Capitalizing the Potential of Your Professional Headshot: 9 Creative Uses

November 13, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Unique headshot of a business woman balancing books on her head In today's digital age, a professional headshot is an essential tool for anyone, from business professionals to artists and creatives. A well-crafted headshot can speak volumes about your personality, professionalism, and brand, but it's not just for your website or LinkedIn profile. In this blog post, we’ll explore seven creative and versatile ways to use your professional headshot to make a great first impression.

Mallory sitting and smiling while typing on her grandmother's typewriter. 1. Online Profiles
Your LinkedIn profile is just the beginning. Use your headshot on all your professional social media accounts, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. A consistent image across platforms helps in building your personal brand.

2. Business Cards
Incorporate your headshot on your business cards. It adds a personal touch and helps people connect your face with your name and business.

3. Email Signature
Including your headshot in your email signature makes your messages more personable and helps recipients recognize your face. This is particularly valuable for networking.

Headshot of a business woman
4. Professional Website
If you have a personal or professional website, your headshot is a must-have. It adds a human element to your online presence, building trust with your audience. Having a variety of images and expressions lets viewers know more about you and your personality.

5. Marketing Materials
Your headshot can be used in brochures, flyers, and other marketing materials. It puts a friendly face to your business or services and makes your content more relatable.

6. Guest Blogs and Articles
If you contribute content to blogs, magazines, or news articles, your headshot can be included alongside your byline. This adds credibility to your work and helps readers connect with the author.

Businesswoman headshot in Traverse City 7. Speaking Engagements
If you're a public speaker, use your headshot in promotional materials for upcoming events, making it easier for attendees to identify you. It also adds professionalism to your speaking engagements.

8. Social Media Stories and Highlights
Incorporate your headshot into your social media stories and highlights to engage your audience and create a consistent
brand presence. People love to learn about YOU! I guarantee if you have a business page some of your most engaged-with posts will be the ones that have photos of you.

Your professional headshot is a versatile asset that can be used in many ways to enhance your personal and professional brand. Make it come alive by embracing these creative uses, and your headshot won't just be a static image – it'll be a dynamic force that helps you connect with your audience.

Are you ready to have a professional headshot, but aren't sure what to wear? Check out my other blog post: What to wear at a headshot session.


If you're ready to schedule an inquiry call to dream up your our portrait session you can schedule a call here: Schedule a call

Is Birth Photography Worth the Cost?

August 11, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Mother holding newborn baby after a home birth Birth photography

Are you interested in birth photography, but you're worried about the cost?

I get it; birth photography can be expensive, and it's important to understand why. 

Let's talk about it! 

Honestly, birth photography was the best investment I have personally ever made in photography. When my son was born at home 5 years ago, I had it ALL documented. My dog, my daughter and my husband were all there and nothing was missed! There were even photographs of things I didn’t even realize were happening like my dog staying by my side the entire time! I am so grateful for the images and beautiful album that my photographer created.

Birth photography requires a specialized skill set and experience.
As a birth photographer, I'm not just a skilled photographer, but I also have a deep understanding of childbirth and the birthing process. I know how to work with low light situations, respect your privacy and intimacy, and most importantly, I know how to capture the moments that matter most.

Birth photography takes a lot of time.
Births can last a few hours or even up to a day or more. As your birth photographer, I'm on-call 24/7 leading up to your due date, and I'll often spend several hours editing and processing the photos after the birth to ensure that the final product meets my high standards and your expectations.

The cost of birth photography includes more than just the time spent at the birth and editing the photos.
It also covers the cost of professional-grade camera equipment, including cameras, lenses, lighting, and editing software. Sometimes a birth photographer may have to forgo other work or personal activities due to being on call for your birth. Additionally, as a birth photographer, I invest in ongoing training and education to improve my skills and stay up-to-date with the latest techniques and trends.

How much is birth photography in Traverse City?
The cost of a birth photographer can vary depending on experience and the services and products offered. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 for a birth photography package that includes digital files with a print release (which means the ability to print an unlimited number of images at the lab of your choice). 

Birth is a life-changing experience that you'll never forget, and having professional photos to look back on can help you remember all the emotions, details, and love that surrounded you during that special time.

These photos are not just for you; they're a gift to your child. They'll show them how loved and welcomed they were from the very beginning, and these images will be cherished by you, your child, and your family for generations to come.

