about Careteam+, click here.

As a photographer of Myrtle Beach, I have a lot of respect for the organization. I believe they have amazing rapport and professionalism. So, when they decided to revamp their media and webpages, I was ready to create Careteam+ lifestyle photography. For their business, patients, community, and purpose – it was my pleasure to work with and help bring awareness to our local community.

Carl Kerridge is a location and destination photographer based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He specializes in lifestyle, commercial, and event photography. He is passionate about the fine art and photojournalistic aspects of photography. Traveling in and out of the United States, Carl has dedicated the past 15 years to studying/experimenting with the craft, teaching educational workshops, and advocating art for a global awareness. To learn more, visit his Website, follow him on Instagram or connect with him on Facebook.

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