Paul Bergman headshot
My new headshot

When building your personal brand, you need to market yourself as well as you can. If you don’t have a professional headshot, you probably don’t know what you are missing! Those selfies are fine to show friends how much fun you had in Vegas, but does it put you in the best “professional” light? Remember, many of your professional network may not appreciate the fun-loving style.

Paul Bergman

I was never too interested in getting a professional headshot taken until I started public speaking. As I built that part of my career, I started looking for better photos of me to include in background bios. For a very long time I had a favorite snapshot that, with some basic photoshoping (autocorrect tells me that’s not a word) of the background, was passable as a professional looking image.

Aside from the over saturation of color and cropping of the shadow, I was happy with this for many years.

Older and a little more grey but this professional shot was my go-to shot for a few years. The photoshoping (still not a word) is better and I was reasonably happy with it. It’s not very dramatic and while he seems like a nice guy, I’m not sure if he’s the expert I need.

Paul Bergman
Paul Bergman

I was never really impressed with this shot. I don’t think the lighting worked for me and the background is distracting. This was a mass photoshoot offered that literally took about 5 minutes. The photographer didn’t have time to adjust lighting for everyone and I think it shows.

This shot was my only photo I ever used that I got negative feedback on.

I found a great photographer in Rich Soublet

I finally ran into a friend that told me he could do better. Everyone will tell you that they are great but he had some great shots on his website. I also had a number of friends that had already used him and their photos looked pretty good. Ok, I’ll take a shot. His name is Rich Soublet and his studio is Rich Soublet Photography.

For those that don’t know, the common practice for photography is that you pay a fee for the photographer to take you photo. This is called the “sitting fee”. If you actually WANT the photos, those cost more. At first, this seems a bit opportunistic but I understand the logic. There is some Photoshop work that may need to be done (I needed a lot!) and the photographer should be paid for that time. Also, Rich took about 150 shots of me and charging by image helps on workload.

The experience and why it is worth the cost

While I’ve had a professional take my photo before, I’d never really had a real “photo shoot” experience. I’d seen them in movies where the photographer is constantly instructing the model. It was just like that but without the demanding needy tone. It was really fun! Rich inserts just the right amount of flattery to get you comfortable in front of the bright (and they are BRIGHT) lights. For most of the shoot he was just a vague silhouette in the shadows of the room beyond the blinding lights.

After a 90 minute shoot, we had some great shots to choose from. He has a great way of helping you filter out 90% of the images and a great eye. I’ll admit I often couldn’t see the difference between some shots but he did. Thank goodness he did because I think I ended up with the best of the bunch.

If you aren’t in love with your photos, get in touch with a real professional and get yourself in a studio. I think you will be as happy with the product as I am!

Many of my the shots in my photo gallery are action shots. Those are a very different game.

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