somerset courthouse

Choosing a Setting & Background For Your Portrait Session

When discussing an upcoming portrait session with a client, one of the first questions I ask is always, "Have you thought about what background you might like"? That's because (aside from yourself) it's one of the most important elements of your portrait! There's a lot of thought that goes into picking the proper background since there are so many options that convey numerous, appropriate moods.

To help you pick the right setting for your portrait, I've broken down the main choices into three different categories: Studio, Nature, and Industrial.

Studio // Studio is the most basic option. It can fit any category of job; From makeup artist to lawyer to real estate agent, in the studio you can choose from a selection of colored backgrounds with gray & white being the most common. White gives a nice clean bright feeling while gray is an optimal option for those who want something clean & crisp, like white but not as bright. If gray and white are a little too "plain" for you, you can also pick a fun bright color! This works well for someone who has a creative or child-oriented job, like a graphic designer or daycare owner. Feel free to ask me what colors would work well for you if you choose to shoot in the studio!


Industrial // Industrial is a popular option that includes backgrounds like brick, buildings, and stone. There's a lot of great options for these in Somerville and if we schedule it right, you can fit both studio & industrial photos in your session! Walls like brick, marble, and stone are another great option for non-specific industries. They're neutral enough that most professions & genders will look good in front of them and has the perfect combination of serious & friendly. If you want to add more depth to your photo, you can do full buildings or streets in the background, which I can make 'blurry' so you are still the main focus. This type of shot works best when the building behind you relates to your job, so perhaps buildings & streets for jobs associated with real estate or a court house for lawyers or paralegals.


Nature // Nature isn't as common of an option, but is still one of my favorites! These backgrounds include flowers, trees, and grass. The job has to be right for a natural background. The best professions for this are, of course, people who work with nature & plants, creative jobs or jobs that want to show they're friendly and fun, so a lawyer or an financial advisor wouldn't be best for this.


It all comes down to what emotion you want your portrait to convey. Want to show you're serious and down to business? A studio session with a neutral color should work best for you. Want prospective clients to think you're friendly and trust you with their children? A natural or a bright colored studio session may fit you best! Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have about choosing your background. I'm always more then happy to help you with a decision; After all, it's what I do!

New Year, New You, New Portrait Sale!

We all know how much first impressions matter so why not start your year off right with a new portrait! Update your LinkedIn, website, portfolio, business card or whatever else you may need! This sale if the perfect package for anyone looking to revamp their image and get the ball rolling on their 2017!

The package includes a 30 minute session, Online viewing gallery, 2 digital images with retouching in high res and low res! You can either have your session in studio or on location. Downtown Somerville has tons of great outdoor spots for photos.

Group rates are also available if you're looking to update your whole company's portraits or have a few friends who need a new portrait as well! I can also travel to you office building!

Contact me to book your session or with any questions you may have through my contact page or directly at  732-710-2426

Book now because the sale ends March 1st!

How Do I Prepare For My Portrait Session?

Since I am running a headshot and portrait special (that can be found at the bottom of this page!) I decided to create this entry to better educate everyone on what to do to best prepare for your session!

The first thing you want to do is to decide what you want your portrait to convey. Do you want to look warm and inviting? Powerful and in charge? Fun and creative? Make sure to tell me this so I can best direct you on what poses will work best for you session! Make sure you think about this question when choosing the following things for your shoot!


Second you will want to choose your outfit. For executive and business you will want to pick something very professional of course. For men I suggest bringing a great, well fitting suit as well as some options for ties or shirts. Certain patterns do not photograph well or can be very distracting, bring a few options and I can help you pick! Business woman have a few more options, I suggest aimimg for things that are structured like suits, blouse with a blazer, or a structured dress. As for jewelry, treat it like you would treat a tie, try not to pick anything to distracting, we wont people to look at you, not your jewelry! 

If you're not taking an executive business portrait you have a lot more options! If you just need an 'About Me' photo for your website or something similar aim for something that says your professional but shows you personality! If you own a clothing or jewelry store wear what you sell or if you're a makeup artist bring your brushes to use in a photo, feel free to ask me and I would be happy to help you pick something out and come up with ideas. For actors I would suggest mostly neutral colors (black, gray, tan, and white) in a range from v-necks, fitted shirts, button up shirts, and sweaters.

The next thing you want to pick out is your location. There are so many options when it comes to locations. In my studio I keep different neutrals like white, gray, and black on hand which work best for clean simple backgrounds. If you ask ahead of time I can also order a different color for you, there are tons to choose from! Your other option is environmental shots, which I love to do! You can use the outdoors and shoot in front of beautiful buildings, trees, flowers, brick walls, textures, skylines, and so much more. Or you can shoot indoors with things that are relative to you or what you do for a living, like shooting at your desk, in your office, in front of books or art, on stage, in a theater, the options are endless.

The last thing you will want to do appearance-wise is beauty and grooming! For men you should make sure you're properly shaven to the amount you want, so whether you want that clean shaven look or a neat trimmed beard make sure you check it the morning of! For men and woman always check your hands if they might be in the photo, they will need to be properly trimmed and either clean and free of polish or freshly painted. For all my female clients I always suggest getting you hair and makeup up done if you aren't confident in doing it yourself! The best hair style is a blowout which many salons near my studio offer. Ask me and I would be happy to send you all my recommendations for hair and makeup! 

And last but certainly not least don't be afraid to look at examples online! You can search on Google and Pinterest for photos. Try terms like 'male lawyer portrait' or 'female acting headshot' This will help you to decide what type of photo you might want. Feel free to send these to me so I can get an idea of what type of photo you like.

Lastly, as always, don't be afraid to ask me questions about your shoot. I can help you decide what to where or even what kind of smile you should have, I am here to help you get you perfect portrait!