The Headshot Specialist!

January 22, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

What are the principal ingredients in a professional headshot?  A headshot is a closeup portrait of yourself that should be showing pure and translatable emotion, such as joy, strength, beauty, a clever angle of the camera, an interesting lighting and composition.   Some of the industries who use headshots heavily:  Modeling agencies, the entertainment business, realtors, banking, car retail, social media, etc... Competition is fierce, the headshot must be great.

What makes a good headshot photographer??

The photographer is the one who will orchestrate the creation you will be showcasing over and over maybe for years to come.  It must be as good as possible.    This photographer must love faces.  He must look at them like he is reading a music partition, quickly trying to find the best way to make make the angel sings (getting laughs, reactions and diversity of looks).  He observes carefully in detail, looking at the shape-changing visage when it turns.  Left, right, towards the light, into the shade.  Watching it all fall in place.  He sees the moment when the eyes lit up and is quick to push the trigger; he seems to never missing the bulls-eye.  That's the headshot artist. 

A headshot artist must be a student of the light.  He must study it and it's effect so he can duplicate it in the studio when needed.  He must learn to change perspective often when looking at things, to make sure he is looking at the right angle; the angle that will make a difference ;}  A headshot should be flattering and angles matter. 

A headshot artist must be patient... His subject(s) could be active children, crying babies, people who say they hate to have their picture taken (but need one anyway), and some who never crack a smile.  He must learn to relax his clients without actually trying too hard.  The confidence in himself and his skills usually pays off. 

A headshot artist should offer his client hair/makeup or touchup services for the session.  It is advised that the photographer directs the make-up artist to start with a soft look, minimizing the actual makeup application and after shooting enough frames, the makeup/hair can be increased for a stronger effect.      Always nice to have options.

A headshot artist must love people.  He doesn't judge them, he doesn't wish for a better subject because the person in front of him is a world on his own ready to be discovered.  He talks to his clients like they are his new best friends.  He must love adventures and stories to be able to share, and again bring out emotions and joy by loving what he does.  Remember, he's there, to help achieve with you something quite difficult to acquire casually.

The final image should contain all the ingredients:  Good lighting, powerful composition, interesting expression.  It has to be honest but not to a fault and convey humanity, dignity and good chi.  I know, right?

The photographer is careful with retouching.  I love Photoshop like anybody else but keep your headshot as real as you can.  There are now great software for face/skin retouching.  Do not trust them 100%.   Good lighting will help a great deal with skin flaws and tones. 

 


 


 


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