A good reminder…

We like to repost and share excellent information when we find it. This is a great blog post that is sure to make you smile!!

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The Power of a Positive Attitude

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MARCH 29, 2011

Do you think you’re a positive person? A positive mental attitude can improve your health, enhance your relationships, increase your chances of success, and add years to your life.

The fact is, most people are bombarded by negativity each day. Sure, it’s easy to cast blame by saying you’re surrounded by negative people. The reality: A lot of the negativity is self- inflicted…influenced by the company you keep and your personal perspective on life’s realities.

Take a minute…

Think how often in the day you’re besieged by people who argue over money, worry about the possibility of failure, complain about someone’s actions, criticize mistakes, mistrust some- one’s intentions, blame others to avoid condemnation, envy someone for personal achievements, and gossip about trivial garbage. (No wonder we’re exhausted at the end of the day.)

Let’s take a closer look at the negativity that we face every day…

Arguments. Many arguments are the result of poor communication, the lack of open mindedness, or the clash of opposing values and principles. People also argue to force their viewpoint on others or just to let off steam.

Worry. Others worry about losing control. They desire certainty in an uncertain world. These people feel that worrying is productive, even though they’ll be the first to tell you that they’re driving themselves crazy because they can’t get these thoughts out of their head.

Fear. Some people fear the unknown. Just as pollution damages the environment, fear is toxic to individuals and companies. Fear encourages people to withdraw, keep infor- mation close to their vest, hide mistakes, and refuse to take

risks. Whether their fear is caused by something real or imagined, perception is reality.

Blame. Criticizing and insulting people in front of their peers, challenging their competence, demanding impossible deadlines, and cutting them out of the information loop are tactics that create negativity. Furthermore, when something goes wrong, people often look to others to cast blame. The result is that everyone watches out for #1 — themselves.

Complaints. The reason many people complain all the time is not necessarily because they’re unhappy with their lives or circumstances. The fact is, compulsive

complainers don’t even realize that they’re complaining. Perpetual complainers grumble out of boredom or a desire to turn an awkward moment of silence into a conversation starter. Or sometimes, people complain just because it makes them feel better to vent.

Criticism. There’s a difference between constructive feedback and biting criticism. While constructive feedback is offered with good intent, constant and biting criticism can lead to stress, anxiety, and reduced self-esteem.

Mistrust. How much time is wasted and how much ill will created as a result of mistrust? People spend endless hours second-guessing intent, peering over shoulders, and creating elaborate

approval processes to check and recheck.

Jealousy. When is enough, enough? We live in a society where many people aren’t satisfied with their own accom- plishments. If our neighbor buys a new toy, if our colleague receives a promotion, or if the TV celebrity flaunts a new design, we want it too. The problem is, after the excitement wears off, the finish line moves as well. Whether it’s afford- able, deserved, or needed never comes into question.

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If you want to achieve happiness, better health, stronger relationships, and continued success, you may not have to look any further than the mirror.

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Gossip (our national pastime). People gossip to fit into a group, fill a void in conversation, prove that they’re in the know, take revenge on a person, put someone in their place, or merely to gain attention. Gossip is a disease spread mouth to mouth. It’s one of those distractions that keep us from focusing on our own lives.

It Pays to Be Positive

There’s a direct correlation between a positive attitude and better relationships, superior health, and greater success.

A positive attitude can boost your energy, heighten your inner strength, inspire others, and garner the fortitude to meet difficult challenges. According to research from the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking can increase your life span, decrease depression, reduce levels of distress, provide greater resistance to the common cold, offer better psychological and physical well-being, reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and enable you to cope better during hardships and times of stress.

Here are several ways to adopt a positive mental attitude:

Surround yourself with positive people. Spend time with people who are positive, supportive, and who energize you. Remember, if you get too close to a drowning victim, he may take you down with him. Pick a positive person instead.

Be positive yourself. If you don’t want to be surrounded by negative people, what makes you think others do? Learn to master your own thoughts. For example:

• When you visualize a goal, it makes you more likely to take the actions necessary to reach it. Visualize yourself winning the race, getting the promotion, accepting the award, or landing the new account.

• Control your negative thinking. This can be accom- plished in the following ways:

N See the glass as half full rather than half empty.

N Anticipate the best outcome.

N Stay the middle ground. Don’t view everything in extremes — as either fantastic or a catastrophe. This will help you reduce your highs and lows.

N Mistakes happen. Negative people blame themselves for every bad occurrence whether it was their fault or not. Don’t let this be you.

Consciously resist negative thinking. Be cognizant of and mentally avoid negative thinking. This will help you modify your behavior.

