Guest Blogger

Today’s guest blogger is Stuart Fedderson, public speaking coach based in Chapel Hill, NC. His topic, something near and dear to me – the importance of a genuine, engaging smile. In your headshot of course, but even moreso in your professional life. Read more from Stuart below!

The Super Power of a Smile – Stuart Fedderson

I love to smile! If you have been to any of my seminars, you know that smiling is a big part of who I am.

You all probably have one of those old elementary school photos where there is that one goofy kid in the group with the biggest, cheesiest, most ridiculous smile ever. Well… that was me and I am not afraid to admit that. However, what most of us cannot see when looking at that goofy kid is the internal battle that may have been going on inside. For me it wasn’t necessarily a mask, but more of a stress reliever for my anxious moments. When my anxiety was elevated, a smile was my first go-to remedy.

Have you ever considered what a the super powers of a smile can do for you in your life, speeches, and presentations? Lets explore it shall we?

Super Stress Reliever

According to a very interesting study performed by the University of Kansas, smiling can actually reduce stress and help us feel better. In the study, students were placed in stressful situations and then monitored as the stressful situation commenced. The results were startling. As a whole, the smilers had lower heart rates and showed less signs of stress while recovering from stressful tasks than those who had shown no smiles.

Some think that this is because it reduces levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone. In spite of these cool findings, this connection between mental states and expressions is still uncharted territory to the scientific community. What does this mean? Maybe feeling good could sometime be a result of smiling, not the other way around.

Unless you are giving a presentation with a more somber and quiet tone that requires a more solemn expression, try smiling a little more the next time you present. Your overall stress and anxiety will decrease as you present and the audience will become more engaged.

Super Contagious

In my experience, when someone smiles, others view him or her as being attractive, reliable, relaxed, and sincere. Smiling makes people look and (according to the study above) feel better as well. This often naturally creates the same feelings in others. Think for a minute about some of your favorite public speakers or the most engaging TED Talks you have seen. How often did this person smile? Did they bring humor into their presentation? Did you find yourself smiling along with them? Chances are the more that speaker smiled, the more you smiled which in turn led to you to be more engaged in the message.

I often tell my clients who struggle with this to think about it from the perspective of the audience or the social group you are spending time with. More often than not, your audience feels what you feel so feel what you want your audience to feel.

If you are giving a speech and you are not smiling every now and again, your audience will most likely get bored. Smiling is a sign of passion and energy so smile more to create passion and energy in your listeners. Again, I do have to include that there is a time and place for this. If you topic is sad and solemn, then you want your audience to feel the sincerity and solemnity in your tone so naturally it makes sense to smile less.

Super Effective

People are generally bored during presentations and in most social situations. It is not that the world is a boring place; it is that few people show passion. Remember that smiling is a psychological sign of energy, passion, and enthusiasm. If you want a sure fire way to stand out during a presentation, at a party, at work, or in any social situation… smile more, frown less.

Let’s take work for example. Sonya Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California did some very telling research. According to the study, benefits of smiling include “higher income and superior work outcomes.” They found that people who are at the top of organizations smiled significantly more as they moved up the corporate ladder. The results showed that smiling led to a higher chance of career growth and promotion. This is mainly because smiling makes you appear more credible, courteous, and even competent in life and in the workplace.

You now know that a smile can be the super power you never knew you had! Don’t be afraid to use that super power to get ahead not only in your presentations, but in your social life as well.

Learn more about Stuart and his Fedderson Formula at

Guest Blogger, studio

Since many coming through my studio doors are actively job searching I am excited to share this guest blog post with you: Meet Mir Garvy, owner of Job Market Solutions in Raleigh, NC. We all know Raleigh is hot for jobs right now, but it’s also hot for job competition and getting your foot in the door may be harder than ever. She and her team provide resume and cover letter writing services and get your Linkedin profile where it needs to be to attract the attention of recruiters and companies (and hey hey, this is where a gorgeous new headshot comes into play!). We updated her team photos in the studio recently; since resume writing happens via email, these photos are the perfect way for clients to “meet” their writer. Read on her for her tips for creating a successful job search and see her experienced writers pictures below!