I want to make sure that everyone who wants to capture their birth story through photography has the opportunity to do so. That's why I offer payment plans to make the investment more manageable. Additionally, I'm open to bartering services occasionally, so it never hurts to ask about these options. I'm committed to making sure that you can have access to the beautiful, timeless images that you deserve!

Birth photography may seem expensive, but it's an investment in preserving memories, celebrating life, and honoring the birthing process. 

So, if you're considering birth photography, know that it's worth every penny and more!

Don’t just take my word for it ;) Here is what some of my clients had to say about their investment: 

"It's empowering to see yourself go through something transformational. When you're going through it, you're in it. When you look back, you can see yourself stronger than you thought and more capable than you knew." -Christina G.

“There are few things in life like giving birth to a child so by documenting that moment you can always look back and remember it. You take pictures of your kids first baseball game, this is a little bigger than that!” - Reese G.

Click here to see more of my birth photography in Traverse City!

Decoding Photography Styles: Which is Right for Your Next Family Session?

July 12, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Family portrait of a mother, father, two daughters, and son in a park. Family photography stylesFamily portrait photography
Have you ever heard photographers use terms like “Fine Art” & "Lifestyle" and "Day-in-The-Life?” Maybe you’re vaguely familiar, but also not too sure exactly what these terms mean? 

Allow me to clear things up! By the end of this blog, you'll be able to identify each photography style and select the one that will best preserve your family's precious moments!

Although photographers frequently use jargon like "Lifestyle", “Fine Art” and "Portrait," it can be hard to truly understand what types of images these terms will produce. 

So, what does it all actually mean?

Just like you wouldn't wear a tuxedo to a beach party, some styles just work better with certain moods and moments. 

First up, let's talk about the Classic Style also known as Portrait Photography.

Classic Photography is timeless, a little more formal, and almost always more posed. This style usually has a lot of emphasis on the pose, so you would expect to see more rules than creativity. 

Picture your grandma's vintage photo hanging on the wall - that's a perfect example of traditional portrait photography. 

Generally, this is the “holiday card photo.” You can clearly see everyone’s face and everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. 

Candid photograph of a father and a son in fall. Creative portrait photography.Father-son candid portrait Next, we have Candid Photography, or some call this Lifestyle Photography. 

It’s all about capturing spontaneous moments - the giggles, the funny faces, the sudden burst of dancing in the living room. 

Usually this is done on-location or in studio, but your photographer might use more casual prompts and poses in order to get laughs and reactions from those being photographed.

This style is perfect if your family loves a more casual look to their photos. You might not be able to see everyone’s faces and some people’s faces might look goofy, but that’s the point of candid photography! 

It's less about perfection and more about authenticity.

Canvas fine art portraits of a couple and their two young children.Fine Art Photography One you might not hear too often is Fine Art Photography. This is a style that emphasizes beauty, creativity, and artistic expression. 

It's a genre of photography that's often compared to a fine painting or sculpture, with each image carefully composed and thoughtfully designed. 

The photographer may use lighting techniques to create a certain mood or emotion, and the subjects may be posed in a way that highlights their form and beauty. 

The goal of fine art photography is to create a work of art.

If you’re looking for a unique image to display, this style is for you! 

While it may not capture the spontaneous moments of candid photography, it offers a different kind of beauty and depth.

Home water birth, with mother holding newborn baby and young sons looking on. Day in the life photography style.Birth photography with the whole family Finally, for those who love activities, “Day-in-the-life” Photography could be your perfect match. 

This style aims to capture real-life events or milestones or activities in a storytelling manner, often set in personal and outdoor spaces. 

So if your family loves to hike, camp, or picnic, lifestyle shots will catch those special moments. 

With day-in-the-life photography, there is generally no posing or prompting at all. The photographer really is a fly on the wall while your family participates in an activity you all love doing together. 

I particularly love day-in-the-life photography for families with toddlers because it’s so much more fun to do an activity they love than trying to ask them to sit still and smile for a more classic type of photography session.

Birth photography definitely falls into Day-in-the-life photography! It’s capturing one of the biggest days of your life, right? The day you meet your baby!

Now, here's the fun part: deciding on the best style for your family! 

This isn't about choosing 'the best' style out there, but rather what's best for your family (and this might change depending on the season of life your family is in).

If your family is a lively bunch that's constantly on the move, candid or lifestyle photography might work best. For families that love tradition and formality, portrait photography could be the way to go.