Be nice to yourself. Unfortunately, some people say the meanest things to themselves. If you criticize yourself long enough, you’ll start to believe it. This negativity can drag you down over time. It may be time to fire the critic and hire the advocate.

Set realistic, achievable goals. There’s nothing wrong with setting a high bar — unless you beat yourself up for not achieving your goals. The key is to build confidence by setting realistic goals and by hitting a lot of singles rather than swinging for the fences.

Keep it in perspective. Life is all about prioritizing the things that matter most in your life and focusing your efforts in these areas. This means that trivial things that go wrong every day shouldn’t get you down. Learn to address or ignore small issues and move on. It’s time to sweat the big stuff.

Turn challenges into opportunities. Instead of letting challenges overwhelm you, turn them into opportunities. (Rather than hitting the wall, climb over it or go around.)

Count your blessings. Be grateful and give thanks for the special things in your life rather than taking them for granted. Some people do this by giving thanks around the dinner table, keeping a written journal, or posting one special item each day on Facebook. Remember, some of the greatest possessions in life aren’t material. Take every opportunity to make a wonderful new memory.

If you want to achieve happiness, better health, stronger relationships, and continued success, you may not have to look any further than the mirror. “The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.”* Do you see the glass half full or half empty? True happiness may depend on how you view the world and who you look to for inspiration. It pays to be positive. G

Frank Sonnenberg, a marketing strategist, has written three books and published over 300 articles. • Industry Week named his book, Managing With a Conscience one of the Top Ten Business Books of the Year • Salon.com named Sonnenberg’s blog among the top 100 in 2009 • Trust Across America named Sonnenberg one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders of 2010 • In 2011, Social Media Marketing Magazine (SMM) selected Sonnenberg as one of the top 77 marketing authors in the world on Twitter. http://www.franksonnenbergonline.com © 2011 Frank K. Sonnenberg. All rights reserved.

*Author unknown. See http://anse.rs/iatZYn

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Preparing for Acting Headshot Session

ImageI love sharing good information when I come across it. While researching something completely different I found this article. I felt it was nice and succinct and it laid out preparation in a great way so I wanted to share it with you. Taken from: http://www.usi.edu/photography/documents/ActingHeadshots.pdf

Preparing For An Acting Headshot Photography Session

The fact that you are reading this is a start. The rest of the process should be somewhat back-to- front.

As the date of your photography session gets closer, give yourself a few days to think about hair and clothing. That way you will be more confident with your choices and still have time for a last-minute brainstorm. Schedule your photo session to account for your cycles of sleep, medication or exams, and allow plenty of extra time to spend at the studio. Also, give haircuts a few days to fall into place, and shave your face (men, and women when necessary, please) at a time that leaves you neither too rough nor too red. The morning of your session, get a good breakfast and read the paper. Then go wash your face and apply some moisturizer to replace the skin oil you just scrubbed out. Under no circumstances should you stay up late, party or drink the night before your session, even if you are not scheduled until late in the afternoon. You just can’t get away with it.

Drink plenty of water. The water will help your skin to appear smooth and clear in the week leading up to your headshot session.

Also, if you arrive overheated and sweaty you’ll have to cool down before the photographer can begin to shoot. This is simply because your photographer cannot shoot an actors headshot when you are glistening, as this will show up clearly as shiny patches around your face. Worse still if you are perspiring heavily, this will show up clearly as beads of moisture and ruin your actor’s headshot.

Another thing to think about is the photographer’s time. Arriving late or not being ready to shoot when you do arrive, can lead to rush or shortened sessions as the next client may be arriving shortly. I allow a minimum of one hour for each appointment as this leaves plenty of time for late arrivals, stress on arrival and in some cases a reluctance to have a headshot done.

Who Should Take Your Acting Headshots?

A photographer, who is familiar with the conventions of the talent headshot business. Your local family portrait studio is probably not right for the job.

What Is An Acting Headshot?

It’s an 8×10 photograph of you, with your name on it, as you look right now, showing how you connect with the camera. The more professional your headshot, the better represented you will be in the industry.

The director wants to see 2 things from a headshot: What you really look like, and if you can connect with the camera. The style of your headshot does not matter. But, simple is better. The photo should be about you, not the background or the environment or a photographer’s fancy tricks. Producers want to see if you’re professional.

Headshot Photos – What To Wear

The best clothes to wear during a headshot photo shoot are a widely debated topic. The following is a version of what I have discovered.

  • Plain & simple, not dated
  • I want to focus on your eyes and not be distracted by your clothing. I would like to see

you in a solid colored shirt (very dark or very light) with an interesting neckline and

maybe a textured finish to the fabric.

  • Limited Jewelry: Avoid distracting accessories, such as large, shiny jewelry. If you have a

    pierced ear, wear studs or small hoops. No matter how much you love your gold

    necklace, remember it will take the focus away from your face.

