<![CDATA[Charissa H. Yong Photography - BLOG]]>Mon, 10 May 2021 15:00:17 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Beyond the Headshot]]>Sat, 01 May 2021 04:00:00 GMThttp://charissahyongphotography.com/blog/beyond-the-headshotI had a great time presenting "Beyond the Headshot—Having the Right Images for Your Business Can Set You Apart" at the NJAWBO (New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners) virtual event last month.

I shared the importance of a headshot, define your brand stories before taking any pictures to save time, and photography tips to help you take better pictures for your business. 

​The Q&A was amazing and we had some great questions. I would like to share some with you.
1. How long does a headshot picture last?
Charissa: A headshot picture lasts for about 2 years because our appearance changes every 2 years. You'll also need a new headshot if you decide to change and keep your new hairstyle or length.

2. Should I wear jewelry for a headshot photoshoot?
Charissa: Small and simple jewelry is ok. I don't recommend wearing large pieces of jewelry. You don't want any distractions in your headshot image. Simplicity is the key.

3. Is there a specific pattern to avoid wearing to a photoshoot?
Charissa: Yes, you want to avoid wearing clothing with small stripes, small dots, checkered shirts (this is usually for men), and houndstooth patterns. Solid color is recommended, such as yellow, green, pink, and blue.

4. Is there a difference between adjusting the lighting before taking the pictures or editing the lighting after?
Charissa: You always have to adjust the lighting before taking the picture and post-editing is important. It can elevate your pictures when you post them on your social media. If you plan to share the picture in your social media stories, then adjusting the lighting before taking the picture and using a filter to enhance it would work for a quick behind-the-scenes post.

"Beyond the Headshot—Having the Right Images for Your Business Can Set You Apart" presentation is available now on replay. You can watch it here: https://vimeo.com/534624332

Interested in booking a headshot or branding session? Email me at charissa@charissahyongphotography.com to get started.

Let's connect on Instagram too!
<![CDATA[5 Tips on Building Your Personal Brand]]>Thu, 01 Apr 2021 04:00:00 GMThttp://charissahyongphotography.com/blog/5-tips-on-building-your-personal-brand​If you had met me before, you know that I love working with entrepreneurs to create custom brand images for their business with the goal of helping them stand out in the crowded online world so they can connect with their ideal clients.

But not all entrepreneurs know a lot about the benefits of building a personal brand or they are not sure how get started.
What is a personal brand? A personal brand is a widely-recognized and largely-uniform perception or impression of an individual based on their experience, expertise, competencies, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry, or the marketplace at large. [Source: https://personalbrand.com/definition/]

​I wrote a blog to explain the difference between a personal brand and a business brand, you can read it here.

For any solo entrepreneurs and business owners, a personal brand is a must. Here are a few ways to help you get started building your personal brand.

1. Get Specific
To make your personal brand stand out, you need to define it. Write down what you’re passionate about, what you are known for, and what your areas of expertise are. Be as specific as possible. What's your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? Your elevator pitch. For example, saying I'm a photographer is too general. Instead, I say, I'm a branding photographer helping service-based entrepreneurs save time and stand out in the crowded online world. Having a niche will ensure that people truly believe that you are an expert in your field.
2. Keep Your Profiles Consistent
If you are on several different online platforms, it’s important to make sure that your profiles are consistent. Use the same headshot picture or logo, bio, and graphics across all of your profiles so people will recognize you and your brand instantly. If you have your social media profiles created, be active and engage with your audience consistently because it will show that you’re trustworthy and reliable. 

