.TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT PORTRAIT SESSION.
If you're promoting your work, your brand, yourself - whatever line of work you're in, you need a great looking headshot. You deserve so much more than just a 'flattering photograph'. A beautifully crafted headshot is a powerful tool - it makes people remember you. Why? Because facial recognition is wired deeply inside of us. Show the world a headshot that people can identify with, the real you...one that people will remember you by.
ARE PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOTS RIGHT FOR ME?
There are countless careers that can benefit from a professional headshot. Doctors, lawyers, corporate executives, realtors, and journalists, models, actors, musicians, artists...the list goes on & on. Pretty much anyone who has a public face. If your clients or customers see you, then a professional headshot will help plant your face more firmly in their mind. If you are auditioning or meeting with agencies, a superb headshot will help you stand out from the crowd. In either case, a great headshot will serve to put a real human face with your name.
What's most important - is that your headshot is of the highest quality. Anyone can distribute a picture of themselves, but if that picture doesn't convey the proper image, then it won't be a benefit. Creating a great headshot may seem simple, but like so many things, the little details matter.
WHAT MAKES FOR A GREAT HEADSHOT?
The ultimate goal of a great professional headshot is to showcase you looking your honest best. So what makes great professional headshots stand above the 'simply average'?
First - the headshot has to look professional and refined. It takes skill and talent to get the proper soft lighting, sharp focus, and expert composition that a talented headshot photographer provides. Expertise in color correction and subtle retouching also serve to make a headshot truly stand out.
Next - the headshot has to look natural. If the pose, expression, lighting or composition of the shot looks forced or unnatural, it will undermine the purpose of having a headshot in the first place.
In order to capture the most natural look, it is important that you feel comfortable with your photographer and the photography process. Whether you're having your photo taken on-location or in the studio, a peaceful, relaxed environment will help, but the photographer's overall presence will play the most important role of all. Whether you're a professional model or a camera-shy business owner, a great professional photographer will help you to feel and look natural when you're in front of their lens.
The camera sees differently than our own eyes, and therefore adjustments need to be made in post-processing to give the most natural result. There is both an art and a science to perfecting the image without making it look processed.
Lastly - the headshot must reflect YOUR personality. Only you can bring your personality to the shoot, but a great headshot photographer can help to spot it, capture it, and be sure it comes through in the final result.
To help with capturing your personality, be sure to discuss with me which side of your personality you want to convey in your professoinal headshot. Think about which facets you would ideally like to represent about yourself. Is it sharp intellect? Good humor? Trustworthy business skills? Style? Warmth? Sensuality? The lighting and composition techniques will be different for each.
HOW CAN I BEST PREPARE FOR MY PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT SESSION?
Simply put - be prepared to look your best! Generally this means making sure your hair and skin are in good shape. It's probably not a good idea to make any radical changes to your normal hygiene regimen just before your shoot, as new skin cleansing and hair care products could bring about unexpected results.
If you're not experienced with hair and makeup, and depending on the type of headshot you're looking for, it can be beneficial to hire a professional makeup artist or hair stylist. I work with a number of local salons, be sure to mention this during our consultation so that I may suggest some of my top favorites to you!
Keep your clothing simple. Mid-tone colors work best. Avoid all white which can tend to wash out. Avoid busy patterns that can distract from your face. Since the headshot will primarily focus on the face and upper body, try to pick something that falls well on your shoulders and flatters your neckline.
Get plenty of sleep the night before, eat healthy and light the day of the shoot to avoid feeling bloated or hungry. These will all help you to look your best!
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I UPDATE MY PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT?
You should get a new headshot whenever your appearance changes substantially. It's important that your headshot looks like you on your best day. If you change hairstyles, gain or lose weight, or feel you're looking more mature, it is probably time to update your headshot.
Even if nothing noticeable changes, it can also be a good idea to update your headshot regularly, perhaps every year or two, just to keep it fresh and in style. A great headshot should feel timeless, but hair and clothing styles do inevitabley change.
Have a question about something that wasn't answered here? Don't hesitate to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!