professional headshot blog andrew samplawski photography

The Benefits of Getting a New Professional Headshot

When was your last professional headshot for your LinkedIn profile? Do you even remember?

If you find yourself looking at your headshot and see an old haircut, an out-of-date style, or an image that reflects a different location, it’s probably time to schedule a professional shoot.

With that said, here are 5 reasons to get a new headshot.

You Need to Show Off Your Personality

You’re not the same person you were ten years ago, or even ten months ago. Your interests and personality are constantly evolving, and therefore, so is your brand. You want to show off those smile lines that tell the world how happy you are. You want to show off your bright smile or your sharp, professional couture.

You’re a professional, and your headshot should reflect that. Even if you’re looking for a more relaxed style, you don’t want something as simple as a selfie. Professional photographers are trained to capture the real you without sacrificing quality—so let us do that.

You Are Your Brand

Now more than ever, the thing you’re selling most is yourself. No matter what profession you’re in, customers want someone they can relate to—whether it’s a friendly bank teller or a personable photographer.  With that in mind, how can you expect clients to find you without a good headshot? How can you expect future employers to want to hire you if they don’t have a visualization of your brand?

These headshots will be your professional image everywhere. When you’re in LinkedIn, when you’re guest posting, when you’re on your website or blog . . . wherever you are, you have a public face to present. And it shouldn’t be that vacation photo of you in your Bermuda shorts.

Times Change

We’ve all been there: we look through some old pictures and cringe when we see that old haircut, that old outfit. There’s nothing worse than a dated picture—and it’s even more cringe-worthy when it’s on a professional stage.

When you haven’t updated your professional image, the message you’re sending is that you haven’t paid attention to the little details. You’re content to let things stay the same, and you aren’t willing to put in the effort to make sure that your professional face reflects the modern era.

More importantly, you also want to make sure that the face potential clients and employers see online is the same one that they’ll see in-person. It can be a shock when you’re expecting someone with long hair and glasses only to meet up with someone with short, newly-dyed hair and contacts!

Professionals Know What We’re Doing

It may seem ridiculous to hire a professional simply to take a few pictures of your face, but you’d be surprised the difference that lighting and professional-level equipment can make. In an instant, a grainy image from your phone can be replaced with a sharp-looking image in a studio.

Or, if you like, we can go out on location, where a professional photographer knows how to leverage the natural lighting to your advantage. No matter how non-photogenic you might think you are, pros know how to reflect the best possible you there can be.

Pros Have Great Advice, Too

In addition to being an excellent resource for professional-looking photos, a pro can give advice about locations, outfits, and other elements of a photoshoot. If you’re not sure where to go or what backdrops would best capture your brand—ask! I will be more than happy to help you find that perfect look for you.

So, what are you waiting for? Schedule your headshot session now and give your LinkedIn profile a facelift. Whether you join me in our Chippewa Falls photography studio or in a location of your choice, it will only benefit you and your brand. Your headshots are only getting older, after all!

professional headshot blog andrew samplawski photography

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monson bridge senior session andrew samplawski

Bo | Monson Bridge Senior Session

I had an awesome time hanging out with Bo during his senior session. It’s always amazing to meet up with seniors on the cusp of a whole new chapter in their lives, and Bo was no exception.

We tried to incorporate plenty of Bo’s personality and interests into the session itself, like his truck and the family collector car. He looked so relaxed and happy leaning on that car.

Bo is also really big into baseball, so we created an Extreme Sports piece for Bo with his baseball gear. We made sure to get pictures with his mitt as well as with his bat and even got a great shot of the back of his jersey. With the face paint completing the image of his game face, he looked like he was ready for the Major Leagues.

Because we did the session out at Monson Bridge, we were able to take advantage of the gorgeous location for a variety of different shots. The perfect weather meant we could make use of the water and the grass for some classic pictures, not to mention the rustic buildings for a look that suited Bo’s personality.

Bo, thank you for hanging out with me for your senior pictures. I loved getting to know you, and I hope that your last year at Owen-Withee High School is everything you want it to be.

monson bridge senior session andrew samplawski

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Metropolis Skybox Wedding Andrew Samplawski Photography

Mikey & Kate | Metropolis Skybox Wedding

Mikey and Kate were married on August 26th, with a ceremony and reception at the Metropolis Skybox.

My second shooter, Jeff, and I started out the morning documenting the getting ready process. The bride and bridesmaids were at the Metropolis in the Dulce Bridal Suite, and while we were photographing them, they busted out a full-fledged pillow fight. Then, just to keep things interesting, we had to duck outside in between the rain showers to get pictures of Mikey and his groomsmen too.