3. Share Your Knowledge
Find opportunities to write and share your expertise. Look for industry-related websites and newsletters that you can contribute to. This will not only spread the word about what you have to offer but showcase your knowledge on a particular topic too. If you love writing, it may also be a good idea to create your own blog that you can share tips and updates on a weekly or monthly basis. Don't forget to share your tips, how-tos, or tutorials on your social media too.
4. Engage with Your Audience
Networking is so important to growing your personal brand, which is why engaging with people both online and offline regularly is a must. Whether you participate in discussions on forums or attend networking events, you are showing people that you are out there, interested, and engaged. The more you connect with people authentically, the more quickly they will recommend you to others. This also applies to your social media, it's important to reply to your audience's comment, DMs, and engage with other's post. I recently heard from a podcast that social media is a handshake and introduction to start building a relationship. 

5. Speak at Events
Look for speaking engagements in your area or your networking groups. Speaking at events will help you build rapport with your audience and allow you to network afterward too. Be sure you have a professional headshot and/or branded images to send with your bio and your website is looking good before you start sending traffic there.
I have a free personal brand worksheet that can help you identify your brand stories so you can create consistent content, share your knowledge with your audience, and build you know, like, and trust factor. Download it HERE.

Let's connect on Instagram too!
<![CDATA[Use This Free Light Source to Take Better Pictures.]]>Mon, 01 Mar 2021 05:00:00 GMThttp://charissahyongphotography.com/blog/use-this-free-light-source-to-take-better-picturesDo your pictures come out blurry and dark? Do you struggle with getting the right lighting when you are taking a picture of your product?

Read more to learn how you can take better pictures using a free light source.
When you are taking a picture, especially for your business, it is very important to ensure that your image is visually compelling and well lit so your audience will stop scrolling and read your caption/blog.

What is this free light source? Natural light (aka sunlight).

I prefer to use natural light when I do lifestyle product photography but when I do indoor branding photography, I prefer to use flash most of the time.
You can bring your subject or your products closer to a window or door. The best time to do this is morning or evening because the lighting is the softest during those times. 

If you have to take the pictures during the brightest time of the day and you feel like you're subject or products are being washed out, you can get sheer curtains and that would diffuse the light a little bit, making the lighting softer and not as harsh. You might have to use one sheer curtain or two sheer curtains. Play around with it and see what works best for you. ​

​I hope this tip helps. If you like to get more tips on how to create better images for your business, click HERE to download your free copy of the 10 Tips on How to Photograph Better For Your Business Guide.

Let's connect on Instagram too!
<![CDATA[Photography Tip: Landscape Orientation and White Space]]>Mon, 01 Feb 2021 05:00:00 GMThttp://charissahyongphotography.com/blog/photography-tip-landscape-orientation-and-white-spaceDo you struggle with cropping an image you took for your social media and lose part of your subject?

Here are 2 tips that can help you create better images for your business and your subject will be the center of attention.
The FIRST TIP is to take your picture in landscape orientation, horizontally. The reason is most websites and social media use that orientation. If you need to crop it for Instagram (Square) or Pinterest (portrait orientation, vertically), you can easily do that without losing part of your main subject in your image.

​However, it is not the case the other way around. If you take a picture in portrait orientation, vertically, and try to crop it to landscape orientation, horizontally, you will lose a lot of your image and most likely part of your subject too. It also would degrade the file and makes it blurry and you'll also lose the sharpness of your image.
​The SECOND TIP is to create white space around your subject. What that means is to leave a lot of space around your subject when you take the picture. This is if you plan to crop or add any messaging or logo into your image. This way, you won't lose your subject, which is the most important part of your messaging.
​I hope this tip helps. If you like to get more tips on how to create better images for your business, click HERE to download your free copy of the 10 Tips on How to Photograph Better For Your Business Guide.

Let's connect on Instagram too!
<![CDATA[Be Careful Where You Get Your Stock Images]]>Fri, 01 Jan 2021 05:00:00 GMThttp://charissahyongphotography.com/blog/be-careful-where-you-get-your-stock-imagesDo you use stock images for your business?

Did you know that you can't simply download an image you found from a search engine and use it for your website or social media? You could commit copyright infringement.

