Photo idea for your website or blog: cherry blossoms!

Mary Fletcher Jones, Cherry Blossoms (photo by David Hyson)

I help clients put together websites, Facebook Pages, and blogs, and the number one problem I encounter is that they do not have enough good, recent photographs of themselves.

I need my clients to be a bit more vain! 🙂

For my DC area clients, I do encourage them to have their picture taken (by friends or family) near DC landmarks, when they visit them.  These pictures can be great!

Today is the day to ask your friend or spouse to take a photo of you next to the cherry blossoms.  It can be a lovely addition to your photography collection, and can help reinforce your brand as a DC-based company.  The next few days will be snowy or rainy, so although it will be crowded, today is the day to get out there and get those shots.

If you get the right shot, you can use it on your website or blog. What says DC like cherry blossoms?  The Tidal Basin is great for photos, but there’s a nice grove near the Washington Monument, close to Constitution, and even some great photo ops in Bethesda, Maryland (Kenwood Country Club) and Alexandria, Virginia (near Clydes, Mark Center), among other places in the DC metro area.

Here are some tips for getting a great shot with the cherry blossoms…

Mary Fletcher Jones with Cherry Blossoms (photo by David Hyson)

Dress the part, and keep it natural and informal. It’s going to be chilly but for your photo, you can doff your jacket or coat quickly.  If you’re carrying a purse or anything, put that to the side, with your coat.  Wear a simple shirt or blouse in a solid color for the best results.  Try cherry-blossom complimentary colors like soft green, aqua, rose, or soft blue.  Even white can work, if that works with your coloring.

Frame or crop for a head and shoulders shot, with cherry blossoms in the background.  It can be harder to get monuments in the shot, too, but if you can do it, go for it!

Mary Fletcher Jones with cherry blossoms, Tidal Basin (photo by David Hyson)

Take lots of pictures! Have some fun with it. Don’t be afraid of close-ups (that’s what Photoshop is for).

Don’t pick the cherry blossoms, or even hold a fallen cherry blossom in your hand in the photo.  Picking the cherry blossoms is illegal, and you don’t want to convey that you might have done something illegal!  You can hold your hand lightly on a branch, if that is the look you are going for.

When smiling for the camera, relax and think of something wonderful so you will also smile with your eyes. A modeling tip: if you are displaying a toothy smile, put the tip of your tongue lightly against the back of your top teeth.  I don’t know why this works, but it does!  Try some different head positions, like slightly cocking it to one side, or 3/4 views.

If you are an older person (older than 35) don’t let your photographer friend shoot “up,” for example, if they are shorter than you, or downhill from you. Have them shoot from a slightly raised position, or angle the camera down.  These angles will be more flattering.  Or you can shoot from a straight angle, or from the side.  Just don’t let  someone aim the camera lens from below your chin.

Return the favor. Everyone wants photos of themselves by the cherry blossoms.  Take photos of your friend, and of tourists who ask.

Most importantly: post those photos online! Tweet them, put them on your Facebook Page, blog, and website.  Be sure to alt-tag them and/or caption them with your name.

All photos by David Hyson.

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on March 26, 2011, in Photography and Flickr and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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