PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER HEADSHOTS
Tips for your professional headshot.
- What expression best represents you and the messaging you want to convey. Think of adjectives such as “friendly”, “trustworthy”, “Considered”, “relaxed and approachable”. It is usually a good idea to consider a mix of expressions so you have options for the future.
- Consider wardrobe options that reflect the messaging you want to convey. Jacket on or off, tie on or off for men… clean and ironed. Avoid logos and bright patterns. You will know what colours suits your skin tone. Avoid black textured cloth that absorb light. Check for lint.
- Have your hair done at some stage before the shoot. A few days before is good and then arrive having checked yourself in a mirror. Hair is important to try and make neat as it’s difficult to fix later in post production.
- With make-up keep it simple. It’s easier to clean up later in retouching, so don’t worry about covering blemishes with heavy makeup.
- Professional lighting will bring out some contrast, so check for perspiration.
- Consider options with cloths, glasses on/off, stance and expression that will give you more flexibility in how you use the shots in the future.
- If you can feel relaxed it will come through in the headshots. Once you have the basics above don’t over think it. I shoot a lot of shots and then heavily edit them so you can relax knowing we only need a few great ones.
Tips for your company before the shoot.
- Try and get your team shot at the same time. Consistency in how the headshots are taken will give a more professional look to your website. If you can’t use the same photographer for all headshots then provide examples to match. Sourcing images from various sources reflects poorly.
- Usually I allow at least 8 minutes per person for a simple headshot. This will give enough time for a few poses, expressions and options with jacket on/off.
- Allow about half and hour for me to set up. If you are needing a paper background roll put up allow another fifteen minutes. Pack down is usually about 15 minutes.
- Choose a large space. The larger the space the longer the lens I can use which is more flattering. For a waist up headshot you would want a room at least 6 meters wide. Often we can shoot around furniture.
- Don’t worry too much about the natural light in the room as I will light the scene to look natural and fresh with flash gear.
- If you want to see the view through the window note it is possible but more difficult to balance and look natural. If you consider a sunny bright day needs to be balanced by a lot of light inside or the view will blow out. It can easily look odd unless well lit by the photographer.
- Full length shots on a paper roll are rarely a good idea unless you design absolutely needs it. It adds complexity and positioning legs to look good can be trick while wanting the person to not over think it.
- It best to shoot close to the crop you will end up using. Cropping a headshot from full length can result in lower resolution and less flattering angles on the face. Camera height is often lower for a full length shot than a headshot.