Five Tips for your Headshots

Today, April 12, 2018, is the 11th anniversary of my photography studio.  My concentration on headshots and business portraits continues to expand as the solid core of my business.  As such, I frequently read articles about the importance of headshots.  While I’ve posted similar blog posts on this topic, there’s one topic I’ve not really addressed in these posts.  Almost as important as “why should I get a headshot” are the questions of “what do I wear” and “how do I use my headshots”.  I want to remedy this oversight today.

One of my favorite bloggers on subjects related to the importance of professional photography is Camille Wright Felton.  She conducted an interview for LinkedIn a while back with Kristina Moore, who is the editor of the Corporate Fashionista blog.  Below is the brief interview on what to wear and how to use your headshots that should help in making wardrobe and accessory choices when it’s time to book your headshot session.

Camille –There’s plenty of research showing that social media profiles with pictures get more attention than profiles without pictures. How important do you think what a woman wears is?

Kristina Moore: It is crucial. In a matter of seconds, your profile image provides an instant impression of who you are and what you’re all about without saying a word. What you wear can highlight whether or not your personal or professional style is modern or outdated. It’s to be expected that the observer may then wonder if the ideas and abilities you bring to the table are also modern or outdated. You’ve got an opportunity, so it’s important to make the most of it. What you specifically should wear depends on several factors, including whether or not you’re going for an up-close tight shot or a distance shot.

Camille — How much of a difference should there be, if any, between what someone wears on a day-to-day basis, and what she wears to have professional headshots taken?

Kristina Moore — There doesn’t have to be much of difference at all. Truly, it’s all about taking control of where you wish to direct viewers’ attention no matter if that’s in person or in a photograph. If your goal is to direct attention towards your face, then the shape of your neckline, the color or prints/patterns you select, even the jewelry you wear play a role.

Camille — How should you strike a balance between keeping focus on your face by minimizing jewelry and accessories, but maintaining your personal brand if you’re known for dangling earrings or colorful, quirky glasses?

Kristina Moore — The trick is to limit the number of focal points you’re asking viewers to pay attention to. I recommend three at most to create a visually balanced shot. This style strategy makes your trademark piece an asset rather than a distraction. For example, trademark eyeglasses + small, pronounced earrings + colorful blouse; dramatic earrings + trademark bold lip + open neck top; or trademark necklace(s) + graphic eye makeup + sleek hairstyle.

Camille — With all the different social media sites available, do you think it’s important to have a different look for different internet venues?

Kristina — I think a consistent look is key. Viewers, buyers, potential employers, and so on want to connect with you…a consistent look can help with this on virtual platforms. I recommend having the same profile image for each of the different social media channels your target audience visits.

Camille — I recommend to clients to bring two to three outfits to wear for photo sessions with me. If you were putting together a ‘what to wear’ list for a session, what would you include?

Kristina — It all depends on who they are and the purpose for the photo shoot. If it’s for a LinkedIn profile shot and the subject is looking for work or clients in a conservative field, then I would suggest they bring a fitted classic blazer with narrow lapels paired with a moderate scoop neck top in a personally flattering color or a fitted sheath dress with color-contrasting piping details. It’s all very personalized. The overall idea is to think about what you want to visually communicate to your audience and combine that with strategic style pieces that authentically express yourself and your mission.


These are all great tips.  Most of my clients wind up posting their headshots on LinkedIn and/or Facebook.  It is critical to make that great first impression.  At STP Images, we help you create immediate, positive and lasting impact.  STP Images can also come to your office and shoot 1 to 50 employees in a day.  Take a look at a few of our recent headshot samples below and then call the studio to book your headshot session TODAY!


Professional Headshots can create success

Happy New Year!  I hope 2018 is as prosperous for each of you as I hope it will be for me.  I am starting the new year by sharing a little advice below that I strongly suspect will give you a boost in your search for business prosperity this year.

I spend 80% of my professional photography time working with individuals and corporations on headshots.  It is a daily thought and a daily ritual for me.  As such, it is easy for me to believe that everyone knows the importance of a professional headshot.  I recently was reminded that my assumption (as most assumptions are) was untrue.

