Headshots: They Don’t Have to be Daunting!

Getting ready for my first headshot was a daunting affair, to put it mildly. Daunting not because of the wonderful pre-shoot conversations I had with the photographer, Trishann Couvillion of Fire Eyes Photography, daunting because of my own preconceived notions.

© Fire Eyes Photography ~ Seattle Headshots

I had always thought that headshots were for older, stuffy, “real” professionals. Here I was being asked by a new client to submit one for their website. Moi? A professional? Someone wants my mug on their website? There are moments you have in life when you realize you have officially grown up; getting a headshot done with a professional photographer for one’s business endeavors is certainly one of them.

Writers and editors like me tend to hide behind the closed doors of our freelance space (translate: local coffee shop) and other than the occasional fantasy about the back of a book jacket graced with our discerning, spectacled image on its flap, we generally don’t like to be seen by our public.

I had been introduced to Trishann through a colleague and instantly liked her “documentary-esque” approach to her craft. Days before the shoot, I emailed Trishann asking if I should spray tan before the big day so I could acquire a healthy glow that would belie the truth of taking a professional photo in the later months of a Seattle winter. Trishann assured me that with the way she uses light to capture her subject meant a trip to a tanning salon was one less thing to add to my pre-shoot list.

Next up? Hair and makeup. I had timed my session to take place one week after a hair appointment so my highlights would have a chance to be washed repeatedly and subdue to a normal hue. Makeup? Would it be vain to schedule a makeup artist to accompany me to the session? I decided against it as the shoot was scheduled to take place in the early morning hours and I wasn’t aiming for a dramatic look. If I had to look like a professional, I wanted the image to resemble my normal, barely-cosmetics-enhanced self. My advice: endeavor to look like your normal self as much as possible.

Rochelle Short ~ © Fire Eyes Photography 2012

Women are notorious for being undecided about what to wear and as the day of the shoot drew closer, I was no different. Did I want to wear something stiff and business-like or casual and connoting approachability? Trishann advises bringing at least two outfits to a shoot and in an ideal world, three is even better. For her clients not currently in a relationship, Trishann subtly reminds them about how nice it is to have a casual, yet professional photo for an online dating profile. With a couple of outfits in your photo session arsenal, your resulting images can be used to highlight your business self, your casual self, and perhaps some other fun aspect of your personality. For example, I have a friend who loves to wear fake moustaches. Bringing that little prop along adds an element of pizzazz and personality to what some people (like me going into the shoot) fear might be an intimidating activity. And if your “public” professional self could easily pull off a fake moustache in some of photos, then by all means, bring it!

For the fellas out there reading this and contemplating what to bring to their headshot session, Trishann had some advice to offer. Freshly trimmed or cut hair and facial hair is a great idea as hair that is grown out and/or uneven will be very obvious in a close-up. Two to three looks for the men is also advisable. Definitely a button-down shirt and tie for one shot, suit jacket optional. For the second look, ideally you should wear your weekend or after-work attire and something you feel comfortable in. The third look is optional and should be your personality shot. Have fun with it!

© Fire Eyes Photography 2012

My shoot began on an early Sunday morning and after a few minutes of hair and makeup touch ups, we went outside to work with the natural light. Trishann has a demeanor that instantly makes her subject feel at ease. As the wind blew slightly, she was quick to calm both my nerves and my flyaway hairs. Trishann doesn’t resort to corny jokes and admits to being not the best joke teller. She’d actually rather wait for you to laugh at yourself at how awkward you may feel in front of her camera, as she finds those are the money shots! When you talk to Trishann about her approach to headshots photography, what emerges from the conversation is how she loves to wait for the moment when her subject forgets they’re having their photo taken. It’s in the casual laughter and banter that crops up amid posed shots that she catches the “fire” in the eye of her subject; the essence of the person that most resembles their true self.

This certainly translates to her finished product. When Trishann sent me the proofs from my session, I was thrilled with the results. The shots now grace my Facebook Wall and the client’s website that requested the photo in the first place. Recently, I was at a conference where the speaker was talking about social media and how having a photo of yourself greatly improves your chance of adding followers and making real-world connections. I have certainly found this to be the case now and am delighted to have a current photo that matches what people find when they encounter me offline.