  • Neckline: Is your neck short or long? A V-neck lengthens the neck; a round neckline

    shortens it. A collar frames the face well, without taking away length from your neck. A collared shirt with a V-neck or a few buttons undone is most popular. Turtlenecks completely hide the neck, which is very unflattering, and should be avoided.

  • No Logos: Okay. NO WRITING ON YOUR SHIRT. logos mean product placement issues and the production staff must be very careful about legal issues. So if a logo appears in your headshot, it just shows you aren’t clued in.
  • You will need to be comfortable in the clothing.
  • Remember your headshot is your marketing/sales tool.
  • Denim jackets: Sometimes they work. Bring it along and we’ll see.
  • No shiny leather: Screams “over the top”. It limits your potential and distracts from your

    face.

  • Glasses: If you always wear glasses, keep them on for the photo shoot. Lighting can be

    adjusted to eliminate glare. In difficult cases, the lenses can sometimes be removed

    from the frames, but it is very important to maintain a natural, comfortable look

  • Subdued/No Patterns: Avoid bold colors and crazy patterns. They will present a

    distraction.

  • Light to dark colors are fine, as long as it doesn’t match or come close to your skin tone.

    Wear items that provide some contrast to your skin tones.

  • Anything that has texture is nice. Its adds interest without being distracting.
  • No polka dots, no wild prints, and no distracting stripes. Clothing of this type can have a

    tendency to distract the viewer from the most important subject in your photos, you. Pastel colors are typically not recommended. Neither is white or black, but more importantly, you should avoid anything that clashes with your skin tone. Colors that compliment your skin tone are appropriate.

  • Don’t wear a turtleneck.
  • Avoid blouses with padded shoulders.
  • Don’t try to fit in to something too small.
  • Women should bring the correct bra colors for the wardrobe. (please remember to wear

    a flesh-toned bra under white garments!)

  • Men should bring a couple of different newish t-shirts in different shades.

    Makeup Tips – How to Apply Makeup for Photographs

  •   Skin Features: Do not hide your skin’s personality! Flaunt your freckles. Cover your moles. They are a part of what makes you unique. Unique features are what make others sit up and take notice. Of course, if the day of the shoot you are sporting a monstrous zit, use some light makeup, but I’ll magically heal it! Generally speaking, unusual attractive features are an asset. Who would ever want to say good-bye to Harrison Ford’s chin scar?
  •   Avoid heavy makeup! During finishing of your selected images, we will take care of blemishes and other ‘artifacts’ on your skin during the basic retouch process. Heavy makeup tends to look caked up. Remember that my cameras and lenses produce images at far higher definition than even HDTV and my job is to flatter you, but your headshot has to look like the person that walks into the audition space!
  •   B/W Photo: Remember, if you are going for you’re doing this for Black and White, not color; darker colors will appear as shadow, lighter colors as highlight. The trend in the states is for color headshots and in UK is B&W because I shoot everything in color, you’ll

have a wide range of choices.

  •   Ladies with straight hair: You want to frame your face, so if your hair is very straight and

    long, give it some body to accentuate your face.

  •   Haircut: Don’t cut your hair the day before your shoot! It will look like you just got a

    haircut. Give your hair a week after a cut to relax.

    Remember, it’s all about the eyes!

    How important are the eyes? They are critical to making your headshot stand out. The wow factor! The eyes define a person. They are the windows into that person’s soul. The eyes are one of, if not the single most, important parts of a portrait photograph. It is the first feature noticed. It is also one place where a little post-processing can really make a portrait shine. And your “theater” look is the closest to your natural self in the most positive sense–when you are rested, relaxed in a positive frame of mind and raring to go. For this shot feel free to let your own personal sense of style come through, within the bounds of how you are likely to be cast. Character actors should not dress as ingénues and vice versa.

The importance of Make Up

_MG_0093Often times we are asked, “Is make up really necessary for my head shots?” The short answer is YES! Not the expected answer…especially when you are going for a very natural look…but important none the less! Let’s break it down as to why…

We know it is an extra expense but the fact of the matter is that the photos, be it headshots or publicity photos, color or black and white, or even sepia…just look complete when professional hair and make up is involved. Now, depending on what the shoot is, a skilled make up artist can make it appear as the model does not have make up on at all. It is their job to highlight the natural beauty that is already there while concealing any blemishes or uneven skin tone or marks.

Can’t you just photoshop it in post? Yes, we can; but consider that photoshop make up has the appearance of exactly the way it sounds. We’ve all seen those photos where we think wow those are great photos but something just seems ‘off’. It is likely it is the photoshop or OVER photoshop as so many like to do.