Build a Dream Team to Accelerate Your Job Search

If you listen to or read about successful people, you’ll begin to see certain patterns. One pattern I notice is that whether we’re talking about an Olympic athlete, a beloved politician, or an Academy Award winner, they all had people who helped them succeed.

No one advances in a vacuum.

It’s no different for a job seeker. If you want a better job, conduct a better job search. And the best job search begins when you draft a team of helpers. There are three kinds of professionals you should consider hiring if you want to land a job that fits you perfectly.

Career or Life Coach

If you’re not sure of the direction your search should take, a career coach will point you in the right direction. A career coach will clarify and advance your thinking process, saving you time and trouble if you are new to the work force or considering a career change.

If you are miserable in your present job, if you are ready to enter semi-retirement, or if you’ve always dreamed of a career in an unusual or limited field, a career coach should be your first stop, even before you have a resume.

A second kind of coach is the interview coach. When you know what kind of job you are aiming for, the interview coach will help you prepare so you present yourself in the best light. He or she will practice and role play with you to build your confidence and to develop the skills that help you navigate an interview.

Hire the interview coach after you have a current resume.

Resume and LinkedIn Profile Writer

Of course, every job seeker needs a resume, a concise but thorough, impressive, and well-formatted one. At Job Market Solutions, we can help with your resume, with your LinkedIn profile, and with your cover letter, too. We’ve helped over 2,500 people secure the jobs they wanted.

Headshot Photographer

Although your resume won’t show a photo of you, no LinkedIn page is complete without one. The stats say that LinkedIn pages with a photo attract 14 times as many views as those without one. Your face is the first thing visitors to your page see. The right photograph will make people want to read about you. The wrong photo (or no photo) will prompt them to bypass your page.

Forbes wrote about how your LinkedIn photo determines much more than you think.

I always encourage job applicants to hire a professional photographer for a LinkedIn profile photo. You’ll use it on your own LinkedIn page, but you can also use it on your Facebook page, your Twitter feed, or on your blog or website.

You might be thinking that you or a friend can take a good enough picture, but I’ve seen multiple things that can go wrong. To name a few: bad lighting, unflattering clothing, bad cropping, focus that’s too sharp or too soft, colors too intense or faded, a facial expression that’s not friendly or is “too friendly,” a pose that is too casual or too formal, or an image that doesn’t really look like you in real life.

A photo taken by a trained portrait photographer gives the message that you take your career seriously, and that you’ve invested time, intelligence, and money in your professional life.

Have you drafted your dream team yet?                 

About Mir Garvy, MS, CPRW – My resume writing firm helps job seekers just like you land jobs with companies like Amazon, SAS, Google, Duke University, Travelocity, Cisco Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, Expedia, and IBM.

business, Guest Blogger, on location

Personal Branding Raleigh Small Business Owner HeadshotsReduce stress with today’s guest blogger Jenny Abhau, owner of White Dahlia Massage and Wellness. I am so excited for you to “meet” this amazing woman! Her bright, friendly and serene spa is one of my favorite spots in Raleigh. This girl runs the show from top to bottom (including hand written birthday cards for their members and baking cakes for her staff). I don’t know HOW she does it all but she does it all. We met on a beautiful NC day to update her headshots and personal branding images and now she is here to share ways you can reduce stress and handle the grind of life.

Jenny’s Top Five Ways to Reduce Stress

As the owner of Raleigh’s best massage spa, you’d think I’d be an expert on stress relief. The truth is, being a small business owner is a grind that never ends. Couple that with having a slew of kids (five, to be exact—and I gave birth to every last one of them!), and I’m pretty much a ticking time bomb.

Having said that, I’ve had ample opportunity to find out what does and doesn’t work to relieve stress. So maybe—just maybe— I am an expert.

Jenny Abhau Headshots Raleigh NC Personal Branding Small business1. Massage. Now I’m not just saying this because I own a massage studio. The benefits of massage are real. From relieving headaches, to unwinding tight muscles, to soothing souls, massage is just plain GOOD for you. There have been days in my life when I have felt that I could not take another minute; that life was just too hard. And then I got a massage. And I felt competent and capable again. I could do life, after all.