Trishann is available for individual sessions at a location of your choice. You can also do yourself and your friends or colleagues a favor by booking multiple headshot sessions during one shoot. This also makes it more fun and cost effective too! Trishann is a delight to work with and is professional, personable, and flexible. I’ll certainly be giving her another call when that book jacket comes to fruition.

~by Rochelle Short, Editor & Writer

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Game On: Sports Marketing in the Social Media Arena


© Fire Eyes Photography 2012

Moderator: Mitch Germann (@MCG5) Vice President @EdelmanDigital, Seattle

Daniel Hour (@DHourUW) Manager of New Media & Recruiting Services @UWAthletics

Jeff Richards (@JeffRichardsSea) Director of Marketing @Seahawks and @soundersfc

Gregg Greene (@RealGregg) Director of Marketing @Mariners

Carrie Krueger (@carriekrueger) Director of Communication @seattlestorm

Twitter is kind of like being at a party – the first and most important thing is to listen.” Gregg Greene, Director of Marketing with the Mariners, knows that in order to reach your customers and fans, you need to be aware of how they use social media to interact with your business. Your brand has a unique opportunity in the social media age to reach out directly to consumers through various digital media sources. Taking the approach of listening and then responding will not only meet your audience’s needs but will engage them in a way that can build loyalty and word-of-mouth growth. Be cautious of who your brand ambassadors are. When making posts or responding on social media, be fully aware that “Once it’s out there, even if you delete it later, it doesn’t fully go away,” advised Gregg.

© Fire Eyes Photography 2012 ~photos of Jill Hashimoto, Chamber members and panelists

A “Twitter fit” Carrie Krueger advises, should be handled right away and with a personal touch. If a fan is at your event and has a bad experience, it’s quite likely they will quickly be vocal about it on Twitter right in that moment. If you have a brand ambassador monitoring your feed and interacting with attendees, you can actually reach that fan and offer a solution immediately. “It’s important to be responsible and proactive, it helps keep people engaged,” said Carrie. Also, the proactive approach will impress your existing customers and you’re more likely to create brand evangelists because of your quick and thoughtful solutions.

© Fire Eyes Photography 2012 ~ photo of Carrie Krueger

As these sports marketing pros use social media to reach out to their audience, they are keenly aware of the impact they may or may not be having through their online interactions. When Mitch Germann, Vice President at Edelman Digital asked about the shift in marketing from traditional media to digital media, Gregg Green said, “Yes, we are shifting from traditional to digital media. The Mariners were the first team in the nation to have a website, the first team to broadcast online, and the very first team to sell game tickets online.”

© Fire Eyes Photography 2012 ~ photo of panelists

The Mariners organization was quite innovative when compared to its peers in being willing to utilize digital media in its infancy. Gregg shared a great story about the first person to purchase the very first online ticket for a Mariners game. After the transaction was complete, Ticketmaster called the purchaser to ask what had made the individual want to buy their ticket online. The purchaser’s response? “I don’t like talking to people on the phone and I don’t like talking to you!” … and he hung up!

Digital media is providing many solutions for customers on many levels! Another fun idea the Mariners now offer during games is their @MarinersDJ Twitter handle that allows fans to send song requests to be played at breaks during home games. It’s free, easy to use, and encourages the fans to stay engaged! Striving for great concepts that you can utilize within your brand is key to standing out and staying relevant.

“Your branding through social media should be measured through a dollars and cents analytic,” advised Jeff Richards. “However you do that, it’s important.” Find out what your audience is and is not responding to and revise tactics accordingly. If certain posts aren’t getting much attention or very many “likes” — try a different strategy. Jeff is working on an idea to begin having the Seahawks and Sounders players make announcements through digital media and have them involved in breaking news to their fans. He believes that this select touch will help their organizations reach their audience on a personal level and will engage them as well.

© Fire Eyes Photography 2012 ~ photo of Jeff Richards

Daniel Hour believes that the University of Washington’s website is different from many other collegiate websites in the nation. The focus is to use recruiting content as the base makeup of UW’s online presence. They want to reach out to the best student athletes in the nation and believe that by merging content to reach fans, as well as those athletes, they are able to effectively serve the UW’s sports programs.

© Fire Eyes Photography 2012 ~ photo of panelists

As a large organization, Daniel also believes that when engaging with fans through social media, it’s important to maintain the voice of the “brand” and not the brand ambassadors personally. This has helped them stay focused on proper content and abide by the written policy UW has regarding the use of social media for its organization.

