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Another Spin on the Stereotypical Voice Actor Portrait

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

October 29, 2010

Comments (5)

Alison MatthewsWhat does it take to make a profile picture stand out?

Usually voice over talent veer toward images and headshots that show them in studio at the microphone but every once in a while, you come across something really unique.

Earlier today I was glancing at the Recently Hired list at Voices.com and was struck by one of the most interesting and original profile images I have ever seen.

Hear Alison Matthews' story, pictured at right, and learn more about why she chose to show her face after years of voicing behind the mic in today's VOX Daily.

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

Alison Matthews has a great promotional picture for her business, however, it wasn't always her preference to show her face to the world as a professional voice over artist.

Deciding to give it a go, Alison worked with a great photographer and one of his colleagues who had a good eye for branding and creativity. When trying to determine what the concept for the photo was going to be, she noticed a picture of Jerry Seinfeld from his movie "Comedian," up on the office wall. In the photo, Seinfeld was shown walking across the street while holding a microphone. This kind of imagery appealed to Alison because she wanted to convey a similar sense of mobility; that you're going somewhere and not inside a studio.

When they left the office, the three of them went outside to scout for cool and interesting places, settling on an industrial train track within steps of their location in North Vancouver.

They set up the shot on the train tracks. As you can see, they were able to capture a curve in the track, creating a beautiful shape. Alison observed that the train track provided a neat visual that had an urban yet neutral feel. From what I understand, those tracks are not used all that often (if at all) and the trio was attentive to potential danger. Erring on the side of caution is advised if you choose to do a shoot outdoors or in other environments that may present challenges or a threat to your safety.

The Decision To Show Her Face

For years, Alison wrestled with whether or not to show her face. The usual concerns came to mind such as "Would my picture limit me?" and "Would the client decide what I sound like based upon how I appear and not based upon my demo?"

Part of the strategy in the photo was to only show her profile and not her entire face. Upon first glance, I had no idea that this her objective but it was an excellent creative choice. According to Alison, her profile doesn't tell the entire story and provides an opportunity for a client to seek it out, leaving enough of an open door to invest whatever sound they want into what they see.

Do You Have a Unique Promotional Image for Your Business?

If you do, I'd love to see it! Leave a link to your Voices.com profile in your comment so that we can check it out.

Best wishes,

Stephanie

Image via Alison Matthews' Voices.com profile

Related Topics: Alison Matthews, Amazon, headshots, hired, Photos, voice of Telus Communications, voiceovers


Comments


    That's a great picture Alison. Creative, yet professional. Love it!

    Posted by:
    • David
    • October 29, 2010 3:34 PM

      When I decided I needed new photos a little while back, I went to a friend of mine who's a fantastic photographer (Debbie Ohi) and we took photos in her very lovely backyard. There were a bunch of them I could have chosen from, but after showing the pictures to Cira Larkin, she suggested that the one I settled on was the most *interesting*. I tend to agree. It's not your typical smiling at the camera or holding a microphone shot ... and I like that about it.

      It's true that as voice actors, we're somewhat reluctant to get typecast by what we look like - but at the same time, it really helps the client relate to us as human beings - and that makes them more likely to feel comfortable hiring us. That was my reason for including a photo - even if I only include it on my "About Me" page on my website. I figure if they've gotten that far, they *want* to know. ;)

      Thanks for the interesting topic, Stephanie! All the best, -- Jodi

      Posted by:

        This was a collaborative effort of me. my coach Nancy Wolfson and our web designer Jason Sikes of VIllage Green Studios

        Posted by:

          Cool picture Allison, it definitely catches your attention and still provides enough mystery about you to draw people in...

          Posted by:

            Nice profile - literally. Glad to see someone taking a "different" approach to a VO promo, and also to se it get some notice. But really, Alison is a very good looking person, and this whole notion of "wrestling" with whether or not to show her face is just a bit much, don't you think, Zurek? There are more than a few VO's who do not have a problem with this "issue" and are not afraid of letting their looks influence anybody one way or another. And of course, Alison has a friend who is also a fantastic photographer and has a lovely backyard. Are we to believe in any way that this was a big risk on her part?
            Please, I am not cynical. I do recognize stereotypical cross-networking when I see it, however.

            Posted by:

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