Corporate Headshots

I was recently given the opportunity to shoot some headshots for Michael to be used for LinkedIn and other social media.  Whenever doing headshots I like to make sure there's plenty of conversation both before and during the session to make sure the client is comfortable.


Corporate Headshots: Mastiff LLC

A company that I've worked with before, Mastiff LLC, called on me again for photos of a new employee, Bryan.  He interned with them before and now he's been hired on as a full-time employee.  

Darrin Estep Photography | portraits

We went to nearby City Hall Park to grab some photos while the weather was still warm.  Later, we joined the others for some group images near the office.  Love the repeat business and look forward to working with this group again soon.

Darrin Estep Photography | portrait

Real Estate Headshots for Matt

Matt is a friend and a new Real Estate agent.  He needed some headshots for his new role.  He approached me and said he wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of needing to have his picture taken - a common thing I run into - but I promised to keep it as painless as possible.

Darrin Estep Photography | Real Estate Headshots

Since this was a professional headshot for a realty company, it needed to be formal BUT it didn’t need to be a full-length shot. :-)  Here are a couple that we chose from the shoot with Matt.  Best of luck selling all kinds of property!

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Corporate Headshots: Vidhi from Stride

Stride has a new VP of Client Services.  Her name is Vidhi.  I sat down with her recently to capture her likeness to grace the pages of the Stride website.  Coincidentally, I almost worked with Vidhi a few years back.  I was just leaving a company and she was just coming in.  With Debbie as our mutual connection, we meet again.

Darrin Estep Photography | Corporate

My default for a shoot like this is to light it up.  Not this time.  There was some beautiful light  coming from a window camera-left so we went with that.  She has a great smile and we were able  to get some nice images in a very short period of time.

These are a few of my favorites from the session with her.  Vidhi, congratulations on the new role.  You’ve earned it and I’m sure you’ll enjoy working with the Stride family as much as they’ll enjoy you.

Darrin Estep Photography | Corporate Headshots

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Stride Corporate Headshots

Something that I think every business strives for is repeat work.  It strengthens the relationship and helps to solidify that you’re a good match with that client.  With Stride, and more specifically Debbie Madden, I’ve been working with her on creative projects for a few years now.  She’s been growing her business and has some new hires that needed headshots so they called me to do the shoot.

Lucille is the Head of Talent at Stride and comes from the General Assembly and Google most recently.  Here are some favorites from our session around the streets of NYC.

Darrin Estep Photography - corporate headshots NYC
Darrin Estep Photography - corporate headshots NYC

Lisa is also new to Stride and is the VP of Engineering.  She’s worked with Debbie prior to Stride at Cyrus and comes from London where she worked for The Guardian.  She told me she had one headshot from that time that worked for all occasions and didn’t fancy being in front of the camera but got comfortable quickly after some initial shots.


I look forward to continued interactions with this great group of people.  

Photographer workshop

A photographer friend of mine, Brian, put together a casual gathering to network and shoot at a place called StudiosLIC in Queens, NY.  I met Brian at one of the first meet-up’s I ever attended in NYC in 2008 when I was first learning about photography and how to use light.  For this shoot he brought a model he had worked with recently and others joined in the fun in front of the lens as the night went on. 

Jessenia is from Florida and new to NYC.  She was very nice to work with, great smile and doesn’t need guidance however, she's also open to feedback if you want her to move or stand in a certain way.

North Jersey Headshot Photographer Fashion Images

Mike is a guy that works at the studio and somehow ended up in front of the camera.  I snapped a few of him as well.  He didn’t seem to mind giving us his best for a little while in front of the camera.

North Jersey Headshot Photographer Lifestyle Images

Overall, this was a nice opportunity to meet some other photographers and get a chance to play in a different space.  Thanks Brian for setting it up!

MUA In Front of the camera

I was recently in Las Vegas for WPPI and had the opportunity to schedule two photo shoots while I was there.  I posted a casting call and Bri responded.  Quickly.  I followed up with some questions and I got a response back - within minutes.  I emphasize this because its RARE!  

Anytime I reach out to work with another professional, I first try to sort out if I like their work and then, can I trust them to be reliable.  She was so fast (and consistent) with her responses to me; her work was awesome - so it was an easy decision to book her time.

I had two shoots scheduled so I hired her for both.  She was also very collaborative during the shoot which I personally welcome on set.  At the end of the second shoot, I asked her to step in front of the camera for a few quick headshots.  Here are my favorites.

Darrin Estep Photography headshot with MUA

A true pleasure working with Briseida, or Bri, as she likes to be called.  For those in Vegas looking for a make-up artist, hire her.

