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23 Perfect Occasions to Put Yourself in Portraits

1. It’s your birthday and you’re still alive

Having new portraits made is a great way to celebrate your continued existence. Kidding aside, each year we get older, and we’re wearing another year’s experience on our face. Sometimes we’ve been tired out, other times our eyes are bright and eager. Portrait sessions capture who you’ve become, so having a birthday, especially a significant one, is a great reason to commemorate yourself with new portraits.

2. You were promoted to a new job and want to put your best face foreword

It can be intimidating walking into a new job for the first time. Since first impressions are hard to replace, going into your new job with a fresh set of headshots can help send a signal that your prepared, optimistic and confident about the work ahead.

3. You’re leaving your old city to move to a new one, and want to mark your time there

When you live in a place for a long time, it becomes a part of you. You find some spots you like to visit again and again. Places that made you feel at home there. Leaving these places is bittersweet, knowing you’ll probably never enjoy them in the same way again. Before you leave, making a point to create portraits in these spaces can help honor your time with them and keep them as a permanent part of yourself.

4. You just moved to a new city, and want to put down some roots

Maybe you couldn’t wait to get out of your old city. Maybe it wasn’t bittersweet at all. Now that you’re in this new city, having some portraits made is a great way to start planting roots. Your photographer will know the area, and the new images give you an opportunity to present yourself to new friends, in a new way.

5. You got engaged and can’t contain yourself

Even if you’re not spending a bunch of money on a wedding photographer, hiring someone to create beautiful portraits after your engagement is a great way to announce the good news to your friends, and will be a great way to mark this major transition in life.

6. You bought a new house and it’s just what you were looking for

Buying a new house is up there with some of the toughest decisions of our lives. And, like the city we live in, it becomes part of us. It reflects who we are and our ideals as human beings. When you find one that’s just perfect and finally take the plunge, a portrait in the front yard with the family or by yourself, in the foyer or around the house, is like tying a ribbon around your excitement and hanging it on the walls.

7. You got pregnant and you want to tell your friends in an epic way

In the course of a normal human’s life, it doesn’t get much more “epic” than creating another human being. It might just be the most important thing you ever do. If you’re not satisfied to tell your friends and family the old fashioned way—with SMS messages and giggles—you can hire a professional to help you tell your friends and family with a series of clever portraits!

8. You were sad for a while because you broke up, but you’re getting your mojo back

It’s never fun when a long relationship ends. If you were with someone for a long time, it’s only natural to be down in the dumps for a while after a break up. But when you start to get your spirits back, a fresh set of personal portraits can bring a spark to your confidence.

9. It was hard, but you graduated from school

Commemorating major milestones with portraits is a long standing tradition for a reason. As a graduate, in some ways, you’re the certifiably best version of yourself at this moment. In 10 years will you have lost ground, or gained it? Portraits at milestones are their own reverent forms of celebration, preserving your self-image at a moment of pride.

10. You splurged on an awesome new wardrobe and want to show it off

If you’ve ever walked into a store and spent three times as much on clothes as you wanted to, emotion probably played a part in that decision. You should get more emotional mileage out of it. Using a whole new wardrobe as a basis for a portrait session is a great way to feel good, for longer, about new clothing. If you’re getting adventurous, you can use the portraits to help incorporate the new style into your self-image—and you can see for yourself if there’s something you should really just take back to the store.

11. It turns out you can’t join the dating site without a profile pic and your selfie-game sucks

Yes, real people are meeting each other on dating sites, falling in love, and going on to have perfectly normal marriages. If you’re sitting around sad and lonely, it might be time to sign up. Selfies at midnight by the glow of computer light don’t turn too many heads. Neither do feigned confidence in a bathroom mirror. If you don’t have a lot of photographs of yourself, hire a photographer to make you look good… but not too good (that turns heads too, just in the wrong direction).

12. You have an audition, and you don’t look like that anymore

If you’re an actor, you already know how important it is to have recent headshots. If you’ve just been pretending to be an actor, but are finally getting serious, you’ll need to replace the high school senior portrait you’ve been using. You need to hire a photographer to create new headshots for you.

13. Your oldest child just lost her front teeth, (isn’t that cute)…

The natural phases kids go through make great excuses to have portraits created. Kids losing teeth, getting obsessed with long dresses, new haircuts, they’re all momentary things that are easily forgotten, but when they’re captured in formal portraits, they leave a little reminder of where they’ve been while they were growing up.

14. …and you just realized the kids won’t stop growing up

It’s not like child rearing isn’t without it’s challenges, but it’s easy to take these times for granted. The fingers that type this right now were once too small to even reach the keyboard, now they’re huge, rougher, and with more cracks and wrinkles.  Who can even remember what they were like before? Children grow up fast, and when you remember that fact, set up a portrait session.

15. You’re wondering how many walks your dog has left in her

Speaking of taking our moments for granted, you might realize one day that you and your canine companion cannot go on together forever. One day our furry friends will leave us. Intentionally created portraits of you and your dog will have required more of you than the selfies you took with her in the car, and so the images will hold more weight.

16. You just gave birth to a baby and this whole experience is crazy and amazing

After you’ve had your first baby, two things are likely to be true: First, you’re a little overwhelmed at first. And second, the photos you take aren’t capturing the whole picture. Hiring a photographer to capture some portraits of yourself and your new baby can also preserve some of the nuances of being a parent in your child’s early life, and in a way that’s very hard to do yourself.

17. You just finished your first novel, and the publisher wants a face to put on the inside cover

People reading books like to know what the author looks like, apparently. Publishers always want headshots of their authors, and you’ll want them too for book signings, speaking engagements, social media and just generally being recognized as a professional writer.

18. You realized your business card looks just like everyone else’s

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other platforms have created the expectation of seeing a profile picture along with people’s information. Business cards without a photo on them are like profiles without pictures—that is to say, they’re usually ignored. Putting a profile picture on your business cards also makes them unique, so that even if someone else has the same design, they’re clearly different cards. Read more about this here.

19. You’re making great progress toward your fitness goals and want others to see it

There really is nothing wrong with patting yourself on the back. And when you work hard for something, it makes sense to want to share it with others. In this case, your fitness goals are probably in part because you want to look better, and portraits are all about making you look your best. Having a body you want to show off is a great reason to have portraits created.

20. With a profile photo taken on a fishing trip 15 years ago, LinkedIn isn’t taking you seriously

If you’re working the gears on LinkedIn, your photo needs to be current for the best impact. When a photo is obviously out of date, you might find people silently judging you for whatever reasons they imagine for why you haven’t uploaded something more recent. In the business networking context, it also might look like you’re lacking confidence.

21. You and your best friend are still best friends

You hear all about family portraits, but don’t hear much about best friend portraits. How come? Our friends can sometimes be closer to us than family, and undoubtedly leave lasting marks on our personality and our values. Long lasting friendship is a great thing to honor, and portraits together are a perfect way of doing it.

22. You want to make your old best friend jealous

People part ways sometimes and usually it’s amicable. But sometimes, sometimes is with anger and spite, and while we can’t necessarily condone a “check out how good I look” revenge scheme, we can tell you that looking amazing in a new set of portraits will almost definitely make them jealous.

23. You just really want to impress people

You know what’s better than impressing other people? Impressing yourself. But of course, social media is a game and ever since your sister-in-law posted photos from her amazing beach trip, you’ve been eager to show that your life is beautiful and exciting too. A photographer is a great ally in a friendly game of one-up-manship.

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