Your Headshot Choices Matter

Your Headshot Choices Matter

What is Photofeeler? They write “Photofeeler is a data science company. Our flagship product helps people land good jobs and life partners by optimizing their profile pictures.” As a professional photography company in Durham Region and Whitby I am going to show you the results from the BUSINESS  side only – not the social and dating photo side of the application.

Photofeeler posits that your own friends and family are too biased to tell you the truth about your photo choice. Instead strangers are served your content to rate and the results are tabulated, along with comments you can write or choose from. As a frequent user of social media as a professional in this field this is true. I cannot tell you how many selfies, cut off chins, foreheads, filtered, over or under exposed, badly lit and completely unprofessional photos I see on business profiles across Facebook and Instagram business pages.

That distinction is important, because your business profile is not the same as your personal profile. Also, not all jobs need the same level of business profile shots – for example, a banker and a graphic designer at an up and coming agency often require completely different looks, styles and approaches. So for the purpose of my albeit short and sweet comparison note we are comparing these under the BUSINESS category in the application on Photofeeler.

The tool provides three areas by which your photo is rated by other users, these include what does the photo say about the person’s competency (COMPETENT), likability (LIKABLE) and influence (INFLUENTIAL). They also rate how many entries are needed to create a STANDARD sample so that you gather enough opinions. For a strong sample (20 seems to be the magic number here) we opted to gather 20-22 opinions for each option below.

So I ran two photos through the tool to see how my professional headshot (created by the amazing skills of Melissa Maahs Photography) did against a selfie I took the same day against the same wall with my iPhone 6. I let them both run through with the filters BUSINESS and my job title as PHOTOGRAPHER. The tests were run on the free option and ran between 3 and 10 p.m. EST.

Here are the results of the iPhone 6 SELFIE versus the PROFESSIONAL photo. Noting that the comments are by users and not professional photographers who do not know me or Melissa.

SELFIE (using an iPhone 6/rear camera)SELFIE-KIRSTEN

This photo was taken on the same day, same hair, with my sunglasses on when we had finished up the shoot. I like that I could use the selfie against the professional shot to show the reactions they generated.


  • “This is kind of a bad quality photo considering you are a photographer…” ( I agree, this was a taken as a behind the scenes shot with my phone)
  • “Great photo!”
  • “Photo seems a bit unprofessional to me.”


Things to consider from the SELFIE example:

  • The quality of the photo is less because the capabilities of the Canon camera far out pace my old iPhone 6 specifications.
  • The image is a selfie, it is informal and I am wearing glasses (eyes are everything in a portrait as are catch lights).
  • All the ratings are below average which is not the message I want to give current, potential and future clients about my abilities, skills and services.


PROFESSIONAL (Canon 5D Miii with 135 mm lens)


  • “Would prefer if they were smiling more.”
  • “Great photo!”
  • “Great photo!”
  • “Great background!”
  • “Photo seems professional to me.”
  • “Nailed it!”




Things to consider from the PRO example:

  • High quality execution by a professional who understands light, her gear and posing. This is why I use a pro when doing my headshots for my own photography business.
  • The ratings now reflect the impression I want to give current, potential and future clients about my abilities, skills and services.

If you need help bringing your profile picture (see above) to another level connect with us via:

Kirsten McGoey | Visual Storyteller

Polishing Your Professional Headshot

Guilliana came to me with a request to add some polish to her headshot for use in her company intranet, social media profile photos – especially her LinkedIn. Many clients come with this same brief but have no idea how to achieve it. What was special with Gullianna is she knew exactly the image she wanted to create. We got down to work and achieve her goal of a professional, classic look.

For a headshot we always recommend by passing the “phone selfie” – especially on LinkedIn. A professional headshot should be updated every two years either in studio or on location with a professional eye for posing, catch lights (the lights in the eyes) and and over all understanding of light. Couple that with a professional touch to the skin creates a strong, professional end result.


The end result was achieved with one outfit by simply removing her jacket to create two different but equally classic looks. The necklace worked well with the blouse but conflicted with the collar of the jacket so we removed it. Simple but effective posing gives her 3 strong looks with smiles and the extra non smile rounded off her final look.

If you are looking to update your headshot or need a quote for a team, please contact us through our connect page form.

Kirsten McGoey, Visual Storyteller | Whitby, Ontario; Greater Toronto Area

The Magic of the Hunt

The Magic of the Hunt

Each year we are part of the Optimist Club of Brooklin’s annual Easter Egg hunt we walk away with smiles, a little chocolate in our bellies and lots of experiences captured. Enjoy these memories as we “Captured the Experience” for the third year in a row.

This spring we have our annual Blossoms experience again at Hy Hope Farms – at the moment of this posting we have 3 spots left available for these 20 minute sessions. Due to the cut off times we only have 8 of these a year, but can return here for full sessions if you wish.

To book an experience visit our investment page and connect with us via email.

Kirsten, Visual Storyteller

The Magic of Shoot and Share

The Magic of Shoot and Share

We have had the Shoot and Share application for over a year now and love how easy it makes showing clients how their images will appear on the walls of their OWN homes and offices. Here are the simple steps to have a mockup done for your home:

  • Tape an 8.5×11 sheet of paper to the wall you wish to mount your image(s) on.
  • We will use that sheet to measure so our mock up is to scale.
  • Let us know the sizing you are considering.
  • We will add that to the wall.
  • We can also help you work out wall clusters and photo walls.
  • Once complete we send you a mock up like the one shown here for a recent client (permission to show).

Print the experience with this handy tool so you get the right size for your home. Handy rules of thumb are anything with three seats needs at least 16×20 or larger depending on the design and layout of your home to not look too small on your wall.

Need help? Email us your requirements to “” or call us @ 905.925.7529 during business hours M to F 9 to 2 or set up a call outside of those hours.

Kirsten McGoey, Visual Storyteller

Thinking INSIDE the box.

Thinking INSIDE the box.

I fell in love with the white box session idea three years ago when I was given the challenge by a client. We did a plain brown cardboard box and used natural light – it was a fun session – but I knew in time I could achieve more if and when the studio was built.
Fast forward to 2016 and we have a lovely 500 square foot studio space in the lower level of our home that is primed and ready for this kind of work. We have a huge box big enough to hold a family five (tight fit) or each one of you – showcasing your individual talents, playing with modern and simple shapes and styling.
This is our first test – we did this one for our annual Christmas card – which because of the constant stream of work coming in 2016 will likely be a NEW YEARS CARD. These sessions will not be Christmas themed but you get the idea of the possibilities for a visual storyteller such as myself with a penchant for the modern look.
Each boy is featured. we engaged some shots using “observation” techniques – looking around the corner, looking up (we have others too in archive that were waving down). We used real hand stands and faked ones – oh and last time I checked my eldest cannot hang from the ceiling like a spider.
Since then we have done over 25 families in the box and we love the results, in fact we will be back in full force to do the for one of our two “The Christmas Experience” offerings.white-box-trinity-design-whitby
Clients have embraced this fun session with families ranging from young kids, to teens and even grandparents coming in to tell their story with us. We have seen baseball players, ballerinas, soccer fans and baseball fans, Harry Potter addicts, readers and just plain silly, family fun inside the box.
Want in on the action? Want to tell your family story? Sunday April 2, 2017 (White Box 3, Easter or Family Theme) – we have two spots that opened up due to severe illness, check out our event:
Capture the experience. Book your experience session today  by calling 905.925.7529 or email us @

Kirsten McGoey, Visual Storyteller