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Welcome to the Just Headshots blog!

We’re obsessed with great headshots and business portraits. And we know what makes a good one and what doesn’t.

In our blog we talk about what works well and what doesn’t. The right and wrong way to take headshots and the right and wrong way to use them too. We might put up the occasional very short video too.

We’ll be talking about why headshots matter. We’ll be talking about little details such as the relationship between pictures and words and best ways to make the pictures lead people to the written word. We’ll talk about lighting, makeup, clothing, capturing those expressions which sum a person up to a tee, and how to create and capture them.

Headshots in Chester with Cody Gapare

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a white blouse and scarf, photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled directly to the camera with arms folded and leaning on a table.

I met Cody Gapare a few years ago at a networking event in Northwich and we chatted about her business and her plans to develop and market an eyelash system for people who had lost their natural eyelashes. Five years on, Cody’s plans have become a reality and C-Lash is becoming a major brand in eyewear.

Very close up, cropped headshot of a black female photographed with flash and natural light.

Cody came to our very first Chester headshots day which we host at the Abode Hotel. We use a top floor suite with a large balcony and we have space for studio backdrops and natural backdrops using Chester city centre.

Upper body business portrait of a black woman photographed with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.

This is Cody’s Story:

Life never works out quite the way you expect it to. In-fact someone once told me that, life is what happens to you while you are busy making plans. This does not always have to be a bad thing, because if you open yourself to possibilities, life can take you to places beyond your wildest dreams.

Head and shoulders business portrait of a black woman wearing a blue sleeveless blouse photographed with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.

My name is Codilia Gapare and in July 2014 I found a lump in right breast. I immediately made an appointment to have some tests done and was told to come back ten days later. The day of the results was the 11th of August 2014. The reason I will always remember this day, is because I also had another very important meeting that day at 18.00hrs in Manchester. 11th of August 2014 became a turning point in my life because of the choices I made. It was the day I chose to dance in the rain instead of waiting for the storm to pass.

Upper body business portrait of a black woman photographed with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.

Before I go any further, let me digress a little. Growing up I had always dreamt of being a lawyer. When I came to the U.K. I started studying to qualify to study Law at University. After 3 years I finally had the qualifications I needed to go to University! I promptly applied for a place at Manchester Metropolitan University. On the 11th of August 2014 I had my final interview at MMU at 6.00pm. Life was going according to plan!

Upper body business portrait of a black woman photographed in a wide format as a banner for website, with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.

On that same day at 2.45pm (just over 3 hours before my interview) I walked into Leighton Hospital to find out the results of the test I had had ten days earlier. My world went into slow motion when the doctor told me that I had breast cancer. I had somehow managed to persuade myself over the past ten days that I could not possibly have cancer. I thought I was too young, too black, too skinny and too active to have cancer, but I was wrong. I was now part of a statistic that no one wanted to be part of.

Head and shoulders business portrait of a black woman wearing a white blouse and grey jacket photographed with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.

It is hard to imagine how one would deal with such news. I suppose I would have been forgiven for crying or going home and bury my head under the covers or even go to the pub and drown my pain. I did none of these things. An hour after receiving the worst news of my life, I was driving from Crewe to Manchester for my interview at MMU. I don’t think at this point I knew why I had decided to make this choice.

Head and shoulders business portrait of a black woman wearing a white blouse and grey jacket photographed with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.

The interview went really well until the interviewer asked me if I knew of anything that that might interfere with my study at the college. Had I anticipated the question I am sure I would have lied. I was caught off guard and I decided to come clean and tell the truth. I told the lady that I had been told only 3 hours before that I had breast cancer. It was only when she asked me why I still made the decision to come that I understood my actions. This is what I told her.

Three-quarter body business portrait of a black woman photographed in a portrait format as a PR photo, with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.

