Name: Debby Kevin
Business: Debby Kevin Writer. Editor. Storyteller. https://deborahkevin.com/
Writer. Editor. Storyteller. Debby Kevin ( https://deborahkevin.com/ ) can help you get noticed by your tribe by creating communication that is touching their hearts. Together you and she will assess your current marketing plans, and tweak them as much as necessary so you are connecting with your clients effectively and authentically with her copyrighted 5-Step Process.
How would you describe yourself? I would say that I’m a contradiction in many ways. Although quiet, I’m an adventurer and risk taker. Certainly, a self-proclaimed badass (and what makes me one is I’ve been a single mom for most of my kids’ lives, left corporate America, and started my own business without the support of anyone).
What inspired you to start your business? Honestly, it was by accident. I was at home with my kids starting in 2010, when I had time to volunteer. My skills were in high demand and those with whom I worked wanted to credit me. I didn’t feel comfortable using my name so I created a company. For the first several years, it was really a hobby. In 2015, my marriage was ending and I had to decide whether to return to corporate life or take my business seriously.
What do you like most about what you do? Two things: helping other badass women find and own their voices so they can make maximum positive impact in the world; and the creativity!
Why community involvement important to you and how do you support the local community? My company is designed like Toms and Warby Parker, although my model isn’t one-for-one. I take on a non-profit client annually and work with them pro-bono so they can make a bigger impact in the world. Last year and this, I’m supporting Creators of Hope, founded by Joe Biba.
What’s next for you and your business? Launching a JV project called Free-Range Entrepreneur: Your Business. Your Life. No More Clucking Around.
Next vacation: Spain to walk about 250 miles of the Camino (though we may do a week at the beach as a family at some point this summer) Note: this is not Debby’s 1st trek along the Camino.
On my playlist: Ed Sheeran, P!nk, Taylor Swift, John Denver, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Peter Gabriel, The Cure, B-52s
Morning ritual: Wake up at 5:30, meditate, write, and then coffee!
If you could invite anyone, living or dead, to dinner who would you invite & why? Ben Franklin because he was a charming scamp and I think having a conversation with him would be delightful.
Favorite quote: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~Mark Twain
If you have ever considered writing a book (and who hasn’t?) or just want to write better, join Debby’s Facebook group Your Book to Fully Booked where you will be surrounded by a community that will encourage and support you. Writing a book (no matter what the size)is a sure way to up your credibility.
Make sure you subscribe to Debby's blog where her storytelling shines whether she is being vulnerable about recent events or giving you tips on how to write authentically.
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Summer isn’t over yet which means you still have plenty of time to take some photos. Plus, the kids are home and they make excellent little subjects to work with and with the long summer days you’ll have plenty of light. This equates to a lot of great photo opportunities.
Let’s talk about how to get some great summer pictures in a few different situations.
When you take pictures at the beach, there are a few things you’ll want to take into account. The first is to be very careful as sand in your camera or lens is the worst! Try and keep the same lens on your camera the whole time, this will help prevent getting sand in your camera and lenses. Make sure you keep your camera by you or hidden so other beachgoers don’t notice it sitting there when you wander down to the water.
When taking photos remember to be aware of your background. The beach can get cluttered with people, so use the water as your background instead as it will make a much cleaner photo. Plus, who wants random people in your photos? Keep in mind that the light at the beach can be pretty harsh. The water will cause it to be extra bright and it will reflect everywhere. Place your subjects with their backs to the light and focus on the people to get the correct exposure. Lastly, think about shooting at the beginning and the end of the beach day so you get less harsh shadows.
Vacation pictures can be tricky for me as sometimes my camera makes me feel like I am working. I have to actually force myself to take out my camera and capture those memories. A lot of people feel like they should take pictures of the places and landscapes they visit, but I challenge you to photograph the memories you are making more than anything else. Get pictures of your family doing things, not just smiling at the camera in front of a gorgeous landscape! Try to capture the emotion or feeling of what you’re doing. Take pictures while hiking, window shopping, exploring, eating, walking, playing, relaxing and anything else you do. Try and take pictures of your family doing things they don’t get to do anywhere else.
Lastly, I think you should photograph your summer vacation at home. The long afternoons of reading, playing, and spending time together at home are priceless as well. Our summer break from school isn’t that long but it’s our time, so capture it! Not all of your summer days have to be outing and adventures.
So grab that camera and capture your days. You won't be able to get them back.
If you have any questions, I am happy to talk image selection (and most other things…) so go ahead and give me a call at 215.208.5803 or send me an email HERE and we can chat more. OR schedule a studio tour and see if I’m the one for you.
One of the most exciting parts of your portrait experience has nothing to do with the lights and camera. It involves you, the photographer, and only the very best images from your session. It’s when you get to see them for the first time.