2. Light reading. To me, leisure reading is a luxury. It’s something you treat yourself to when you’ve tackled everything else on your list. But that’s all backwards. Taking twenty minutes a day to read something you really enjoy is the perfect mental escape. This is particularly helpful right before bed, when your brain is going at mach speed and won’t shut off. Two of my latest favorites are A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (Donald Miller) and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows).

3. Getting outside. I recently took a trip to Yosemite National Park. You guys. I couldn’t believe that kind of majesty and beauty existed in real life. In the few days I was there (with very limited cell phone coverage) I remembered how small I was in the grand scheme of things. My family? They’d survive without me for a few days. My business? They’d figure things out without me. The world wasn’t going to end if I went off the grid for a while. And I’ll tell you what: in that setting of splendor, my mind was free of its usual worries. And I slept like a baby.

Jenny Abhau White Dahlia Raleigh Reduce Stress

4. Hypnosis/Mindfulness. I used to think this kind of stuff was hokey. Not anymore. After struggling with insomnia, I finally resorted to downloading a couple of hypnosis apps. Friends, these things really work. Focusing on the present, feeling your body, noticing your surroundings, all help to keep you grounded and content. Find out for yourself! Try Andrew Johnson’s “Positivity” and also “DeStress.”

5. Establishing non-negotiables. Before you can adequately take care of anyone else, you need to take care of yourself. Too often, we put ourselves last. Not only are we doing ourselves a disservice, we are also short-changing everyone who is important to us by not giving them our best selves. So what do you need to be your best self? A certain amount of exercise a week? Massage once a month? (I know a place….) Lunch with a friend every Wednesday? Decide what YOU need and make it a priority.

Take a couple of my ideas for a spin. See if they help you in your quest to reduce stress. See if they improve your quality of life. I’m betting they will.

White Dahlia Spa Jenny AbhauRaleigh North Carolina

Jenny Abhau is the owner of White Dahlia Massage and Wellness, a membership-based massage and facial spa, on the corner of Creedmoor and Strickland Roads in North Raleigh, where she employs the best massage therapists and estheticians in Raleigh, NC. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

For more information on Raleigh headshots and personal branding visit NC



entrepreneur, Guest Blogger, medical

professional headshot north raleighI am excited to bring you another client guest blog post, this time by the very beautiful Meredith Harris of New Life Aesthetics in Raleigh, NC.

And trust me, if anyone should be giving advice on aging gracefully and all things gorgeous it’s this woman. Guys; this is not retouching you see, her skin is actually this flawless! Meredith offers Botox, Dermal Fillers, and other skincare solutions to, well, basically to help us look like her! She came to me for some non traditional headshots as she worked to update her website and overall brand look. She is beautiful, her outfit color choices were flattering and the North Raleigh location was a perfect match for her branding.

5 Practical Ways to Slow Down the Aging Process, New Life Aesthetics

Who wouldn’t want to age gracefully? I am asked every day in my practice, ‘Meredith, what can I do to slow down the aging process?’ Here are 5 practical things that you may not have known.

New Life Aesthetics, Raleigh headshots

  1. Avoid inflammatory foods. Vegetable oils, margarine, processed foods and alcohol cause inflammation which can accelerate wrinkle formation.
  2. Avoid stress. I recommend regular exercise, and healthy stress reducing activities. Recent research links stress to accelerated cell death and aging of the brain and body.
  3. Sleep… and don’t sleep on your face! Side sleeping causes wrinkles. Seven to nine hours of sleep per night is necessary for the body to repair.
  4. Avoid sunbathing. Daily sun protection reduces the risk of wrinkles and skin cancer.
  5. Don’t smoke. Even secondhand smoke triggers the breakdown of collagen which leads to skin sagging. Smoking also causes overuse of the mouth muscle, leading to deep lip wrinkles.

Meredith Harris HEADSHOTSMeredith Harris is the owner and Nurse Practitioner of New Life Aesthetics in Raleigh NC.  As a leading injection specialist with a decade of experience and a profound passion for all things beautiful, Meredith seeks to serve her guests with a unique experience.  From the first touch-point, whether educating, treating various skin conditions, or discussing aging-related concerns, her care is customized and the time with her is in a private and serene environment. When not in her Crabtree boutique studio, Meredith travels extensively to teach and train new and advanced injectors.  Her contagious passion for aesthetics is evidenced by the joy she shares with her guests and professionals in the industry.