I had a client come to me for headshots just before Christmas.  This client is a very established and successful professional, but had not had ANY professional images created since their wedding (a period of over 20 years).  I was a bit shocked to hear that, so I asked for the reason.  The client told me that things were successful enough and the thought of the professional headshot seemed to be unimportant.  Then, my client was notified that the board was considering adding him to the board as a Director.  At that point, the client realized that it was time to create a professional headshot for the interview process.

You don’t have to be a Director or senior officer in your organization to commission a great professional headshot.  There are advice columns all over the net that implore everyone to get a professional headshot – from the entry level employee all the way up to the CEO.

Below is an except from a Huffington Post article written by Melinda Emerson back in 2015 (full article HERE).  While a few years old, the advice is spot on:

  • Hire a professional photographer and makeup artist. A photo from your iPhone will not do.
  • If you need to tweak your style, hire a professional stylist to go shopping with you to pick out a few outfits that would be flattering in a headshot.
  • Select at least two looks to be photographed, (pick a colorful jacket or tie and avoid black or white).
  • Plan on spending at least $500-$1000 for what you need.
  • Be sure to get .jpeg and high resolution .tiff files so you can use them online and in print.

It is important to have a visual brand that presents you in the best light, with an up-to-date look. Invest in a new headshot today; it could do wonders for your business.

Call the STP Images studio for more information or to book your headshot today!

Five Reasons to Update Your Headshot

We’ve all heard the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”.  While this is a charming sentiment, it isn’t real in today’s world.  In reality, we are all judged by our outward appearance the moment we first meet someone (whether in person or online).  This is particularly true when it comes to professional situations—job interviews, making connections, networking.  We have 5 seconds in which to make our lasting first impression with someone.

It’s doubly important in today’s technically connected world to appear professional and trustworthy.  Most career-driven people understand the importance of a fully professional appearance in person, but far too many of us fail to exude that same professionalism online—the very place most professional contacts will initially make contact with you.

Instead of using a selfie-stick to take a poor quality snapshot for your LinkedIn or social media pages, consider a professional headshot instead.  Here are five reasons why you need a professional headshot:

Look the part – If you want to be treated like a professional, you must look like a professional.  Period.

Take yourself seriously – Making a small financial investment in a professional headshot shows that you take yourself and your career seriously.  A professional headshot shows that you not only are professional, but that you are so attentive to detail, that not even your headshot escapes your scrutiny.

Stand out from the crowd – As important as a professional headshot is to a winning career, many adults still rely on poor-quality cell phone photos or center crops from group photos at a recent party.  If you want recruiters, potential employers, potential clients and networking contacts to take a closer look at doing business with you, start the process by sharing a headshot that’s high quality and visually pleasing.

Stay top of mind – By including a professional headshot on your social media accounts – and allowing people to put a professional face to your name – you are more likely to stay top-of-mind to the important people who look you up online, whether before meeting you face-to-face or after.

This is your only shot – In the fast-paced, digital world that we live in, where important contacts are often too busy to read more than a few lines of your resume, a professional headshot is your only opportunity to make a great first impression.   Don’t waste those opportunities – they are rare.

Take a look below at some of our favorite headshots from the past few weeks.

STP Images is Houston’s leading headshot destination.  Our downtown photography studio is easy to access (right by U of H Downtown) with plenty of free parking.  Call the studio today or email us to book your headshot session today!

Make a Great First Impression

We live in an instant gratification world.  Want a new pair of shoes?  Open the Amazon app on your smart phone, order them today and wear them to work tomorrow.  Need to see how your team is doing while at an evening company event?  Peek at the ESPN app on your phone.  Looking for someone to take to the concert Saturday night?  Open Tinder and swipe left or swipe right.

Your headshots and portraits play an important role in your personal and professional success.  While the above mentioned swiping decision on Tinder is an analogy, the truth is that people make instantaneous judgements and decisions about you based on their first impression of your profile photo.  You’ve heard the saying that you can’t undo a first impression – it is true.  No matter how long you know someone, you’ll be judged through the lens of that first impression you made.