I have heard from many of my clients that they have never sat down with their photographer when they are looking at their photos. And it makes me sad because you are not being properly serviced and the very last thing you remember about your whole experience is your frustration, even if the photos are amazing.
Sifting through a gallery of images yourself can be very daunting. After a while they all begin to look the same and you are ready to give up. So you keep telling yourself you will get back to it. But you never do, and you have this decision hanging over you for months, when sitting with me rarely takes more than an hour. And it’s done. No more clutter in your head and you can start using those images.
How overwhelming is it to look at images that, to you, essentially look the same? We can put these images side by side so you can see the nuances rather than jumping from one image to the one 5 spaces down (or was it 6 spaces) which makes the decision easier.
Rather than rushing through reviewing your images to just get it over with (or avoid it all together), this allows you to gain insight into why I selected each particular image for you to see, and that helps you to make your decisions. Things you might not realize on your own (because sometimes we cannot get past that 1 thing about ourselves…) Certain insights about your appearance, expression, posture, how your outfit works, composition, and how/or where you might want to use this photo (especially with professional branding headshot types). This alone can go a long way to helping you choose the most appropriate photos for your needs.
So instead of being confused and giving up you are making a more informed decision.
*Thanks to Laura Templeton for the photo of Doris Robinson & me at the computer.
We have our pre-session consultation, where we design your portrait session, but there is always a bit of free-styling that happens. Which at the time feels like a bonus, but now it becomes, “But what am I going to do with them?”
Talking about your life style, décor, upcoming events or if they are branding/headshot photos talking about all of your media needs can help you decide on how many images you really do need or might need in the future. For instance, you may not be on the speaking circuit this year, but you’ve been thinking it might be a good thing to do…. So take one to have just in case.
Or it just might be a good photo to show a different side of your personality.
And sometimes I am part therapist (and not just when you show up for your session and want to run in the other direction). Most often, I am injecting you with positive thoughts because you have decided you are “just not photogenic” and you start looking for that one thing you dislike (that one eye that is smaller than the other that you are sure everyone can see, but they are too polite to point out).
I can help you see that these images possess more value than just the aesthetics.
Conversely, if you go on a “like” binge I can point out which are better suited for your needs. I don’t want you to have a ton of images that you can never use and enjoy.
Alternatively, we can talk about what you don’t like about an image and see if we can find one that suits. It’s the most difficult when you are first seeing yourself - after you see a few, you start to see yourself as those around you do and become less focused on your “thing".
Especially if it is self conscious based – I look fat, I look old, my smile is crooked, etc – I let you complain, but also tell you that people like you for you and they don’t see the same issues about you that you do. Your tribe doesn’t care that your eyes aren’t symmetrical – they care about the love and expertise that you give, that gets them through their day.
As you can see there is a lot of value to having your photographer there when you choose your photos. And selfishly, for me, it’s like Christmas morning when I get to see you discover yourself!
Have you had any disaster experiences trying to choose your photos? Comment here and tell me about it. What do you wish had happened? What could have made it better?
If you have any questions, I am happy to talk image selection (and most other things…) so go ahead and give me a call at 215.208.5803 or send me an email HERE and we can chat more.
Have you ever dreamed feeling like a model, feeling great about a photograph of yourself but let that voice in your head talk you out of it?
This is my journey experiencing the same emotions and thoughts you have when thinking about having your picture taken - the insecurities, the objections. All the reasons NOT to do it.
Part 1: Explored if I am worth it. Just me, not the girls. Not to mention the $$$. Find the full post HERE
Part 2: Wait! WEIGHT! Who doesn't consider this when they are about to be photographed? Find the full post HERE.
Part 3: Wait! I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO WEAR! Even though I have a closet full of things, do I really want to wear any of these? Find the full post HERE.
Part 4: The Photo Shoot: What it’s like to feel like a model for a day. Who thought it was a good idea to be photographed at dawn?! But it was at the Eiffel Tower… Find the full post HERE
Part 5: It’s reveal day. Time for me to actually see the photographs that we created. Time for me to choose my favorites. Find the full post HERE.
The hard part was over (for me) actually seeing how I look in my photos. I knew I was going to love the epic images with the Eiffel Tower and thank goodness I liked, even loved, many of the others.
I had brought 3 wardrobe pieces that I have in my collection for my clients to dress up in - my big ole tulle skirt paired with a lace shirt as well as an “Infinity dress” (Do you know about these? Check out my description at the end.) in a burgundy, my branding color. (I always advise my clients to bring something– anything- clothing or accessories- in their colors to create some cohesiveness with their branding photos and their marketing – website, social media, collateral pieces, etc). I also brought a strapless deep purple hombre gown (which we didn’t end up using) that had been donated from a friend’s closet for the studio wardrobe collection.