‘For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a lawyer. Today I received news that can potentially derail my dream, but I have worked too hard to get to this point. Cancer is just a chapter in my book and is never going to define me, but this moment will. So if it’s all the same with you, I would be grateful if you could give me a chance to follow my dream’.

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a yellow blouse photographed with flash and natural light with Chester city centre in the background.

Why am I telling you this story? Because I hope it inspires someone out there. I realise that life comes without guarantees. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. But whatever the situation, we always, always have a choice. Accepting or fighting, optimistic or pessimistic, victim or survivor. And at any point you have the right to stop and say, this is Not how my story is going to end! Every day is a chance to start afresh. Be it to change the course of your life or to continue a fight. And if an obstacle is thrown in your way, well, why not turn it into a stepping stone.

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a white blouse and grey jacket photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled to the left of the photo.

Cody’s story is truly remarkable and I’m really pleased to be able to share it on our blog. If you’d like to arrange a headshot session for yourself or just have a chat call us on 0800 304 7375 or use our contact page.

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a white blouse and grey jacket photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled to the right of the photo.

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a white blouse and grey jacket photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled to the right of the photo.

Professional close cropped headshot of a black woman wearing a black sleeveless blouse, photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled to the right of the photo.

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a black sleeveless blouse, photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled to the right of the photo.

Professional very close cropped headshot of a black woman wearing a black sleeveless blouse, photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled to the right of the photo.

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a white blouse and scarf, photographed with Profoto studio flash on dark grey background with shoulders angled to the left of the photo.

Professional headshot of a black woman wearing a white blouse and scarf, photographed with Profoto studio flash on white background with shoulders angled to the left of the photo.

By |2020-01-05T10:49:42+00:00January 5th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Headshots in Chester with Amanda Bate from Redwood copy

Professional headshot of Amanda Bate taken at Wynne Marketing in ChesterIn July Nicole and I went over to Chester to do a headshots and profile photos session for Amanda Wynne Evans and her team at Wynne Marketing. They’re based in a fabulous old building in Handbridge on Chester, south of the River Dee and just outside Chester’s historic City Walls. It was a great place to take Amanda’s headshots because it’s an old building with a quirky interior which gave us some interesting, real backdrops. Amanda Bate left the corporate world nearly four years ago to start her own content writing business, Redwood Copy. (more…)

By |2020-01-05T09:41:08+00:00September 6th, 2019|Business portraits, Photography|0 Comments

Diane Dunion’s headshot session

Professional headshot photograph by Warrington based justheadshots.photo
At a networking event in Warrington recently someone asked me what was so special about professional headshots and why did I attach so much importance to them? A few days later at another event, also in Warrington, the guest speaker talked about how important an online profile was when trying to position yourself in front of your target audience. (more…)

By |2019-11-14T12:00:09+00:00August 24th, 2019|Business portraits, Photography, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Bruce Hunter’s new headshot photos

Professional headshot photograph on a white background by Warrington based justheadshots.photoWhen you need headshot photography it’s important to find the right headshot photographer for you. Ideally a headshot or portrait photographer with plenty of experience of shooting professional headshots for company websites, Linked In and other social media platforms and someone that you can get along with. It’s the social interaction between the photographer and the subject that makes the real difference between an average photo and a great professional headshot. (more…)

By |2019-06-04T16:04:25+00:00June 4th, 2019|Business portraits, headshots|0 Comments

It’s just for Linked In – won’t a selfie do?

Well, it’s just for Linked In. It’s only tiny, why does it matter? Can’t I use that selfie from the Christmas party? Oh, and there was that fab photo taken on the beach last summer. You know the one, with the sunglasses and the beer? Surely I can use one of them…

Well, you could. But is that the kind of first impression you want to make?

Someone who sees us in a photo for the first time instantly makes a judgement about us, whether they intend to or not, and that first impression stays for around 8 to 12 months after they have got to know us.

(more…)

By |2019-05-10T16:23:49+00:00January 17th, 2019|Branding, Business portraits, headshots|0 Comments