But hey, who says you have to stick to one style? Now that you know the terms photographers use for these types of sessions, feel free to ask your photographer if they do these types of photography and if they’re willing to mix and match. 

For example, I generally include both “classic” and “candid” in my portrait sessions because my clients like a mix of both. I bring in the fine art aspect by guiding clients through the process of turning their images into works of art through printing large wall pieces for their home.

As you ponder over your next family photo session, let these styles play in your mind. 

You don’t have to choose just one style, but it’s always helpful if you can let your photographer know which way you’d like to go with your session.

I can't wait to see you and your family in front of my lens, capturing those moments that will become treasured memories! 

For more tips on how to find the best Traverse City photographer for you, read this blog post: 4 Qualities To Look For In A Family Photographer

Mom Friends Unite! How to Build Lifelong Friendships with Other New Moms

May 02, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Mother and daughter cuddling and smiling for a family portrait on a bed.Mother daughter family portrait

You know what they say, "It takes a village to raise a child." But what if you're a new mom, and you're not sure where to find that village? Don't worry, I've got your back! I've been in your shoes and know how crucial it is to have a support system during this incredible journey. In this post, I'll share my best tips for finding new mom friends who totally get what you're going through. 

Before we get into the practical ways to find new mom friends, rest assured that it is completely natural to feel a little awkward when you intentionally seek new mom friends. It might not seem like it, but countless moms are in the same boat, searching for connections and support as they navigate their new roles. So, embrace the process and know that reaching out to other moms is a positive and empowering step in your parenting journey.



The easiest way to find new mom friends is through local mom groups! These groups are a fantastic way to meet new mom friends—even if you're an introvert!

Now, where can you find these groups? 

  • 5 to One is a local organization that facilitates playgroups and more for northwest Michigan families.
  • TC Holistic Moms is a group started by Dr. Lea Piche for creating a community of like minded holistic moms.
  • Elk Rapids Schools offers the Way to Grow Program which offers play groups at both Lakeland and Mill Creek Elementary to provide opportunities for parents to connect with each other, children to socialize and play and information to be shared.
  • Traverse Area District Library offers a variety of programming for parents and children.
  • The Whole Woman Collective is growing an empowered & inclusive community of women and Mind/Body/Lifestyle wellness providers to help ALL women feel more WHOLE! They host events every other month and this is a great place to meet other moms!


And don't forget online resources!

  • UpNorth Kids is an online resource for the best of Traverse City's family-friendly events, kids activities and classes.

If you’re thinking about exploring these options but you’re worried about stepping out of your comfort zone.. no problem! Just remember, you're not alone—many new moms feel the same way. 

TIP: Ease into it by engaging in online discussions first, then gradually attend in-person meetups! 

During the pandemic, I made a lot of friends via Instagram just by engaging with people regularly. Once the world opened up again, I eventually met them in person it and it was a really fun experience. I also have one good friend who I now trade childcare with who I met through a Facebook contest I hosted on my business page!



For this one, think about checking out the playground or storytime at the library. 

But let’s be honest - approaching other moms without feeling weird can be a bit of a challenge! 

I want to give you a few tips to help you strike up a conversation that feels natural and enjoyable. 

First, keep it casual and friendly. Start with a compliment or a light-hearted comment about something you both can relate to, like your kids' activities or the chaos of motherhood.

For example, you might say, "Your little guy is really cute! How old are they?" This opens up the conversation without putting too much pressure on the other person. Make sure to listen actively and ask open-ended questions that encourage them to share more about their experiences. 

If you find common ground, don't be afraid to suggest exchanging contact information or planning a future playdate. You can say something like, "It's been so great meeting you! Would you like to exchange numbers and maybe get our kids together for a playdate sometime?" Or, “Do you guys usually come here around this day/time? I know our kiddos had so much fun playing together!”

Remember, many moms are also looking for new friends, so don't be too hard on yourself if you feel a little nervous.

Just be yourself, show genuine interest, and let the conversation flow naturally.



Social media can be a fantastic tool for connecting with other new moms outside of your current friend group.  

There are so many options out there, so I pulled together my experience with the experience of my clients and friends to give you the best Facebook groups for moms around Traverse City.

Once you find the right mom groups or online communities that resonate with you, jump in by asking questions, sharing your own experiences, or even offering advice to moms.

One of the great things about leveraging social media for mom friendships is that in addition to finding Traverse City mom groups, you can find groups based on your specific interests, values, or parenting style. 

