How does brain science affect being photogenic?

Denver Portraits using brain science

“I’m not photogenic, I rarely like any photos of myself.” Is this you? Is this nearly EVERYONE? 

If you think you’re alone in this statement I’ve got news for you: everyone has something they are shy about, or worried, or ashamed of even. 

I get it. I understand. I’ve been there, and it’s pretty normal. 

When we are putting ourselves out in the world, when we are doing something new and maybe way outside out comfort zone, our beautiful brains will try to side track us. Mostly because it’s easier to stay in our comfort zone, not risky, not scary, no unknowns. 

But that’s not you. You are ready to grow, learn, create toward your goals and dreams. 

Or maybe just uplevel your headshot. Which alone can be scary. It’s still ‘being seen’ on a new level. 

Insecurities are usually the first to knock on our door. Imposter syndrome and self doubt are often regular visitors. 

But don’t worry, you’re still safe. You are just feeling the growing pains of the new

I’ll make sure to check in with you throughout your session and get your feedback to make sure we get the best images for you, showing your essence, showing your story, and images you can feel great about showing to the world.

Drop me a message and learn more. Much love, Mariah 

Denver Portraits using brain science

How To Have The Best Play Date

Yes, yes, it really is all I can talk about these days: SANTA PLAY DATE! Part of that is because I know first hand how fun it is for the whole family and how beautiful the keepsakes are that we are offering. We had our two HopeKids families last weekend and everyone left with big smiles and happy hearts. It was so lovely to give these families some time away from their kids’ treatments and worries here in my West Wash Park studio, a sanctuary for them. Being able to give them a family experience, like any other family, meant the world to them, and it was our honor to create it for these children and parents. But that’s not the end of what we are giving HopeKids Colorado, we are also donating $50 of every session fee and 10% of all sales to the organization, so it can continue its incredible work.

Please join us in celebrating the season, giving back, engaging with your families, and a PLAY DATE with Santa! 

Part of what made the sessions such a success was they were well prepared. Vala Vincent Photography and I, Mariah Ehlert Photography, want to make sure everything is perfect for you and your families, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

  1. Make sure to show up on time. You get a private play date, the pre-scheduled time is all yours! But if you’re late, we won’t be able to move appointments around.
  2. Review the keepsake products and get an idea ahead about which you will want, it will help us to help you select the best images for you memories and gifts.

Kids 

  • Let them know this will be FUN, and talk about what it means to meet Santa; ask what they want to talk about with Santa; they can write him letters too.
  • No need to coach them on smiles, we’ll capture them naturally, and it can add stress for them.
  • Let them know Santa, Mariah, & Vala are ‘friends’, and excited to meet them.

Parents

  • Bring your best fart jokes, anything to get the giggles going
  • Be ready to show love to your family
  • Leave the stress on the front stoop; we sweep away daily
  • It’s ok if everyone got dirty on the way here, it’s life, it happens
  • We are here to help make the holidays easier for you, and capture some amazing memories and that annual holiday image to cherish
  • Yes, we have mirrors so you can do a quick check and feel confident and camera ready

Clothing

  • Yes: Similar color schemes: whites, tans, splash of red, greens, splash of gold or silver (here’s our Pinterest board for ideas)
  • Yes: Similar hues (light color schemes, or darks)
  • Avoid: Fluorescent colors, busy patterns
  • Accessories for the win: this is the best place to add drama to a wardrobe (versus in the fabrics): headbands, barrettes, necklaces, pins, jewelry, reindeer antlers

Pets (Sunday only)

  • Wear them out before the session: long walk, hard play, jog, dog park, whatever they love to get them happy and tired
  • Bring a favorite toy and/or treats, we don’t always use them, but it can them help focus in a new environment
  • Potty them before coming inside
  • Pet accessories are always a blast, let’s see what you have!

Have any questions? Send us an email, or ask on our Facebook page or on the Santa Play Date event page.

Have a wonderful week, we can’t wait to meet your families and photograph you.

Top Tips for a Kick-Butt Headshot

Your image is often your first impression. What does it say about you? About your business? There are so many elements you can use to create a kick butt image for your brand, whether it is for personal or professional use. Some of the key elements I use with clients are body language and expression. Learn about them here and take better photos!

Body Language. How are you standing, posed, how is the image cropped? What angle are your shoulders, hips in relation to the camera? First, hand the phone camera over to someone. Your arm has limited range, you’ll get a better angle if someone else takes the image. Think about how you want to come across: aggressive, confident, or powerful?

  1. Crossed arms will give a more aggressive/assertive vibe.
  2. Arms at the side will be more inviting, confident posture
  3. Hands on the hips is a power pose, and expresses power, confidence, and assertiveness without being aggressive.

Expression. This will always dominate over all else. Getting your intention to show through your expression is not always easy. Here are some tips, focusing on micro expressions. Know what your intention is, and use the best expression for that intention.

  • Beware of smirks, they convey ‘contempt’ or ‘disgust’ micro expression
  • Men: research has the greatest ‘know-like-trust’ factor is with a straight face or a full smile (not a half smile). Women can get away with small smiles, aka baby smile, and big full face smiles.
  • No smile, relaxed expression. This can either show a serious intention, or a calm, relaxed.
  • These are the windows to the INTENTION. Remember to engage your eyes. We all have the ability to warm up, lighten up, and/or ‘smile’ with the eyes. Practice in the mirror, and you’ll eventually get it, if you don’t immediately.

Now merge your body language and your expression, have someone take your photo, and see how you do. Keep practicing!

 

Interested in having me take your photo? Click here for a $100 gift voucher for a headshot session with me and see how I work with these elements.