After a beautiful ceremony, we moved around Eau Claire for wedding portraits. Despite the rain, Mikey and Kate were real troopers—funny and goofy the whole time—as we went around Phoenix Park and other locations. The wedding party, too, was hilarious as they photobombed pictures and enjoyed cocktails.

We headed back to Metropolis for the grand entrance and then some cake cutting—which was unlike any I’d ever seen. The cutlery wasn’t out for the cake cutting, so Kate and Mikey improvised by using their hands. It was hilarious—and delicious! Baking Memories in Menomonie really did a good job with their desserts!

I also have to praise All Occasions DJ Service for providing quality entertainment. The dance floor was constantly packed, and DJ Paul made sure to keep everyone entertained. In particular, the DJ’s scavenger hunt was hilarious. Everyone was sooo competitive, but they all managed to have a great time.

Of course, for as much fun as everyone had, there were also some truly touching moments. Kate and Mikey’s son, Brayden, played the piano with his grandma for a special song to his parents, and Kate’s brother put in a $100 bill to see the two of them dance together as he watched from the edge of the dance floor. Seeing him dance with her from his mobile wheelchair was absolutely amazing. No matter what, no limitations should stop you from what you want to do in life.

Kate & Mikey, thank you for having us be part of your special day. And thank you to the staff at the Metropolis and All Occasions DJ for an amazing day.

Metropolis Skybox Wedding Andrew Samplawski Photography

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wall art andrew samplawski photography

The Appropriate Portrait Size for your Wall

With the New Year, it might be time to give your walls a new look with wall art. Here are some tips for the appropriate size portraits to decorate your home.

Appropriate Wall Art Sizes At a Glance:

Figuring out what size print to choose for your printed portraits can be overwhelming.  Size matters, at least when it comes to what hangs on the wall! It’s hard to know what frames will look too big or too small. Here is a brief run-down of the most common sizes.

  • 4×6, 5×7 and 8×10 frames are meant for tabletops or desktops.
  • 11×14 and greater are for the walls.
  • 20×30 and 30×40 are perfect above a couch, staircase, or on a larger wall.
  • Remember that adding a mat to a frame can add to its visual weight and overall size.

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brule river barn wedding andrew samplawski photography

Laura & Vince | Brule River Barn Wedding

Laura and Vince were married on September 22nd, with a ceremony and reception at the Brule River Barn.

On the day of the wedding, we were all worried about the weather. It had been raining all morning by the time my second shooter, Jeff, and I arrived—and what’s worse, we were supposed to get severe thunderstorms later in the day as well.

We managed to get some bridal party pictures, but because of the downpour, Laura and Vince scrapped their plans to do a first look. But just when it looked like we were going to have to get used to the wetness, the rain stopped just in time for the ceremony. The sun came out, and the two of them were able to have the weather they deserved for a stunning wedding.

After the ceremony, we did some full wedding party pictures. I particularly liked the fun ones with Laura and Vince with the mechanic theme. Laura loves fixing up cars, though Vince hangs back and hands her the tools more often than not. In fact, Laura and Vince are working on redoing a vintage truck to call their own!

I couldn’t get over the details for this wedding. Obviously, the fact that Laura grew her own flowers for the wedding was an amazing personal touch, and the feeling of family that permeated the day was overwhelmingly positive—but my favorite thing, selfishly, was the food.

The dinner was a homemade breakfast and nothing but deliciousness: pigs in a blanket, fruit, and cinnamon French toast. It was all amazing! Not to mention the cake, which Laura had painted with the truck they’ve refurbished. It’s the details that really make a wedding unique, and this day was jam-packed with them.

Vince & Laura, thank you again for asking me to be your wedding photographer. And thank you for the delicious meal!

brule river barn wedding andrew samplawski photography

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Ashley & Brandon | Autumn Engagement Session

I met up with Ashley and Brandon this fall for an autumn engagement session in the Eau Claire area.

It was the perfect fall day for an engagement session… couldn’t have asked for a better day! The colors were at their prime, and the surroundings looked like something out of a catalog. I always love when Mother Nature puts on a show like this; it makes the sessions even more beautiful.

Of course, this fall explosion also perfectly exemplified who Ashley and Brandon are as people. They love being outdoors together and consider each other to be their partners in crime. With that kind of adventurous spirit and nature-loving sense meshing so well with my subjects’ passions, what more could you ask for as a photographer? They were totally at home outside, and totally at home with each other.

I love couples like this who don’t have to be prompted to be affectionate with one another. Brandon could hardly keep from kissing Ashley and showing his love for her, and Ashley was right there with him, flirting with him and generally being an excited bride-to-be. Whether it was cheek kisses or dips, they were up for anything.

