Posts tagged ‘photo improvement’

August 30, 2011

Does your profile picture work for you?

Whether you are a lawyer, a sales person, an executive, an entrepreneur or a creative type, you need a business portrait also called a headshot, mugshot, or executive portrait to use as a profile picture online, on business cards and brochures, in company annual reports, for the press, etc.

Why good profile pictures matter
Remember, first impression are difficult to change and a business portrait is the ideal way to show the public exactly who you are. So you need to put your best photo forward to produce the right first impression and there are several things to take into account when making that picture perfect.

How to pose
You need a shot where you look relaxed but confident and look into the camera for eye contact. The purpose of a business portrait is to connect and establish trust while you are not physically there.

How to dress
First, wear something comfortable – posing is hard the way it is and wearing clothes that don’t sit well will make you look stiff and unnatural. On the other hand, be aware of clothing that wrinkles easily as that will look sloppy and unprofessional.

Otherwise, your choice of clothing should be dictated by the type of image you are looking to project – conservative, friendly, artsy or approachable. Still, there are certain photography-related technicalities and some natural rules of perception to be taken into account.

Keep in mind that all black clothes might come out as a solid black spot while all white will reflect the flash light and might “blind” the camera. Off-white, navy blue, gray and brown, are better choices for neutral colors.

For women, avoid open shoulders and deep cuts. When you photo is cropped to fit the online format or the layout of the publication, you might appear as if wearing no clothes. It is better if you wear a long sleeve shirt which is more flattering on arms than short. Avoid busy prints and jewelry – they are distracting in photos.

Hire a professional or use a lucky amateur shot
Needless to say that a professional will deliver a good portrait with ease helping you with posing and setting the lighting in no time. But hiring a professional is not always an option when you are self-employed or an entrepreneur on a tight budget. In this case, if you have a good shot taken by an amateur, it can be enhanced to the level of the studio portrait. The photo below was improved at $11.95. Without the change of the background, this would have cost $3.50 – an affordable expense for any budget.


Contemporary consumer cameras go to 10 Megapixels and higher to give you top-notch resolution of any professional camera. With a good lighting, your friend, colleague or a family member can produce a decent shot of you that will be enhance to the grade of a studio portrait by a retoucher.

Should I get my photo retouched?
Professionally shot “executive portraits” normally get retouched. This is a subtle procedure to give your image a “fresher” (not younger) look. Any temporary skin imperfections like blemishes and rashes that tend to pop up in digitally shot photos due to the sharpness of the capture get evened out. If your eyes welled up with tears during intense posing and exsessive lighting, the retoucher will dry them and fix the eye redness. Flyaway hair that gives the image a sloppy look is removed. Makeup is fixed. Eyeglasses glare and unsightly facial shadows get eliminated. For men, shaving mishaps get corrected. Flashlight reflection that makes the face look oily is toned down. Lint is removed from clothing.

These might sound like trifle things but all these tiny imperfections, hardly noticeable in reality, get into the limelight when a person sees your photo for the first time. After all, it’s 70% how you look, 20% how you sound, and 10% what you say.

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January 13, 2011

PhotoHand is Named to the 2011 Wedding Professional Hot List

13 Jan, 2011 – MomentVille.com, one of the worlds leading wedding websites, has just announced that PhotoHand has been selected for the 2011 Wedding Professional Hot List.

The annual Wedding Professional Hot List recognizes excellence within the wedding industry, as determined by reviews from tens of thousands of brides and grooms. PhotoHand was among the best reviewed vendors in their area in the past year.

“The Wedding Professional Hot List recognizes best of class wedding professionals.” said Geoff Evason, MomentVille’s CEO. “Highlighting the success of the top wedding professionals is an exciting way to spread the word and help newly engaged couples find the right professionals for their own weddings.”

About PhotoHand
PhotoHand will retouch your wedding photos at the starting fee of $3.50/photo for complete cosmetic photo retouching. Also, on offer there are custom-designed save-the-date cards and wedding invitations and wedding photo books from your photo material. With professional photo editing and photography retouching, skillful cropping and art effects, your book becomes an outstanding memorable piece.