Here are some tips on where you can download stock images safely and legally to use for your business.
​What is copyright? Copyright literally means the right to copy but has come to mean that body of exclusive rights granted by law to copyright owners for protection of their work. [Source: https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/definitions.html]

​The simple answer is whoever created the image has the copyright to that image. In order for you to use that image, you'll have to either get the commercial usage rights from that person or you'll have to buy the copyright of that image, which can cost a lot of money.
​Luckily we have a lot of websites that offer stock images for commercial usage. Unsplash, Pixabay, Canva and many more offer free stock images for commercial usage. You can safely download it and use it for your business. However, I always recommend reading their terms and conditions before you use it.

​Another thing I would like to recommend is when you use the stock image, spend a little time to edit it by adding your messaging and logo. This is to customize a little bit so it doesn't look like the same stock image that thousands of people had been using.
​I hope this tip helps. If you like to get more tips on how to create better images for your business, click HERE to download your free copy of the 10 Tips on How to Photograph Better For Your Business Guide.

Let's connect on Instagram too!
<![CDATA[2020 Year-End Review]]>Tue, 22 Dec 2020 05:00:00 GMThttp://charissahyongphotography.com/blog/2020-year-end-reviewThis year has been the most challenging year for all of us. Don't you agree?

The pandemic, stay-at-home order, parenting while working, teaching, and taking care of our children, and a crazy storm that hits the East Coast during the summer and we lost power for 4 days.

This is also the year I've grown so much, both professionally and personally! From conquering my fear of public speaking to being hired by an Emmy Award-winning journalist to do her branding session!

So in this 2020 year-end review blog, I'm sharing all the exciting things that happened in my business and some of my session from this year (watch the video all the way at the end).


  • I participated in the North Jersey Chamber of Commerce's International Women's Day Summit as a Her Story Sponsor.
    • I offered a headshot mini session at the event with the help of my mom and husband.
    • I met and photographed Miss Monmouth, Adele Ann Taylor! She was so nice and I had a wonderful conversation with her.
  • My biggest client, Kerry Barrett (owner of Kerry Barrett Consulting), who is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, booked a full branding session with me and we had an all day photoshoot at 5 locations! It was such a fun day!
  • I did a lot of headshot sessions this year and met so many amazing business owners! Due to the pandemic, I did most of my sessions outdoor and I absolutely love it! So many new places to photograph, which make things interesting and fun!
  • I had an extended family session with 13 people at a beautiful location in Cornwall, New York. The fall foliage was in full bloom and the backdrop was gorgeous! That was a fun session and my clients did a fantastic job coordinating their outfits.
  • This is the year that I'm really building my own personal brand and I'm having a blast! Sharing more videos (FYI - I'm on YouTube, subscribe if you haven't), hosted networking events, multiple webinars, and collaborated with some amazing business owners!
  • I even had my own branding photo session done this year with the talented Jessica Jane Photography.
  • In the Fall, I joined 2 women business owners associations (NJAWBO and NAWBO) so I can learn from all the amazing women business owners and take my business to the next level!


My goals for 2021 would be to book more branding clients because I LOVE working with business owners and learn about their business. Some businesses are so unique. It's super fascinating! I want to help them stand out in the crowded online world so they can make more impact and gain more clients.

I would love to share my knowledge about photography and personal branding as a podcast guest (Putting it out to the universe!) because I love listening to podcasts whenever I have time. It's the best way to learn when you are so busy with 2 young children and don't have time to read.​


​You may not know this but I'm an introvert. I get so nervous meeting/talking to new people but through networking, I had to really force myself to break out of the shell.

The pandemic definitely pushed me to do a lot of things I was terrified of - public speaking, webinars, posting videos, and showing more of myself online. I'm excited to say that I've done all of that! I still get nervous but the reward of being able to provide value and help people is all worth it! So if you are afraid of doing something, just get started and continue to do it more, because the more you do it, the better you'll get. Don't give up! You got this!

I'm so thankful to my family, friends, my clients, and all the people I've met virtually. Thank you so much for your support!