For example, if you're passionate about eco-friendly living, there are groups dedicated to green parenting where you can connect with like-minded moms. Or, if you're navigating the world of attachment parenting, you can find communities that share your outlook and offer support.

One group that I utilize all the time is Food Allergy Moms which is a resource for those who have kiddos with food allergies.

This targeted approach makes it even easier to find moms who share your outlook on life and parenting - you already have something in common! All you have to do is a simple search in Facebook for your interests and you're sure to find your people.

Remember that building these connections takes time and effort, but it's truly worth it in the end. These connections not only provide a support system during challenging times but also enrich your life in countless ways.

Be patient with yourself as you embark on this journey. Embrace the process and stay open to new friendships, whether you find them in local mom groups, at child-friendly locations, or through social media.

Did I miss any of your favorite resources or groups for Traverse City or Northern Michigan? Let me know in the comments!

I consistently share events and activities for families in the Traverse City area in my newsletter. If you'd like to receive my monthly newsletter, please sign up here.


How to get your house newborn-ready in just two weeks | Traverse City Birth Photographer

April 10, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

AmundsenFresh48-4796AmundsenFresh48-4796 Are you expecting a new baby in the next few weeks? I totally get it, the anticipation can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. But don't worry, I've got your back! As a Traverse City mom who's been through the newborn phase twice, I've gathered some unique ideas and tips that you might not have thought of before! Here are six tips for getting your home ready for your new arrival in just two weeks.

1. Declutter your home

Decluttering your home can sound like a daunting task, especially when you're expecting a newborn! But it's easier than you think to get your home ready for your newest addition. Honestly decluttering has always been overwhelming for me, but I feel SO much better when I declutter my space. It is always worth the effort for me! I truly believe that you need to make space in your life and mind for new things to grow and when I do this I'm able to move forward in ways I never imagined.


Here are some steps to follow to declutter before the baby arrives:

Step 1: Choose two or three rooms that you frequent most often (most likely this will be your living room, kitchen, and bedroom).

Step 2: Start by noticing where things tend to pile up. For me, that’s always been the kitchen counters and our mudroom. Find a new place for these items to go so they stop piling up!

Step 3: Let’s “Marie Kondo” your stuff! Let’s clear out what you don’t need or want anymore. Go through each drawer, cabinet, and shelf and ask yourself, “Do I still need/want this item?”

Step 4: Make 3 piles, “Keep, Donate, Toss” and put everything into 1 of those piles.

Step 5: Organize the “keep” items, throw away the “toss” items (or recycle if possible) and give away the “donate.”


Turn on some music and make it fun! Ask a friend to come over and help. I asked for a decluttering course last Christmas and I got it! Whenever I want to do some decluttering or even when I'm just doing my daily chores, I listen to it and get motivated to clean things out! If you're interested in learning more about that course, you can do so here:

By spending a little time each day and being consistent, you can create comfortable, newborn-ready environment in your own home.


2. Batch cook

The thought of cooking a ton of food in one go can be intimidating, but batch cooking or delegating cooking to another friend or family member is a lifesaver, especially when you're getting ready to welcome your newborn into the world. You'll thank yourself later!

Here are a few simple steps to follow to get started:

Step 1: Plan out your meals. Choose recipes that are easy to make in large quantities, and make a list of all the ingredients you will need.

Step 2: Go grocery shopping. Try to do this a few days before you plan to start cooking, so you have everything you need on hand. You can even send dad or grandma to the store. Or when someone asks what they can do to help you, give them the list! Grocery pickup is super convenient these days too.

Step 3: Set aside a block of time to cook. Depending on how much you want to make, you may need several hours or even a full day to get everything done. Consider getting the help of a friend or family member to make it more fun!

Step 4: Cook in batches. Prepare one recipe at a time, and portion it out into individual servings. Use freezer-safe containers or bags, and be sure to label everything with the name of the dish and the date it was made.

Step 5: Freeze your meals. Once everything is cooked and portioned out, place the containers in the freezer. They will keep for several months, so you can have a variety of meals ready to go whenever you need them.


By following these steps, you can create a stockpile of nutritious, homemade meals that will make the first few weeks with your newborn a little bit easier!
Psst: wanna skip the cooking? Getting a postpartum doula is something I wish I would have done as a new mom. They provide emotional, mental and physical support including cooking! Some postpartum doulas I know are Julia Wheelock with Joy of Becoming Real and Gold Coast Doulas.