Lisa's Portrait Session

Today I am featuring a portrait session I shot with Lisa.  She's a professional violinist and wanted some updated headshots.  My goal for the session was to deliver a variety of looks she could use.

We managed to get both indoor and outdoor photos even with the chilly weather in December.  We started inside and her dog wanted to be a part of the action so, why deny her that opportunity.

north jersey professional head shots

Something I find myself doing on most every shoot is moving furniture.  I think I need to add that to the about me page :-)  I’m always striving to put my clients in the best light and without distracting elements in the background.  For the next setup, I wanted to feature Lisa on this old couch that had great curves and shape but didn't want the same backdrop as before. 


By this time in the shoot, the sun had fallen a bit and the golden hour had arrived.  That would be about 3:30 in the afternoon for December in the northeast.  She had a great outdoor space and we captured a few photos while we could both stand to be outside in the cold weather.


Before we closed up shop and moved furniture back in place, I wanted to get some dramatic photos of her playing the violin so….furniture move (again) and changed out the backdrop to black.  I setup one light, just out of frame to her left. I had her play a little something while I took these...


Ekaterina Dramatic Headshots

Once in a while I try to shoot something fun, something I find interesting.  I posted on ModelMayhem (popular site for sourcing models, make-up artists [MUA], etc.) for a casting call to do dramatic headshots and was overwhelmed with responses.  I chose Lyndsey, the MUA, almost immediately.  She has great work and awesome review as well.  The model took more thought and one consideration for me was that I don't have nearly as many blonds in my portfolio as I do brunets.  

Ekaterina was ultimately my choice.  I also used a service that I've used in the past which is called Breather.  Its a small, one room place that you can rent by the hour.  It works pretty well for photo sessions.  I should have allowed more time but...I had to work with the time allowed.  I probably had 30 min in total to shoot.   Here are my favorites...


I love doing these kinds of shoots.  Next time, I'll give myself more time to explore!

Varley Headshots

Repeat clients are the best!  Steve and Christine wanted some updated headshots for their  professional profiles.  I haven’t seen them much since I shot their wedding back in May.  I arrived at their house and turned their living room into a little studio with backdrop, lights, and all the fixin's.

We started with one light for Steve and that seemed to work pretty well.  This was the first time I was shooting with this black backdrop and I really like how it keeps the focus on the subject.  These are my favorites of Steve.


For Christine, I added a second light, otherwise it was pretty much the same setup.  Steve was behind the scenes keeping Christine smiling.  These are the ones I liked best for Christine.  There’s something about the middle-left image that I really connected with.  There’s a real strength that comes through in the expression.


As I was about to leave I asked if they wanted a few together.  Nice! 


Headshots for Shashi

I've been fortunate enough this year to have a pretty steady stream of work.  I received an email not too long ago to do some portraits for Shashi that ultimately she wanted to be able to send to her family in India.

When I arrived, I asked if she had any pictures of herself either in her place or online and she didn't - hence, the request for headshots :-)


Shashi was a self proclaimed introvert and seemed a little uneasy in front of the camera so we took a little time getting to know each other.  It didn't take long to discover that she is a writer in her off time in addition to her daytime work.  Throughout her life, she's interview some interesting people and talking about these interviews, is what I discovered, made her comfortable in front of the camera and allowed us to get some genuine smiles from her.  Shashi, it was nice working with you and I hope your family enjoys the images we were able to create.

Model Headshots for Melissa

Last year, I shot for the first time working with Melissa and we hit it off.  She’s so great to work with and this session was just as awesome.  We proved again that spending some time before the shoot going over various looks via Pinterest and choosing outfits and accessories is a valuable activity. 

I snapped a couple shots of Amanda & Melissa before we started shooting.  She has so much hair that it turned out to be a bit of a blessing and a curse.  Styling all that hair takes time!

Prep for hair and make-up

Prep for hair and make-up

Images that resonate with me have a simple composition and draw your eye directly to the subject.  I have a pretty simple lighting set up here that helps achieve the look I'm after.

Simple lighting and non-distracting background keeps your eye on Melissa

Simple lighting and non-distracting background keeps your eye on Melissa

Alternate looks but still keeping it simple

Alternate looks but still keeping it simple

Finally got to use my fan! - Thanks Amanda for standing in to help.

Finally got to use my fan! - Thanks Amanda for standing in to help.

Hands up!

Hands up!

Hair everywhere. One of my favorites of the day was this composure where Melissa created her own frame.

Hair everywhere. One of my favorites of the day was this composure where Melissa created her own frame.