Wondering what would make me look long and lean for another branding photo look, I purchased a black romper (I grew up calling it a jumpsuit) and a purple patterned dress (very out of character for me and a “wear with caution” in the Style Guide I provide my clients at our consultations). Truth be told, it’s my least favorite look, so I still say proceed with caution if choosing patterns for your photo shoot.
So, I was anxiously (in a good way) waiting for my folio box to get here. I love the folio box. For me, it’s a safe place to store my photos and it’s more useful than an album, because it looks nice on a bookshelf and I can swap out what photos I feel like displaying either in a frame on the wall or on an easel.
Originally, I thought I was just going to have them in the studio because after all “what am I going to do with all these photos of myself?” But now that I have them I am going to put the 16x20 that came with my package outside my closet in my bedroom, put another with my collection of photos of my girls and 1 or 2 in my office . And of course, the box will be in the studio so you can have a look!
Anyway, I know you all have been asking when you can see the photos, so….
My Photo Session in Paris
I wanted to experience what my clients experience during a photo session with me. So I took it to Paris. See my photos from in and around Paris including in front of the Eiffel Tower!
I have already changed the headshot that is on the magazine that I give to potential clients that come in for a studio tour/consult as well as added the epic Eiffel Tower in there. Now that I have had the public reveal, you can get a better look as they are sprinkled throughout my social media.
What are my feelings now that I have the photos in my hands?
1. Funny, but my first thought was that they are too small. I know, right? I was like everyone who talks to me about getting a photo shoot during my initial conversation with Ashleigh, my photographer. “Oh, an 8x10 matted print will be plenty big enough. How big do I need a photo of me?” But now, looking at the 16x20, I feel like it’s just approaching an appropriate size.
2. Confidence. I think that like most of us, I can sense when I feel like I look good. And like most of us I put that out of my head, because we are taught that it is not good to spend time absorbed in our own virtues and that outer looks are superficial. But we really want to know how other people see us. And we look for validation both ways, positive and negative. I have a new confidence in the way I feel I am perceived and now, how I carry myself. What we put out, we get back. If we don’t allow ourselves to appreciate ourselves, how can we expect others to treat us well? (Preach, girl! Can you tell I have been doing a lot of self-value work lately?)
3. Repeat. (Different than do over). I need to do this with my girls. I need to have photos of the 3 of us. And they need to have photos of the 3 of us. And of themselves. They need to discover this appreciation of themselves that I now have of myself, waaaaaay before they reach my age, so they can confidently go out, make a difference in whatever way is right for them and live their lives and make choices for them, not for “should” or avoid things out of fear.
4. Grateful. Grateful that I have grown so much in the last few years that I could even do this for myself. Grateful that I have the resources to do this. Grateful that I have the encouragement of my husband, children (and tribe) who want me to keep growing and learning. We think that we are not important enough to be in photos WITH our kids and certainly not FOR our kids, but even if they don’t say it, these photos are valuable to them.
Luckily, I have one that says it.
(1) OMG do you know about infinity dresses? They are one piece, made up of a circular skirt, available in long or short lengths, with 2 long, very long, pieces of fabric attached that serve as the bodice, so you can create dozens of looks from. And they are only $35! And they take up so little room in a suitcase and don’t wrinkle! So I have one in black and one in cream for the studio in addition to the burgundy, but I am looking for an excuse to get the forest green and navy blue. (Anyone want to help a girl out and volunteer to wear one of these in a portrait?)
Can a headshot be a portrait? Can a portrait be a headshot? There is often confusion. And before I settled in as a professional photographer, I shared the same confusion, so I get it.
See if this helps:
A Headshot is a type of portrait – a very specialized portrait – captured in a controlled environment, such as a studio, with the subject staring at the lens of the camera, creating a connection with the viewer.
These images are best used as profile photos, website “About Me” photos, speaker sheets and other type of press related materials.
Notice, there are 2 important characteristics when viewing these images and these are very important details.
Your profile photo is your virtual handshake, it’s your unofficial introduction to potential clients, so it is vital to make a great impression. Make sure they can look you in the eye so they can get a sense of who you are.
It is so much harder to make that connection if the image is a wider shot, where your face is difficult to see in that small profile picture space, or if you are wearing distracting clothing, accessories and lots of makeup.
Portraits, on the other hand have looser guidelines and restrictions.
These are where you can let yourself go and really show your personality. These are great for everything else related to your image content needs – social posts, sales vehicles, your newsletter, blog, sponsorship signage, book covers and other marketing materials.
Wear outfits that underscore your brand. Head to toe framing. Looking away from the camera. Actions such as walking, talking, in conversation, at your computer. All great ways to show who you are.
So now it gets confusing again. YES portraits can be used as a headshot, BUT you
If you have any questions, I am happy to talk image content (and most other things…) so go ahead and give me a call at 215.208.5803 or send me an email HERE and we can chat more.