How important is a good headshot? What even makes a good headshot? A question I am often asked by actors and business professionals. See my actor headshot portfolio
Very good question: one that I can best answer by taking you through my process of shooting a headshot whether it is for an actor, real estate agent or a CEO. I develop a relationship with you - the person to be photographed. I aim to find out about you and your business. This is essential, if the headshot or photo is to reflect your brand. Further to this end, I will help you select the most appropriate clothing , considering not only what you do, but also what is most flattering in your particular case. (VETO the black turtleneck, if you have long black hair, as hair will visually fade into the black sweater. See my business professionals headshot portfolio
Can the beige blouse, if her complexion is very fair, as this blouse will make you look "washed out' . Don't choose the V-neck sweater, if your face is long and thin, as this will accentuate this. Do choose the round neckline instead, - you get the idea.) All the while we would be chatting amiably, and establish the necessary trust, important to make you feel relaxed in front of the camera. This is essential to enable me to capture your true personality. During the shoot, I help you with body language, providing gentle directions and suggestions as needed (my background as a former model comes in handy here.)
We may shoot indoors or out, or both. I consider the background very carefully, choosing colour etc. to complement what the you are wearing and the overall effect I am visualizing. I consult with you (the client) while, showing you the results, on the screen, as we go along, getting your valuable input. Getting a headshot or professional photography right is a collaborative effort. We are in this together. I am on your side and I really care.
The proof of the pudding; I was photographing a young man last week, who happened to be an aspiring actor, model. It was his first time in front of my lens, maybe any lens. He was insecure, saying "I don't photograph well," "I am not sure I want this or that background" etc etc. The next day, I received a request to retouch 31 photos. He chose 31! I fainted. (well, almost). After carefully explaining, again, that he only needs to choose one per look (outfit), we narrowed it down to 4 photos to retouch, (gratis, as is included in the price.) All is well that ends well. And it usually does. Guaranteed. Often, my clients become friends and of course, repeat customers. I Hope I have made my point ; that a good headshot takes a lot more than a point and shoot approach. Photography is an art form, and as other artists, we also consider aesthetics e.g. shape, form, line, colour, composition, etc, to come up with a pleasing end result, but we go one step further, not unlike psychologists, forging an amiable, friendly relationship with the client without which, all the above would be for naught.
The client pays not so much for the photographer's time but for his/her knowledge , expertise. The small investment required, should pay great dividends over a period of a couple of years, til your next shoot. Today, it is most often your headshot that clients see first. Do you exude warmth, approachability? Is there life in your eyes? Do you look relaxed? Does your attire enhance your brand? Make sure your actor or business headshot sends the right message about you, your professionalism, your approachability, your brand. You only get one chance to make a good, lasting first impression and stand out in today’s very competitive marketplace.