WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN WORCESTERSHIRE
Documentary Wedding Photography
HEADSHOT SHOOT TIPS FOR MODELS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS
In this blog post, I wanted to share with you some great headshot tips for photographers AND models. Whether you’re an actor or a yoga teacher, a decent headshot is an essential marketing tool, one that could make the difference between landing that dream gig or… not.
For the Subject…
Dress naturally - Patterns and stripes can look a little odd on screens, so it’s best to stick to solid, neutral colours for your professional headshot shoot. Also, please don’t be tempted to go too “fashion-forward” unless that’s part of your job, of course. Classic style will last you a lot longer than the latest trend.
Prep accordingly - Get as much rest and aim to get to sleep as early as possible on the day prior to the shoot itself. Try to drink plenty of water and eat well where possible too!
For the Photographer...
Help your subject - Most people feel slightly nervous before this type of shoot, and it’s only natural! I find a good way to combat this is to meet a little ahead of the session start time, or even talk to them on the phone beforehand. As well as making your client feel more at home with you, it’ll give you the chance to find out exactly what kind of portrait they’re after, be it professional, fun or quirky.
Backgrounds matter - Although the focal point of any good headshot is obviously the face, don’t neglect the background when setting up. Plain or highly bokeh backgrounds usually work best, but you may want to consider showing more context for your subject's career. Watch for shadows if your subject is standing close to a wall or a screen, as this will make the photo look less professional.
Lighting is key - Flawless skin is very important for headshots, and while a lot can be done with retouching in post-production, lighting is your best friend here. Using diffused light is best. Leaving the underneath of the face unlit, however, will give a more striking, rugged shot, sometimes preferred by men. Also, like myself and Rico, please don’t be afraid to shoot outside. Natural light will give a lovely genuine feel, which is great if that’s the look your subject is after.
It's all about the eyes - The most important part of any headshot is the eyes, so make sure they’re crisp, sharp and dynamic. Capturing the eyes well will establish a strong connection between the photographer and the viewer. A good way to get “fresh eyes” is to ask a subject to look away and then back into the lens right as you take the shot.
CHAT lots (I'm unsurprisingly good at this tip) - Finally, expression is everything when it comes to taking a great headshot. It’s your job to find the most natural expressions of your subject and capture a look that’s unique to them. I find the easiest way to do this is just to talk a lot. Reassurance that the model is doing a fabulous job, is absolutely key! If someone feels they’re looking good, and you’re getting the results you want, they’ll naturally relax and be themselves.
Ultimately, a good headshot should be well lit, well-posed with a clean or suitable background, and it should show the subject in a comfortable and confident manner.
I hope you find these tips useful when preparing for your headshots! A professional photographer is an investment in yourself, as it could have a HUGE impact on your brand, your career, and your prospective clients or employers.
Please see here for my pricing/info on headshot shoot bookings!