Presenting images with personality

It’s In The Details

So you hire a friend photographer to shoot your family portrait and a telephone pole is coming out of the father’s head. Geez, Mr. photographer professional (?). You didn’t see that?

You shop around looking for the cheapest price for your headshot for social media purposes to find a job. The lighting was so harsh it showed every blemish on your face. Oh, well. The size of the photograph is only ½” x ½” you say to yourself, and no one will really notice. You are kidding yourself, of course, everyone sees that!

The bride spends 6 months looking for the perfect white dress for the most special day of her entire  life and she and her groom hire a friend of a friend not because of his/her expertise as a photographer but because they know that person and can seemingly “trust” that person. The inexperienced photographer blows out all detail in the  beautiful bride’s dress because of lack of experience with exposure.  Boy, glad I didn’t hire that person to do a professionals job!

The details…the visual subtleties are what separate the amateurs from the professionals. Does’ t that matter to you?!

Does Age Have Anything To Do With Hiring A Photographer?

So many young, less experienced photographers out there. Is it chic to hire one of them because it makes you feel more comfortable? Do the young photographers fit into your age group? Does an aged photographer make you feel like you’ve hired your mom or dad to photograph your friends? Is the younger photographer that much cheaper?

Please keep in mind that age has wisdom. That wisdom of knowing how to relate to people, composing the shot with experience and a trained photographic eye, having command of the camera and equipment, and getting the breathtaking shot….isn’t that what you may really want? Think about it before you hire a younger less experienced photographer.

Pretty personalities…pretty faces!

Everyone…yes, everyone has a pretty face. A man, a woman, anyone who is too thin or too heavy or too wrinkly or whatever. We all have pretty personalities and we have pretty faces. You are one of a kind and there is something about you that makes you special. Let a professional photographer capture that in a photo session. Let it shine. If you choose a real professional photographer to photograph you, let it all hang out! Relax, have fun, and let your pretty personality and pretty face shine through. It feels good!

Having a good personality will get your everywhere!

Life as a photographer is so much easier if you have a good personality. You can get right in there and make people feel so much more at ease when you “play” with them while smiling and engaging them in conversation. I am not talking about the weather. I am talking about something like this: ” That sweater you’re wearing is just perfect for our photo session today. So glad we had the opportunity to talk about what clothing to wear before our shoot. ”  What a difference it makes in the quality of the photo session; whether a studio portrait session, an event, a corporate photography shoot, a wedding or bar or bat mitzvah. Engaging your audience with your good personality smoothes out the day.

A good personality will get you “Pictures with Personality!”

Preparing for the Portrait Session

Professional Portrait Photographer Serving Upstate NY's Capital Region

Joan Heffler Photography is a full-service professional photography studio specializing in portraits, special events, corporate events and weddings throughout Albany NY’s Capital Region and beyond.

I want your photography experience to be the most pleasant you will ever have. My photography is “painless,” and I believe you will enjoy the time we spend together.

What to wear? How you feel about how you look can make a difference, so I want you to feel great! Bring the clothes that do that for you and when worn, your colleagues tell you how great you look. We will be focusing on our face, not your body.

  1. Men look great in a light blue shirt and blue suit (please no white shirt and no black suit). If you want to convey power, wear a tie with red in it. (Patterned ties are OK). Ties with yellow and plum/lilac are in now so consider those as well.
  2. Women think they look thinner and best in black or white but in digital, black and white wash you out. Please–NO Black and No White!  Women with dark hair and mediterranean skin look terrific in primary colors (winter colors), maroons, greens, blues and cherry reds. If you are light skinned, pastels are best – light green, lilac, pink, light blues.  Talk to me if you want a consultation on what to bring.
  3. Choose a color that you know compliments your skin tones. If you’re not sure, think of the clothes you wear that you receive compliments on. Usually, you look good in them because their color brings out your eye color and best facial tones.
  4. For women, do not bring large dangly earrings or large hoops unless that is the look you want to portray to the public.
  5. Long sleeves are best but open necks are a no-no! Too much contrast between skin and clothing is not OK. Try to avoid V necks. Checks, large stripes, herringbone, little checks and loud patterns are a no-no as well! In general, bring at least two sets of changes.

If you are still not sure, please feel free to call me at (518) 346 – 4485 or email me at I am here to help you in all ways. Most often if you have light skin and light hair, complimentary colors are light blues and dark blues, lilac and plum, maroons, light greens and dark greens (red is powerful so be careful). Browns and warm colors are excellent with light and dark brown hair. With jet black hair, think winter colors with brilliancy. 

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“No! No! Black and White”

Corporate Photographer in Albany, NYPeople think wearing black and white clothing is perfect for studio portraits, but No! No! Black and white washes out your face and in studio portraiture, your face is what we focus on.  People think they look thinner in black, but again, we are focusing in on your face, not your body.

If you really want your personality captured, wear colors!



Three Secrets for a Flawless Wedding

Psst! I have secrets to share with you about choosing your wedding photographer and ensuring a flawless wedding. Come closer:

Italian American Center Albany NY WeddingHaving a flawless wedding means hiring the right photographer for your wedding. You deserve a memorable experience with elegant images that speak to you; and I am happy to share the secrets discovered from years of photographing so you, too, can have a flawless wedding.

1. Prepare in advance: Meet with your photographer in person before the wedding day to establish a comfortable, trusting relationship. She will be with you the entire day and that bond happens before the wedding day not on the day! She will ask you questions about you! Getting in sync with one another, understanding what is important and what style she will offer and what qualifications she has is critical in having images that wow you with the pizzazz, personality and radiance you are expecting.

2. Choose a pro: Choose a real professional photographer…one with experience, one who knows how to use her equipment, and who has equipment backups — safeguards in place. A pro will openly discuss her technical and creative skills and knowledge. Choose one who has insurance and always works with a contract. A family friend may be cheaper, but may not have the technical, social, professional and creative savvy your wedding requires. The pro will unabashedly unveil her passion and her heart, and will instill a sense of integrity, reliability, and quality to create an atmosphere of solid trust. It’s like money in the bank and that investment in a pro will pay off when you view your images. Prior to the wedding, a pro will guide you through a process to familiarize you with what will happen on your wedding day so you can feel relaxed and know that you will make fantastic images together.

3. Trust in the Pro: Once that trust is established…that bond…that rapport…that mutual respect and appreciation, you can put away your clipboard. Let go and enjoy the day knowing you are in good hands. On your wedding day, you can be free to be yourselves, share your personalities in front of the lens, and let the pro create her magic.

So now you know secrets to a flawless wedding. To discuss your wedding photography plans, call 518-346-4485. Joan Heffler of Upstate NY specializes in capturing personalities in images rich and alive with personality in a fun and memorable experience.

Kind Words

Kind Words

What a great event last night! Thank you for your service. Despite challenges that drove us both back home yesterday, you are a true professional and I always enjoy working with you. I look forward to receiving the photos and working with you again soon!