In all, these pros feel it’s important to add some “color” to tweets, have fun engaging your fans and followers, and pay attention to your content. Brand loyalty can grow tenfold using great and engaging content strategy and social media can bring a personal touch to your business or organization. Whether you are a sole entrepreneur, a medium- or large-sized company, or a giant organization — utilizing social media platforms to engage with your customers can have a brand-building impact that will have lasting results.

As a small business owner, I am finding that incorporating my personality into my social media outreach greatly benefits me in the same way that large organizations benefit from adding a personal touch to their brand interaction with fans and followers. In this game of life, though we interact via computers to a large extent, people are still human and crave personable interaction. I have found Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites to be a conversational “at bat” I hit out into the virtual park and bring into home plate with an eventual in-person exchange.

It was a pleasure listening to these local sports marketing authorities talk about their social media game plan. I am happy to be not only a fan, but also a social media player.

© Fire Eyes Photography 2012 ~ Safeco Field

Special thanks to Jill Hashimoto, Safeco Director of Private Event Sales & Marketing and the the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce for hosting this sports marketing social media event!

~written by Trishann Couvillion (@fire_eyes) Fire Eyes Photography ~ Corporate & Special Event Photographer, Nationwide. http://www.fireeyesphotography.com

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Social Media, Part Two … Tell Me a Story

On Tuesday, I shared the first installment of my article recounting Social Media Day  — an event sponsored by the teams at GTX Marketing and Fresh Consulting. I was honored to share the piece not only with my readers, but also folks like Mike Whitmore and Kathy Ireland. I was thrilled to see Part One circulating on Twitter and shared via friends on Facebook. Once again, the themes put forth at Social Media Day were brought home to my front door. If you share it, they will come.

Social Media Day Event

When we re-convened after lunch, Jenny Kuglin (@jenkuglin) content manager and social media maven for Fisher Interactive, shared a story about news anchor, Kathi Goertzen. Kathi’s story highlighted the human connection people associate with a brand. In this case, KOMO News and Fisher Communications. Kathi had been off-air for some time in recent years as she battled (and continues to fight) a brain tumor. Kathi was hesitant to return to a place in front of the camera due to disfigurement from her disease. Jenny knew that people were curious about Kathi so the communications team at Fisher helped Kathi launch a Facebook page, which as of this article, has over 71,600 fans. She can also be found on YouTube, Twitter (@InspireHopeCure), and via her website. Nothing tangible is being exchanged, but Kathi has a story to share and people want to hear it. Content is king.

Social Media Day Event

© 2012 Fire Eyes Photography

Though, in the words of Rod Brooks (@NW_Mktg_Guy) “Content is gold. Kings die; gold lives forever.” The theme of the afternoon was story and Jenny, Rod, and Paul Anderson (@ProLango) did a wonderful job of introducing the sociable side of social interaction. Yes, we were all on social media because we run businesses or work for companies where marketing and social presence matter. But few of us participate in social media with the intent to NOT make friends, as many of us enjoy when our interactions move off-screen to the in-person realm.

© 2012 Fire Eyes Photography

Rod stated, he is 90% personality, 10% business when it comes to social media. His advice, “Bring yourself to work.” Be genuine. Travel. Engage with the world. Be quirky and interesting. Rod talked about the wild success of the Northwest Profiles series of commercials and cards based on stereotypical Northwest personality types. Pemco realized that people didn’t necessarily want to talk about insurance, but you know what? “People want to talk about the neighbors,” said Rod. That became the key to Pemco’s marketing success and social amiability.

Jen, this time Jen Houston (@JHouston89) of Waggener Edstrom’s dynamic communications team, stepped on stage and delivered another talk relevant to the theme of story. “Content is the currency of influence,” said Jen. People still desire eye contact and human connection. Among her many morsels of social media advice, “Be a content guerrilla.” Pics, travel, drawings on napkins — capture your life and essence of who you are — this is your brand and your story. Know who your audience is and track where those people are. Monitor your brand and be engaging. “Nuance is necessary to engage.” Choose the channel that  best allows you to tell your nuanced story and bring value to your audience.