With so much at stake – seeking a new career employment opportunity, securing that venture capital backing, getting the interview from the adoption agency, promoting your new business grand opening – don’t you want all the possible advantages you can get?  A beautiful, professional headshot or portrait can do JUST that for you – give you that edge.

Take a look at a few samples from our recent work.  When you’re ready to get serious about separating yourself from the “field”, give us a call to book your session!


What I learned over the past 10 years as a Pro Photographer

On April 12, 2017, STP Images Photography Studio will celebrate its 10th anniversary.  I’ve been so focused on keeping the photography business pipeline full that I’ve ignored publicizing the anniversary.  This weekend offered me a rare Saturday with no shoots or retouching – so, I sat at the pool in this beautiful weather and pondered the past ten years in business as an entrepreneur.  Here are some of my observations.

  • Working for yourself gives you the opportunity to work for the BEST boss you’ll ever have in your life.
  • Working for yourself gives you nowhere to hide when things don’t go right.
  • Being your own boss is incredibly liberating.
  • Being your own boss can be (at times) paralyzingly frightening.
  • After 10 years of being a full time, professional photographer, I am still learning.  The topics of my learning have migrated from mostly perfecting photography techniques to mostly perfecting building a solid business.
  • I have some of the best (and most beautiful) clients in the world – just look at the sample headshots to see for yourself!
  • Ten years is a long time.
  • Ten years flies by.
  • I have been helped by several generous professional photographers and multi-media artists who taught me things early in my career that are benefitting me today.  Their unselfishness has led me to paying it forward by participating in the Photography Guild of Houston where I will be teaching classes later this year to help embryonic photography businesses with practical information.
  • I love the business I am in – I truly say “I can’t believe this is my job!” out loud multiple times a month.  And I mean it.
  • You don’t have to be the top 1% to succeed, but you DO need to be dogged, unrelenting and totally focused on your goals.
  • It takes a support system of family, friends and great clients to find true success.
  • Photography is art.  Art is a business.  A serious business.

I realized that my 10 years as a photographer has been the longest employment tenure in my life – a milestone that exemplifies how great it is to be an entrepreneur.

I wish to thank my wife, Cindy, for her support during this circuitous 10 year journey.  It hasn’t been easy and there were some scary financial times along the way.  Her support is the foundation that I cling to when the business weather gets rough and batters me about.

My clients are the jet fuel that keeps this business running.  I am grateful for all who have referred people to me, I am grateful for everyone who has booked me after finding me on Google or Facebook and I am grateful for the literal thousands of faces that have graced my studio and passed though my computer screen for PhotoShop retouching.

I look forward to the next 10 years and hope they are as exciting and inspiring as the last 10 years have been.  Now, please call me to book YOUR headshots!

Corporate Office Staff Headshots

At STP Images, our primary specialty is setting up on-location at Houston corporations and businesses to photograph headshots and portraits of office staff for use on corporate websites and print publications.  This type of work isn’t easy, it isn’t for the beginner or the inexperienced.  It takes a lot of skill, knowledge and equipment to produce beautiful and professional results in a “portable” studio, but STP Images has mastered the process.

STP Images Photography Studio is an insured, full time photography studio that will celebrate its 10th anniversary on April 12, 2017.  Todd Parker, owner and primary photographer, is a Certified Professional Photographer, one of only a handful in Houston.  STP Images shoots literally thousands of headshots per year.  We are able to get in quickly, set up quietly and then photograph your staff or executives in a timely and efficient manner, resulting in beautiful headshots you will be proud of.

Once the headshots have been captured, typical turn around time is two weeks or less to receive your fully retouched files.  In 2016, we photographed over 1,400 individuals at corporate locations.  Take a look at the samples below to see the type of work you can expect from the professionals at STP Images Photography Studio.

Pricing can be found by clicking here – Office Staff Headshots.  Call or email today for more information or to book your office staff headshots.

New Year, New Headshots!