Click below to watch the 2020 Year-End Review video and see some of my sessions from this year.
Follow me on Facebook and Instagram! Interested in booking a branding, headshot, or a family session with me? CLICK HERE to schedule your complimentary consultation.
<![CDATA[How to Get the Best Lighting For Video]]>Sun, 01 Nov 2020 04:00:00 GMThttp://charissahyongphotography.com/blog/how-to-get-the-best-lighting-for-videoAre you struggling with getting the right lighting for your videos or while you are in a video conference?

Here are some lighting tips:
  1. Position yourself in front of a light source (window or an artificial light) when you are on a video conference or recording a video.
  2. Avoid having any bright lights/or window behind you because you'll be in the shadow​ and people won't be able to see you clearly.
  3. Natural light is the best so place yourself in front of a window.
  4. If your room is dark and no matter what you do, you can't seem to get  yourself well lit in your videos. You will need to buy artificial lighting and a ring light is what I would recommend because they are really affordable.
  5. I recommend buying a ring light with 2 adjustments (one to adjust the temperature - cooler or warmer; and the other one is to adjust the brightness). I personally don't like the ring light with different filter sets that you have to change it manually.
  6. You can also buy a smaller ring light for your laptop or one that clips to a desk with a cellphone holder. This is great if you are moving around or do your videos in different places that need additional lighting.

I hope you find these tips helpful!

​Interested in booking a branding, headshot, or a family session with me? CLICK HERE to schedule your complimentary consultation.
<![CDATA[Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month]]>Thu, 01 Oct 2020 04:00:00 GMThttp://charissahyongphotography.com/blog/pregnancy-and-infant-loss-awareness-month"I'm sorry but we couldn't find a heartbeat." These words still hurt even now.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and I hope my story will help other women who are also going through a loss. You are NOT alone in this and it is NOT your fault.
My husband and I were so excited to find out we were expecting in 2015. We went to our first OBGYN's visit at 6 weeks and heard the baby's heartbeat, it was the best sound we've ever heard!

During those time, of course, as new parents, we thought about names, our dreams for our baby, and our plan to announce to our family when we reached the 1st trimester.

At 8 weeks, we went back for a second doctor's visit. The nurse came in and started the routine checkup and she used the doppler to listen to the baby's heartbeat. She was searching and searching and couldn't hear anything. Then she brought in the sonogram machine and again, tried it for awhile and nothing.

We were concerned but didn't think much of it. The nurse said she'll be right back and then left. When the doctor came in and he said "I'm sorry but we couldn't find a heartbeat."
He explained to us that the sonogram machine confirmed that there is no heartbeat on the embryo. Unfortunately miscarriage do happen a lot during the 1st trimester and it is nothing that I did to cause this.

I remembered the feeling of falling, my heart hurts, and I simply couldn't think.

We went into his office and he told us there are few options we can do, wait it out until I have a miscarriage naturally, take a pill that would expedite the miscarriage or have a D&C (Dilation & Curettage) surgery. We were just too sad to make a decision so we went home to think about it.

The first words I spoke to my husband was "I'm so sorry." as we were walking to our car. This was the hardest moment of our lives.
After a few days, we've decided to go for the D&C surgery. It was the worst day of my life, I couldn't stop crying after I woke up from the surgery. There was a nurse there who was so sweet, she sat with me, shared her story and gave me lots of encouragements. 

I'm so grateful that I had people in my life, some who had gone through a miscarriage or baby loss, and they were there every step of the way to help my husband and I during this difficult time.

Then in 2016, we were blessed with a healthy baby girl. Now I'm a mom of 2 beautiful girls and every day I still remember about the one that I had lost.
​Photo Credit: Jordan Jankun Photography
Photo Credit: Jane DiMaggio Photography
If your family, friend, or someone you know had a miscarriage or loss their baby, here are a few ways you can support them:
  1. Send meals to them. They may be too upset to even think about cooking or eating.
  2. Help them with chores - grocery shopping, laundry, etc.
  3. Listen to their stories especially when they are ready to share.
  4. Avoid saying "It's not meant to be." or "You have your other kids." or "They are in a better place." The best thing you can say to them is "I'm here for you." or a simple hug.