About MomentVille
MomentVille.com offers engaged couples and wedding enthusiasts a one stop place for planning and sharing a wedding. Offering personal wedding websites, wedding planning tools, a gorgeous gallery of wedding pictures, a searchable list of reviewed wedding vendors, and lots of helpful and inspiring wedding content, MomentVille helps newlyweds with all aspects of their wedding. For more information contact media@momentville.com

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December 12, 2010

Photo Retouching: Going Mainstream

Photo retouching, a.k.a. photo editing or airbrushing, is as old as photography itself. But only with the advent of the digital revolution that overturned a lot of concepts in the Photography industry since the beginning of this century, photo retouching became commonplace, extending to family photography – professionally taken as well as amateur shots.

Photo retouching services became affordable to any budget ($3.50/photo at PhotoHand.com) and easily accessible over the web. You can order it 24/7 just like you order books or clothes.

Just decide what you don’t like about the photo, check the pricing schedule and go to the order form to upload your shots and type in your instructions. You will get your images back in the same resolution without any marks claiming the copyright over your photos.

Photo retouching (“photoshopping”) does not mean altering the photos completely, rather it simply modifies the images and removes the flaws originating from technical and non-technical faults.

Besides the lighting that you normally don’t have control of outside the studio, there are a lot of mishaps that can ruin the view: exit signs spoil the mood in the wedding pictures and so do slight wardrobe malfunctions like skin overflowing the edge of a sleeveless wedding dress (happens even to the skinniest brides), twisted tense smiles resulting from prolonged posing, electrified hairs crossing faces… There is no reason now to put up with these imperfections that spoil otherwise a perfect memento.

Of course, it takes skill, experience and artistic perspective to improve and sometimes rescue the photo without affecting the originality of the image. Luckily, now the magazine-quality photo editing services are available to every mom, newlywed, serial dater, actor, musician, aspiring model, pageant contestant, starting out fashion designer, beauty professional, life coach… everyone.

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May 13, 2009

Primp Up Your Indie Image On a Budget

Indie is trendy. If you hear this for the first time, you’ve been out of touch for quite a while and should hurry to Etsy.com to catch up. Whether it’s shoes, clothes, cosmetics, jewelry, bags, gift items, perfume… indie companies are guaranteed to provide innovative offbeat products that will spice up your image.

Innovation is the key to indie success as small companies are faster on their feet than large brands. They also tend to be greener, organic and more conscious of waste.

PhotoHand is a strong supporter of indies and we have a lot of them among our clients. Indies do not have the promotion budgets of big brands but they must have the big brand image quality to sell.

Indie companies on a budget (and most of them are) do not have the resources to hire professional photographers at $100-150/hr to shoot their new products, especially as they introduce one-two new products at a time. Instead they buy professional or semi-professional photo cameras that are becoming cheaper and more powerful and take promotional photos at their make-shift corner studios.

This is a prudent approaching taking into account that even professionally shot photos still need to be photoshopped to bring out the best in the image.

A perfume bottle shot in a make-shift setup with a non-professional camera was color-corrected and photo-retouched by PhotoHand professionals. Complex level - $11.95/photo

A perfume bottle shot in a make-shift setup with a non-professional camera was color-corrected and photo-retouched by PhotoHand professionals. Complex level - $11.95/photo

PhotoHand has been assisting indie companies with this task for quite a while and we keep getting the same question from our clients: How to set up the photo shoot for the best results.

We did some research, consulted several photographers and came up with the basic set of rules that will set you on the right track.

How to set up lighting for a home photo shoot?

Lighting is of paramount importance in photography. Photographing with natural light will deliver natural colors but only if you shoot on an overcast day that is still bright. You can wait for such a day or imitate these conditions by using easily available elements:

1) A spotlight lamp with a white light bulb. A yellow light bulb will tint the original color of the product;
2) Frosted paper that will be used as a screen to diffuse the light shining on the product and this way prevent the “hot spots” in the photo;
3) A flowing background, preferably stiff paper that won’t crinkle;
4) A sheet of white paper to reflect the diffused light from the spotlight lamp and partially illuminate the other side or the front of the product. This is necessary to avoid sharp light/shade contrast (unless you want it for some artistic effect).

The following diagram shows how to arrange these items for the photoshoot setup at home.

This diagram shows how to arrange these items for the photoshoot setup at home.

How to set your camera for the product photo shoot?

No-Flash-No-GlareTurn off the Flash. Flash glare on objects is very hard to photo retouch because it means loss of digital information. A photo retoucher would have to fill up the blanks by using his/her imagination.

Macro-for-close-up

Set your camera to MACRO for the close-up view.

That’s it.  Happy shooting!  And remember, PhotoHand is always there for you to glam up your image.
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