The location I used was a little different than what I've used in the past.  I used a service called Breather where you can rent a small (and I mean Manhattan small) room by the hour.  Its a great business idea and someone else suggested this as an option so I thought I’d give it a shot.  Once we navigated our way to the room, I noticed this set of stairs and made that a second shooting location.  This turned out to be a bonus of shooting on the weekend since nobody was traveling up and down the stairs.

Stairs and railing helped to create some interest in the composure

Stairs and railing helped to create some interest in the composure

And a few more back in the room to finish off the shoot.  A big thanks to Melissa for coming out to NYC from Boston and for Amanda for showing us her talents on hair and make-up.  I'm looking forward to the next shoot!

Relaxing on the couch

Relaxing on the couch

Bohemian Beauty Headshots

Connections, connections.  I like to point out how important this is since it proves to be the way new opportunities present themselves.  We had a great team on this shoot: Alex on make-up, who I met through a friend I used to work with while shooting a wedding, Lauren, Alex's second cousin doing hair who I met on this shoot and of course Stephanie, the model, who I met through Alex.  Stephanie is signed with Aqua Model Management and has been involved with some exciting work recently - appearances on Dr. Oz, work in a Marc Anthony and Wyclef music videos, 50 cent, ESPN, FOX, Style Network, The Heavy, and the list goes on.  Keep an eye on her!  

The location we chose was Bear Mountain in NY.  It turned out to be a half-way point for most of us.  The setting really looked like it would work until, just as we were about to set up (I didn't get a full light stand up) and the park ranger stopped us and said, "Hey, you all have to leave!  Do you have a permit? I thought I told you to leave already."  He wasn't very nice about it and on top of his kind words, he called the local police to make sure we didn't hang around.  Yikes!  We packed up and went to a location that Alex knew of further north in Beacon, NY.

Our second location was "closed" as well but we were all determined to not waste the day so we parked and walked around those pesky things in the way....barricades, I think they're called - haha.  Anyway, let's get to the good stuff.  We scoped things out quickly and found some areas that would work within these grounds and because it was closed, there were no people to hassle us about permits :-) 



The first set of images I like to do are beauty shots.  Stephanie has an instant connection with the camera and has eyes that will melt - you - down!  There are some great behind the scenes (BTS) shots that were captured to give you an idea of how much a pretty location doesn't matter nearly as much as good light.


The catamaran was sitting near where the beauty shots were done and we thought it would be fun for Stephanie to chill out in the arm of the big CAT.


For this shoot we chose a theme of bohemian as you can see more of in these images.  Alex and Lauren did a great job along with Stephanie putting this look together.  Stephanie also has a background in dance so that helped with getting into some interesting positions on the railing. 


The last few from the shoot featuring the bohemian look.  Thanks to all that participated (even Stephanie's mom) and helped make the shoot happen!  I look forward to working with you all again. 

Millennium Tattoo Headshots

I'd have to say this is my most anticipated shoot so far this year.  Not only did I have several beautifully inked girls lined up to shoot with (thanks Kate), I also felt very challenged to carry out a vision I had for the images.  I wanted to craft the shoot around a story which took some work and planning.  I had no shortage of volunteers to assist with me :-)

The loose storyline here in the series of images is 1) All the girls gathered at the front desk of Millennium Tattoo checking out sample images for their "first tattoo".  Well, not really their first, but work with me...  

Looking over tattoo options

Looking over tattoo options

Then 2) feature each girl have them talk about the tattoo they are most proud of.  I had other questions but had to narrow it down to one so the font would be large enough to read.  


Last, we have a group shot on a most excellent red couch we used throughout the session. 

Big thanks to Kate for setting most everything up, to Frank for allowing us to use his shop on his day off, to Ross for helping with lights and adding music to the shoot, and to Nicole, Shannon, Kait, and Heather for modeling.  One other girl that was mostly behind the scenes was Rachel that helped with make-up for the girls and some modeling on the first set-up.  Great teamwork! 

The girls...and me :-)

The girls...and me :-)

The Highline: Headshots Take 2

I liked this location so much that I had to go again.  I had a day off recently and organized a shoot with Aneta which, as it turns out, is from Prague and visiting with her boyfriend for the summer.  Glad I caught her why she was here in NYC.


Helping out, in more ways than one was Seqoiya, the MUA that operates under Pure Glamour.  She was great and helped with both hair and make-up and also helped with some lighting too. 


I scouted out the next location but it was a little further than I wanted to go.  I came across these stairs and knew I had found our next spot. It's a little funny (now) how long it took to get these shots with all the time we spent waiting for people to clear the stairs.