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Carlos Taylhardat

Art of Headshots Studios is a company that specializes in corporate headshots. We have operations in every major city across Canada and in Austin, Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale as well.

We differentiate ourselves by photographing like psychologists to capture the essence of our clients. Our mission is to have an Art of Headshots Studios in every major city in North America.

Tell us about yourself?

I was the child of a diplomat and grew up in various places around the world, and I had to learn three languages by the age of five. As a teenager, I chose to make Canada my home and would later have a career in child protection. My career in child protection started as a security guard and group home worker, and by the age of 22, I managed a therapeutic group home for children apprehended due to sexual abuse in their homes. I would end my career of fifteen years as a family therapist and school counsellor in the Vancouver School Board.

Art of Headshots takes my work as a family therapist to create our distinct methodologies and processes for photographing human beings, and we have successfully retained some of the larger law firms working in Canada as our clients as well as all the major banks. We have also worked with Amazon, Facebook, and Ballard.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Two years or so ago, we had to shut down everything due to the pandemic. The anxiety about how I would provide for my family made this situation worse. I would like to tell myself that it will all be okay.

What problem does your business solve?

We can help a large corporation photograph hundreds of executives in multiple locations while streamlining the results instead of the company having to hire eight or 10 different photographers with various results. The corporations will also benefit from our unique portraits that share something deep and profound about each and every member, making it a source of pride. Hey, one’s team is the heartbeat of every corporation, and we make them look outstanding.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

When I was a kid, I admired photos of people by Yousuf Karsh. His images had a spirit and made me curious about the human being he captured. What an amazing career he must have had photographing Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Gandhi, and just about any celebrity in the world from 1945 to 2002.

As an adult, I was fortunate in my first career to be of assistance and help children overcome some of the most horrific situations in our society. It was an honour. But I was always curious about people and what driven people are like, what they do and how they do things. It was my interest in human beings that attracted me to re-educate myself in the field of photography.

Then, by accident, I learned that we were being taught to photograph sceneries, objects, and events… But nobody was teaching people to photograph like Yousuf Karsh, while it was apparent that images such as the Afghan Girl – on the cover of the National Geographic Magazine countless times – were effective and made humans gravitate to portraits.

So, we changed our approach and did not photograph humans the same way as an object. We want to reveal our people, and now in the late stage of a career as a portrait photographer, I want to teach others this methodology through Art of Headshots. I am not exactly like Yousuf Karsh, but like him, I have managed to have a career capturing the essence of thousands of humans and feel blessed by this gift of a career.

What is your magic sauce?

We have two distinct advantages that are our magic sauce;

  1. Our methodologies. We produce portraits that share the essence, while our competition is happy with what we call vacant smiles.
  2. We are a team of dedicated professionals. Our competition is usually a single operator that will fall short in one of the many pieces needed to excel in this industry. i.e. photo retouching, customer support, sales, or advertising.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We want to be the first name corporations recognize when thinking of professional profile images for their executive team, and while we do so, we will also become the most exciting self-employment opportunity for people seeking a change or a prosperous career in portrait photography.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

We are looking for Venture Capital but don’t want shareholders who don’t match our values. Although we identified a gap in the marketplace and are filling a space not yet filled, it’s been difficult to find partners to help us grow.

How can people get involved?