All indications point to a much more economically beneficial 2017 than 2016 was.  At STP Images Photography Studio, our clients are telling us that they are seeing sales activity increasing and interest building in just the first few weeks of the new year.

As your business prospects pick up in 2017, doesn’t it make sense to put your best “face” forward for your clients and potential clients?  Don’t keep using that old, dated headshot that is actually a selfie at the bar, or a crop-out from a social photo at a fundraiser or even the professional headshot you have held onto since 1997.  Your headshot is THE most important first impression you can make when most people “meet” you online.

Get your “headshot” on straight!  Give us a shout in the studio to talk about headshot options or simply click the “Headshots” tab on this website.  Our calendar stays busy, but we always can make room for one or two more!

Take a look at a few of our recent favorites below and give us a shout when YOU’RE ready to book.  Hope to hear from you soon.


Holiday Headshots!

Christmas is this coming weekend and New Year’s celebrations will ring out the following weekend.  It can be difficult to focus on work related tasks during this awesome and fun time of the year.  During this brief period of a slower work pace, why don’t you get the office staff together to get those headshots done that you’ve needed for a year or more.  The website needs updating, your LinkedIn and Facebook pages need updating with a new headshot and when the Wall Street Journal calls you to do that feature story on your impressive work empire, you need a headshot that shows the real “you”.

Book your headshots with STP Images over these holidays and get great results without losing a lot of productive time at work.  We can come to you to take natural light or standard studio lit headshots or you can send the crew to our downtown studio for traditional or contemporary headshots.

Take a look at a few of the sample headshots from the past few weeks below.  If you are ready to book, call or email us today for more information or to book your headshots.  We hope to hear from you soon.

Photography Classes!

Do you own a DSLR camera (see photo), but don’t know how to use it?  Do you have a DSLR camera and are using it, but leave it on “A” (automatic) mode and you don’t like the way your photos turn out?  Do you have a basic understanding of the camera, but want to take more dynamic photos that tell a story?  Do you have lots of photos on your camera card, but don’t know what to do with them?

We all have cell phones and most of us use the camera function on the phone.  Do you wonder why your cell phone photos are always blurry?  Do you wonder why your cell phone photos are all too dark?  Do you wonder why your cell phone photos don’t look like the photos posted by your social media friends?  Do you want to be more polished in your social media sharing of your photos?

lf you fall into any or all of these categories, we have a 2 hour class offering to help you!  Certified Professional Photographer, Todd Parker, has years of teaching experience and most recently taught the Photography 101 and Photography 201 classes at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School.  Todd designed the curriculum for these 2 hour classes in partnership with the Houston Center for Photography as well as the International Center for Photography in NYC.  These quick and helpful 2 hour classes include lecture instruction, viewing projected sample images for critique to reinforce comprehension and hands-on photography exercises to practice the concepts.

The classes are held at Vine Street Rental Studio, which provides a spectacularly beautiful backdrop for taking photos.  To see a listing of the classes, check out the class schedule in the right hand sidebar on this page.  By clicking on the class listing in the sidebar, you will be taken directly to our Eventbrite page where you can read the course descriptions, register for class, pay for your registration and print your tickets all at once.  We would love to see you in one of our classes!  Call the studio with questions or see our class listings at Vine Street Rental Studio.


Corporate Headshots for Office Staff

One of our specialities is setting up on-site at Houston corporations and businesses and photographing headshots and portraits of office staff for use on corporate websites and print publications.  This type of work isn’t easy, it isn’t for the beginner or the inexperienced.

STP Images Photography Studio is a fully insured photography studio that will celebrate its 10th anniversary in April 2017.  We’ve done this type of work over and over and over.  We are able to get in quickly, get set up and to photograph your staff or executives in a timely, but proper manner.

Once the headshots have been captured, typical turn around time is two weeks or less to receive your fully retouched files.  In 2016, we have photographed over 1,400 individuals at corporate locations.  Take a look at the samples below to see the type of work you can expect from the professionals at STP Images Photography Studio.

Pricing can be found by clicking here – Office Staff Headshots.  Call or email today for more information or to book your office staff headshots.