Mastering Headshot Photography: How Do I Go About It?
Aug 26, 2019 | By: Chris Jones Headshots
Headshots, they say, are relatively easy to take. On the other hand, being in the business for quite a few years now, I feel that they are as challenging as any other kind of shoot.
I often come across photographers offering a headshot service as an additional source of income, but I beg to differ and feel that this is a specialized business that needs professional expertise and attention.
Yes, there is no denying the fact that headshots are straight forward, but they still require a specific skill set and approach that you can’t just go about them casually.
Here are a few tips I employ in my technique to capture the headshots that force heads to turn around!
Choosing the Correct Camera Lens
Choosing the correct camera lens plays a critical role in deciding the quality of the headshot. I would recommend specialized portrait lens or fixed telephoto lens to be more specific.
When it comes to choosing the right lenses, there is no one-stop-solution for any kind of photography, but make sure you use a decent prime lens or a high quality zoom lens. Based on my experience, I would recommend an 85mm lens depending on the camera body being used.
Understanding Client Requirements and Adding to The Idea
You may have the most expensive camera in the world, may have created the best headshot as you see it, but if your client doesn’t like it, what purpose does it serve?
Make sure before getting started you understand your client's requirements well and be on the same page as to what they want their headshot to say about them. Consultations are the key. Having an overview of the client’s branding strategy of the client may also help you visualize the end product better.
Headshots are very specific and personal. Insufficient knowledge may lead to a disaster. Consider creating a personalized set of questions, to help you understand the clients branding headshot needs!
The Right Location and The Right Software
As you proceed to shoot, play with the lighting a bit and probably take the shoot outside the studio.
Just because a headshot is supposed to be professional, doesn’t mean it has to be shot on a boring background. You may even capture it in front of some tall buildings in a street.
Apart from that, it doesn’t matter how good a photographer you are, you need to be acquainted with the right image processing software and adjust some imperfections encountered here and there.
LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT!
Play With The Lighting
Underestimating the role of lighting in ensuring the quality of outcome may cost you an entire shot.
Natural lighting, sure does create an appealing end product, however, artificial lighting will be necessary more often than not to be sure the client stands out. Headshots mired in shadow may hide your client’s features, therefore it is best to correct them in camera.
These are some of the details I have to pay attention to as a professional headshot photographer. Although, I completely agree with the fact that one must employ a myriad of techniques and should offer diverse services, rather than being a jack of all trades, being a master of one is what I would pick any day. And, I am proud to be a master of headshot photography.