3. Stock up on essentials (& not just baby essentials)

You’re likely already thinking about things like diapers, wipes, bottles, etc.

But have you considered stocking up on regular household items like paper towels, toilet paper, dishwasher soap…?

My best tip would be to set these items up on Amazon Subscribe and Save so they’ll show up on your doorstep and you never have to worry about running out those first few months with your newborn!

I always made sure (and really still do) that I have nutritious snacks for myself like protein bars that I can grab quickly and eat with one hand! Especially if you are breastfeeding, that mama hunger is the worst feeling if you don't have some food on hand.


4. Put together a baby care basket

A baby care basket, sometimes called a “downstairs” basket, is a lifesaver during those first few weeks home with a new baby. Oftentimes, you’re in one space with the baby for most of the day and find yourself “trapped” under a sleeping baby without the supplies you need!

A baby care basket can solve that for you. Basically, it’s a container you can keep in each room of the house that has all the essentials for the baby so you’re not running around from room to room getting the things you need.

Usually, the baby care basket includes diapers, wipes, burp cloths, extra clothes, pacifiers, and anything else you might need for the baby frequently.
I also like to think about including things for mom like nipple cream, breast pads, chapstick, etc. and special toys/snacks for older children to occupy them when you have your hands full.

In addition to keeping you from running from room to room, a baby care basket will help you stay organized and keep your home clutter-free.

Another great tip I heard as a 2nd time mom was to designate a bottom drawer of your refrigerator and your pantry to snacks for toddlers or preschoolers so when they are hungry they can get their own snacks. This takes one less task off your plate.


5. Light your home the right way

Maybe this is important to me because I’m a photographer, I don’t know 😉 but lighting is one I don’t see talked about too often!! Proper lighting can help create a calm and comfortable atmosphere for both you and your baby.

First, look at the rooms you’ll spend the most time in (typically kitchen, living room, bedrooms). You'll want to consider the type of lighting you have in each room.

  • Do you want to add a lamp option (yes, even in the kitchen)?
  • Under cabinet lights?
  • How about a dimmer switch for the overhead lights?
  • What about small wall plug-in lights to help light the way in the halls for the middle of the night?

The right lighting can help frustrating or overly stimulating situations feel much more calm and peaceful.

Planning to have a space to nurse the baby during the day where there is natural light can be wonderful for your mood. And don't forget you'll be spending more time up at night than you normally do so thinking about where you'll need a little extra light now will save some frustration when you have a baby in arms.

Finally, safety is also a consideration when it comes to lighting. Make sure that all cords and outlets are safely tucked away and secured to prevent tripping or electrical hazards.


6. Prepare YOUR wardrobe

Of course, we’re thinking a lot about how to prepare for the baby, but don’t forget about yourself! I don’t know about you, but when I feel good nothing can stop me! And that starts with getting dressed in the morning, right?!)

Preparing your wardrobe for the first 2-3 weeks postpartum is an important step in getting ready for the arrival of your new baby. My babies were born in the fall so I bought sweaters and robes that I could cozy up with my baby in.

Comfort and functionality are key during this time! You'll want to focus on loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that can accommodate changes in your body shape and allow for easy breastfeeding access if you plan to breastfeed.

Consider investing in a few nursing bras, loose-fitting pants or leggings, and comfortable tops that are easy to pull up or down. Some women also find it helpful to have a couple of nursing-friendly dresses on hand for a dressier option. I LOVE BRAVADO! DESIGNS nursing bras and I would buy one today even though I'm not breastfeeding!

Another thing to keep in mind is that you will likely still be bleeding for a few weeks, so having a few pairs of comfortable and absorbent underwear or postpartum pads on hand is a good idea. With my 2nd baby, I actually loved wearing Depends for those first few days and even while I was in labor - which no one told me about for my first baby!

Remember, the key to preparing your wardrobe for the first few weeks postpartum is to prioritize comfort and practicality. By doing so, you can focus on bonding with your new baby without worrying about your clothing or physical discomfort!

Which of these tips are you going to do first? Did you learn something new today? Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to download my free New Parents Guide to learn about other community resources for new parents in the Grand Traverse area.


Welcome to the blog of Crackerjack Photography Studio and photographer, Jamie Kirschner.  I'm a portrait photographer based in Traverse City, Michigan who loves learning and retelling the stories of others. I practice this through birth photography, family portraits, headshots and event photography.



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