Social Media Day Event

© 2012 Fire Eyes Photography

Jeff Dance (@Jeffdance) of Fresh Consulting delivered a talk about creativity and storytelling. Logging ideas is good for our brain. Drawing images is also good for our brain. Basically, we should strive to engage in a dance that complements both hemispheres of our brain. (Think  of the “Liger” from the famous movie, Napolean Dynamite.) People are craving meaning and simplification — and people remember stories. Where can we tell our stories, beyond the social media platforms discussed up to this point? In the About Us page on our websites. On WordPress analytics, the About Us page was the #1 most-visited page besides the homepage. Customers want to know who you are and what you bring to the proverbial table. Jeff closed with the sage advice, “Be educational, be useful, be entertaining … or be ignored.”

Social Media Day Event

© 2012 Fire Eyes Photography

Heidi Miller (@heidimiller) was the final guest speaker and imparted valuable wisdom about the social media exchange. “Be yourself, share a picture of yourself, and don’t be a jerk,” she advised. Heidi reiterated what Rod had said — there’s no need to be all business. Share your integrated self, ask questions and engage in conversation with others. Don’t delete comments — EVER! As mentioned by Mike and other panelists — you must monitor your brand your social presence constantly. If an issue should arise via your social media network, one to two hours for a response is ideal, but more than twenty-four hours is too long. Heidi illustrated examples of TSA and Domino’s Pizza properly responding to customer feedback via a very public platform. There are polite ways to engage with even the most angry customer and your image depends on your response and handling of a situation.

Social Media Day was a blast to attend and and honor to photograph. I gained so much valuable information that my assistant and I have been working overtime trying to implement all the tidbits, buttons, and tags that we learned that sunny afternoon last weekend. Technology is changing the world we live in and I welcome the opportunity to keep up and engage. Thank you for reading and “walking with me” as Kathy Ireland stated at the event. If content is gold, I am feeling pretty golden right now and I can’t wait to share more stories, photos, and backs of napkins from my upcoming travels and photo shoots. If you’re new to Twitter, remember to follow the people mentioned in this piece (via the links provided or “@” symbol before their name). Of course, you can find me on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Catch you on the social side.

~Trishann Couvillion (@fire_eyes) Fire Eyes Photography

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A Fresh Approach to Media, Part One ~ by Corporate Event Photographer Trishann Couvillion

A Fresh Approach to Media, Part One

Social Media Day was a one-day event organized by Fresh Consulting and GTX Marketing, both Seattle-based companies. Fresh Consulting specializes in strategy, design, and technology services for businesses and GTX Marketing focuses on innovative Web design to strengthen business brands. Last Saturday, hundreds of attendees sat in the southwest corner of the Century Link Events Center to listen to the social media mavens that Fresh Consulting and GTX Marketing had invited to share tips and strategy in this digital age.

© 2012 Fire Eyes Photography

Rod Brooks (@NW_Mktg_Guy), senior marketer for Pemco Insurance, acted as emcee for the day and if the Starbucks coffee in the Bassett Furniture sponsored lounge hadn’t woken the morning’s attendees, then Rod’s taxi-yellow suit was sure to do the trick. He shared some statistics about consumers, how to advertise to your intended audience, and parted with the advice: “Know your talkers; give them something to talk about; make it easy to share.”

Mike Whitmore (@mikewhitmore) stepped up to the podium to introduce his friend, Kathy Ireland (@KathyIreland). Mike had been blogging during his late wife’s battle and eventual death from cancer. It was via those blog posts and the Twitter platform that Mike and Kathy formed a friendship and business connection.

© 2012 Fire Eyes Photography

Kathy, a former supermodel who exudes femininity and poise, shared her background in modeling and how it prepared her for the thick skin required to succeed in business. She stated that, “all the rejection” was one of the gifts of her modeling career. Though she is one of the most successful women in today’s business world (regularly touted on top Forbes lists) Kathy also experienced nights spent at the airport while traveling for business with her husband and business team because they couldn’t afford to stay in a hotel. “Whatever material things you have to give up is not a sacrifice — it’s a  bold investment,” she stated.

© 2012 Fire Eyes Photography

She learned the value of investigating reputations and getting to know who you’re really doing business with before starting a partnership or affiliation. Also she knew she had to, “Ask powerful questions to get powerful answers.” Regarding social media, Kathy didn’t like the Twitter term “followers,” rather she prefers to call them “people who walk with me” and states, “You have the information that they need. Give it to them.”