Learn more at or Browse this site for more details on scheduling a headshot session for you or your business, or visit our sister website Season Moore Photography for portrait photo sessions.

beautiful lady outside lafayette village raleigh

entrepreneur, Guest Blogger, on location

Colin Romoda is a Raleigh content writer and businessperson. His personal branding photo session took place in downtown Durham on a hot summer’s day with several looks that best capture his personal style and brand. Of course as a headshot photographer I see the value of every professional using professional images but today you can hear from the other side of the equation; the client.

4 Reasons Why Every Raleigh Businessperson Needs a Professional Headshot

colin romoda

In today’s society, everyone and everything is online.  Even with no intention, a simple Google search can populate troves of personal information and images.  As a business professional, it is imperative to place controls on what information and images can be found and in doing so protecting yourself and your business.  A simple first step – self-publish a professional headshot and market it as the first image anyone will discover – set it as the profile image on your personal and business accounts, including websites, blogs and social media.  North Carolina is home to a booming Capital city, an incubator for entrepreneurs and veterans alike, establish your mark with a professional Raleigh headshot.

An Investment in Yourself and in Your Business

A professional headshot is more than just a photo, it is an investment in yourself and in your business.  It shows you care enough and are willing to place time and money into how you and your business are perceived by the public.  It cannot be stressed enough how technology has revolutionized industry.  Customers no longer just follow companies, but also the leaders behind them – think Sir Richard Branson of Virgin, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Elon Musk of Tesla – we are as much proponents of them as we are their companies.  Would we think as highly of them if every photo we saw was crooked, blurry, out of focus and poorly lit?  Short answer – no.  Invest the time and money, a professional Raleigh headshot will prove its worth.

Business Culture is Not a Selfie Culture

durham professional branding photographerReality check – a selfie is NOT professional.  Sure, it is easy and cheap, but it also comes across that way, not exactly the image you want to portray to the public.  Scrolling through LinkedIn, viewing possible connections, it is amazing how many profile images were taken with a mobile phone in a group of people and the individual simply cropped-in to their face.  It may not be a bad photo, but on the contrary it is also not your best photo.  Put your best photo out there, it is the first thing people are going to see and people jump to judgment, don’t give them a reason to judge you and your business poorly right out of the gate.

Showcase Your Personal Style

Don’t think of a headshot as capturing only your face.  Often, especially with professional headshots for business purposes, the image can capture from the shoulders or waist up, or even the entire body in certain positions.  This element poses great opportunity to showcase your personal style.  Take advantage of this, it will present the public with more insight into who they are entrusting their hard-earned time and money with.  Particular indicators of how you come across will weigh more or less heavily in different crowds – appease to your consumer base.

Indicate Your Industryraleigh durham content writer

Take it out of the studio!  If a simple studio backdrop is all you desire, no problem, but if given the opportunity, choose a location shoot for your professional Raleigh headshot.  This will add more depth to your overall image and provide you with a portfolio of images you can choose to mix and match.  The possibilities for locations are seemingly endless; I’d recommend a location that will identify with your industry – a music hall for a concert promoter, a kitchen for a chef or a tarmac for an airline pilot.  Give this serious thought, it will require a little more upfront investment, but well worth the payoff.

A professional headshot is an absolute necessity for every person in any industry, make it count!  I trusted Raleigh headshot photographer Season Moore in helping me succeed in gaining a portfolio of professional images that capture my very best.  From first contact through receiving my final images, the experience could not have been more fulfilling.

businessperson colin romodaColin Romoda is a Raleigh-Durham, NC based content writer and Season Moore Photography client.  Colin has a wide range of interests, from health and fitness to music tour management, that help enhance his writing and allow him to meet independent needs.  Whether seeking to rank higher in online search engines, increase traffic to your website or sell more publications, great written content will set you apart from the competition.  To view Colin’s full bio and writing portfolio visit and connect with him on LinkedIn.