To those moms who are going through a pregnancy loss:
  1. Take your time to grieve.
  2. You are not alone and it is not your fault.
  3. Reach out to support groups or someone you know who had gone through a loss. Talk about it when you are ready.
  4. Read books that will help you to grieve. The book that helped me with my grief is "Growing Up in Heaven" by James Van Praagh.
October 15 is Pregnancy Remembrance Day, join me to light a candle at 7pm (all time zones) to create a wave of lights to remember all the babies who had gone too soon.

If you need someone to talk to, I'm here for you! Give me a call 201-663-8585 or email me at charissa@charissahyongphotography.
<![CDATA[Business Feature: Seimei Healing]]>Tue, 01 Sep 2020 04:00:00 GMThttp://charissahyongphotography.com/blog/business-feature-seimei-healingHave you heard of Seimei? I haven't until I met Katie Fasciano, owner of Seimei Healing located in Westwood, New Jersey. It's a non-touch practice originated from Japan to ease pain, illness (even the common sore throat or cough), anxiety and more.

We met through networking and we instantly clicked! Not only we are mothers of girls, but we live and work in Westwood, New Jersey. 
She shared her emotional story of losing her eldest daughter to cancer and how she had found Seimei.

She had given me a demonstration on Seimei to ease my lower back pain, which was bothering me after I had my second daughter. It was amazing! Instant relief! I've been her client ever since and I knew I had to do a business feature on her and this amazing practice.

So read on and find out more about Katie and her amazing services.
Charissa: Can you tell me about your business and what you do?
Katie: My business is a holistic practice featuring a technique called Seimei. My passion is helping children with cancer and their families. Seimei helps improve physical and emotional symptoms. It's a technique that is non-touch. The person sits in a chair as the practitioner works around them. Seimei can be done for both acute and chronic symptoms. Acute symptoms usually resolve with one Seimei session. Chronic symptoms usually take a series of Seimei sessions. These sessions can be done virtually.
Charissa: What is your absolute favorite moment in your business?
My absolute favorite moment in my business is at the end of a Seimei session when a client is relieved of their symptom.
Charissa: What is the one tip that you would like to share?
There are Charms that are used with Seimei that anyone can use. Please reach out to find out more about it.
Charissa: Where can people follow you and find more information about your business?
You can find out about my services on www.seimeihealing.com. You can also follow me on social media - Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
Interested in booking a branding session to boost your brand awareness? CLICK HERE to schedule your complimentary consultation.
<![CDATA[Coordinating or Matching Outfits?]]>Mon, 03 Aug 2020 04:00:00 GMThttp://charissahyongphotography.com/blog/coordinating-or-matching-outfitsChoosing your outfits for your photo session can be stressful but with a little guidance, you'll feel confident and ready for it.

Every booking, I share a Photo Session Prep Guide to my clients to help them with their outfits selection, hair and makeup tips, and more.

The question I get most of the time is "should I go for matching or coordinating outfits"?
Matching outfits means that everyone will be wearing the same thing. For example, white tops and jeans for the entire family or mom & daughter are wearing the same dress while dad & son are wearing the same polo shirt and khaki pants.

If that's not the look you want for your photo session, then you want to coordinate your outfits. This is what I recommend to my clients most of the time.
​When you coordinate your outfits, choose 2-3 main colors, and maybe one accent pop of color. Choose large patterns or solid colors to avoid distractions.

Start with one outfit that you love and build from there for everyone else.

Laying the outfits on a flat surface or a bed with all the accessories (jewelry, scarfs, shoes, etc.) will help you figure out if the outfits look good together or not.
I hope these tips help!

Interested in booking a branding, headshot, or a family session with me? CLICK HERE to schedule your complimentary consultation.