The Professional Experience. The bottom line is if you are taking the time to pay for professional photos, you as the CEO of your business need to consider the entire experience to be professional. That means calling in professional hair and MUA (Make up Artist) to complete the team. Professionals went to school. They have the talent and the knowledge to know how to achieve certain looks in person, on camera, and on film.

The team: The photographer and make up artist work in tandem. Often a desired look is achieved by talent on both ends of the MUA and the post editing or lighting. It is the professional level that allows these people to understand what each is capable of and needed for the best photos. Good make up makes editing easier and THAT makes for excellent end product!!

Skill set: A professional make up artist comes with experience and professional product. They work with sterile brushes and product. They come with a knowledge base that ranges from natural beauty make up to period make up to avant guarde and fantasy. They know how to build a look and tweak it according to face shape and best features. They are on top of what’s trending and they know how to work with different skin types, undertones, and all types of ethnicities.

For men and children: For men, for sure a skilled MUA can enhance and conceal to give a natural appearance (but better). For children, unless there is a blemish or severe under eye circles, make up is not necessary. Once into the teens, however, it is encouraged for both genders for smooth skin.

Last thoughts: If you as the artist or designer are going to take the time to seek out a professional photographer, consider the whole team of professionals. Not only will you receive better end product but heck, who doesn’t like to be pampered? Enjoy the experience!

December’s Challenge Assignment

CC-Holidays_JTYou made it through the year!!! Congratulations!!!! Evaluate where you’ve been and how far you’ve come. Have you followed the monthly challenge assignments? If so, you should find yourself in a better place then you were a year ago today. Remember, this industry is a marathon, not a sprint!! It takes time to cultivate authentic relationships and it takes time to learn the workings of the business. This month is typically slow for auditions so relax and watch old classic movies. Take time to learn some of Hollywood’s history. You will be surprised at how much there is to glean my studying these great films and the actors, directors, and producers who made them.

What will the new year bring for you? This is the month to get your ducks in a row before pilot season. Make sure your reps have all the materials they need to market you properly. Take a workshop or two and don’t forget to give back!! Find a way to spread good cheer. It can only do good and you never really know how where it can go. There karma things often find a way to come back in really interesting ways.

 

Remember ever this is an evolving business and growth..never stop learning! Never stop growing! Never stop dreaming!

We hope you enjoyed the challenge assignments this year of 2012. In 2013 we will bring you a new monthly series. If you have thoughts or ideas of what you would like to see us blog about, comment here or feel free to connect with us via email, twitter, instagram, and Facebook. All the best to you this holiday season!!

Jen and Josh of JT Pro Imaging

Three Reasons to be THANKFUL

November is a time to reflect and give thanks for all the opportunities and experiences we’ve gained over the last year. It’s also a time to start preparing for the upcoming pilot season!! Here’s a couple of quick and fun things to be thankful for AND help get you in gear for what is to come!!

1. ALEX’s LIST:

Alex’s Info is a free daily email newsletter for actors and anyone in the entertainment profession.  Alex posts info on Castings, Auditions, Job Listings, Events, Classes News and more.  She is always asking and finding discounts on services an entertainment professional needs.  To subscribe to her newsletter www.alexsinfo.com/subscribe and/or LIKE her www.facebook.com/alexs.info1 or follow on twitter @alexsinfo.

2. HOLIDAY PHOTOS:

JT Pro Imaging is offering a screaming deal to get photos done to send out for Holiday Greetings to all those casting directors!! A really nice way to reconnect and say thanks for the great year along with making sure they see your face before all those pilot season breakdowns come in!! Why the great deal? Our way of saying thanks to you!!

3. IT’s THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!!

SO many lovely festive things going on! While you are giving thanks and prepping for the next few months, don’t forget to smell the turkey! Enjoy what life has to offer you! get out there and LIVE!!

October’s Challenge Assignment

Screen shot from Gone With The Wind. All credit to the film studio.

Watch old films and learn by great classic performances.

The weather is cooling down FINALLY! What an excellent time to curl up on the sofa and have a movie marathon!! I just love it when there is opportunity to learn and have fun at the same time! We as humans generally learn by example so find some time to learn from the masters.

Some performances to check out:

Vivian Leigh, Gone With the Wind

Marlon Brando, The Godfather

George C. Scott, Dr. Strangeglove

Gregory Peck, To Kill a Mockingbird

Robert DeNiro, Goodfellas

Katherine Hepburn, Bringing Up Baby

Jack Nicholson, The Shining

Paul Newman, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Joan Crawford, Mildred Pierce

There are just so many great ones; don’t feel limited by this list. IMDB fans create lists all the time and of course, there is Google. Have some fun and invite friends!