Kathy concluded her talk by opening up the floor to questions. One of the best came from a young girl in the audience who asked Kathy, herself a mother, what she would teach her kids about business. Kathy, clearly charmed like the rest of the audience, offered: “Treat others like you would want to be treated. Be kind. Be a good listener. Give 110%. Give more than what’s expected. Work hard.”

Mike Whitmore once again took the podium and launched into the value of video content in business. Imagery and storytelling create conversation around your product and the product can be and should be a subtle component of your imagery content. Mike told a story about Keith Ferrazzi (author of Never Eat Alone) and how, once again, a personable connection made via Twitter translated to a “real world” chance to meet and engage. Mike said Keith was a “genuinely nice human being” and Mike loves the book and encouraged everyone to pick up a copy.

Mike’s advice: “People are talking about your brand. Know what they’re saying.” Monitor your presence on the Web and make sure it is an accurate reflection of your business. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and now Pinterest are the top sites with which businesses and consumers engage. On a given day, 400K people sign up for Twitter. If you’re a business and don’t have a presence on these sites, you should!

As Mike spoke, I paused to look at the event attendees around me. From the moment the event began, Seattle’s social media savvy in the audience had been tweeting up to the minute accounts from the show to the Twitter hashtag “#nwsocial.” It’s amazing the ability people have to pay attention, or half attention to a speaker while tweeting to their audience. Every speaker mentioned in this article has a Twitter handle after their name. If you’re not on Twitter yet, they’re the people you should follow and begin to watch how they use hashtags to reference a current trend. Here’s a Twitter primer from Mike:

@ symbol : Used before a person’s name or handle, it’s how you tweet to them publicly.
# hashtag: A way to sort data and follow a meme or trend.
bit.ly: A shortened Web address. Makes links friendly to Twitter’s 140-character per tweet limit.
RT”: A retweet. A way of saying, “I like what you said,” and then sharing it with your followers.

Twitter is microblogging; you need to tweet. Mike also shared his approach to Twitter called being the “GAP.” Genuine. Accurate. Positive. 96% of people ages 18-35 are on a social network. Businesses want to market and engage with that demographic. Twitter can be intimidating to some as you begin to get comfortable with the platform, but if I can do it, you can too!

Stay tuned in the coming days for Part Two of Social Media Saturday where panelists and speakers discussed the value of content and storytelling. Can you tell a robot did not write this piece? This type of content and exchange between people like you and me is something we cannot outsource and something only humans can bring to life.

~Trishann Couvillion (@fire_eyes) Fire Eyes Photography

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Columbia Tower Club ~ Client Appreciation Night ~ Leap Day 2012 ~ Seattle Business Event Photographer

The Columbia Tower Club graciously hosted their Annual Client Appreciation Night on Leap Day this year! The event debuted their fabulous new events menu with delicious tastes and open bar. And best of all the bar starred a ice sculpture Luge where the bartender would mix your choice of tasty new cocktails, then funnel it from the top of the ice sculpture, where the drink would work it’s way through the ice sculpture blocks and into the recipients glass…SO fun!

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New Years Eve 2011 Seattle ~ Roaring 20’s Style

Looking for Plan for New Years Eve December 31, 2011??? Check out this HOT HOT HOT Event!! 7 Course Dinner with Wine Pairing, Live Entertainment and Music, Prime view of the Fire Works off the Space Needle from our view on the Private Yacht, the boat where all the action is taking place, and to top it off, it’s the Roaring 20’s….

Details & Tickets HERE:

Tickets still available for a limited time!!

Hosted by DJ Design Ltd., Photography by Fire Eyes Photography

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Howard Schultz speaks to the Seattle Chamber at the Fairmont Hotel ~ Corporate Event Photography by Fire Eyes Photography

Seattle Event Photography coverage by Fire Eyes Photography.

Howard Schultz spoke at an event hosted by the Great Seattle Chamber of Commerce @ the Fairmont Hotel in Seattle this April. His passion for growing his company while taking into consideration the partners, customers and stock holders was admirable and it was great to hear him speak about the struggles and growth through the last few years.

Seattle Corporate Event Photography, Business Event Photography, Awards Dinner and Auction Photography Fairmont Hotel, Seattle Conference Photography

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