I particularly like the images of the two of them kissing with the light shining through the trees just right. Moments like that only happen when everything lines up just so—so when I saw it, I knew I had to get that light!

Brandon & Ashley, thank you for trekking out through the woods with me to get these amazing engagement images. I am so excited for you to be married next year and hope that your love only continues to grow.

eau claire autumn engagement session andrew samplawski photography

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Chippewa Falls senior session andrew samplawski

Paige | Chippewa Falls Senior Session

I love doing senior sessions at Chippewa Falls, and this amazing session with Paige was no exception.

Paige goes to Chippewa Falls High School, or Chi-Hi as it’s known around here. She has plans to go to nursing school, even if she hasn’t quite decided where that will be. But the more I talked to this amazing young woman, the more I became certain that whatever school she chooses, she’s going to rock it.

She also loves the outdoors, which was perfect for this kind of senior session. We were able to journey off the beaten path to find some locations where I had never been to capture images that were pure Paige. Her sense of adventure led us to try new things, and I thoroughly enjoyed following her and capturing that zest for life.

You can tell from the images that Paige is laid back and has a sort of grace about her that’s impossible to replicate. She had an addictive smile, and I loved when she would let it out, even if she was a bit self-conscious about the braces—which I removed from these images.

Paige, thank you for being so willing to go on an adventure with me and for being a true joy to photograph. I can’t wait to see what amazing things you will do with your life.

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five reasons andrew samplawski photography

Five Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Photographer

One of the most important things you can do when planning your wedding is to find the right photographer. While there are plenty of amateur wedding photographers out there, a pro will give you the better experience every time. In that vein, here are five reasons to go with a professional photographer.

Professional Photographers Help you Plan

Professional photographers have been in the industry for some time, doing weddings day in and day out. That means we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to planning the photography for your day. More often than not, a professional photographer knows how best to budget your time for a first look, or what the schedule will look like at favorite photography spots when you plan your portraits. Read more

chippewa falls senior session andrew samplawski photography

Vita | Chippewa Falls Senior Session

For Vita’s senior session, we headed to a nearby hidden location near the studio in Chippewa Falls so that we could capture some amazing images.

Going into the session, Vita was convinced that she wasn’t going to enjoy having her picture taken. She claimed that was wasn’t very photogenic, but I disagreed and did my utmost to try to get her to come out of her shell. After 10 minutes, she was absolutely rocking out like a supermodel for Seventeen magazine!

I was particularly proud of the fact that I was able to get her to relax enough to get her in the water, splashing around and grinning. You can’t fake the emotion for moments like that—it has to be genuine—and Vita rocked it!

In fact, Vita enjoyed herself so much that, after the session was over, she left a 5-star review:

“Senior pictures: I’m not the type that enjoys having pictures taken. But today was definitely a great experience! I was a little nervous at first, always feel awkward when other people take pictures of me – but Andrew did an AMAZING job when it came down to pulling me out of my shell. Easy to work with and definitely recommend!” – Vita N.

It always warms my heart to hear from my clients when they have a portrait session they enjoy, and this was particularly sweet because she had been so nervous going in. Thank you, Vita, for sharing your experience!

As Vita gradually relaxed and started to open up, I was also able to learn more about her. This high school senior from Thorp is a total family girl, and she especially enjoys the time she gets to spend with her nephews. Her last outfit with her sweatshirt was her grandfather’s who passed… and she also brought her grandfather’s custom made ring. Such a great touch to add to her session that means something to her. She had so much love in her heart, and it was a true joy to be around her.

Vita, thank you so much for an amazing senior session. I’m so glad that you were able to enjoy yourself, and I know you will do wonderful things in your future.

chippewa falls senior session andrew samplawski photography

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5 holiday photography tips andrew samplawski photography

5 Holiday Photography Tips for Capturing your Holiday Memories

The radio stations have already started with their holiday music. The temperatures start to dip, the nights get longer and there is a little bit of excitement in the air.  The holidays are coming! With the impending gatherings of the holiday season, it’s always nice to have a few suggestions on how best to photograph the holidays. With families coming together from far and wide, it is the perfect time to capture pictures while everyone is together, sharing in the love and warmth of this holiday season. And so, from my family to yours, here are 5 holiday photography tips for capturing your holiday memories.

Holiday Photography Tips: Capture Family Photos

There’s nothing more fun than taking advantage of the multiple generations all together at the same time. One of my favorite things to do when everyone is together is to capture big, generational shots including the whole family. Get great-grandma, grandma, mom and the youngest all together. Showcase the love of multiple generations all in one shot. Pile everyone up in front of the fireplace and get a shot of everyone together. These moments will be cherished years later when those faces in the photographs are no longer with us. A photograph is a way to freeze time, even if just a moment. Read more