Headshots Tips

What is a Headshot?

The obvious answer is a photograph of a head!! But, that can mean different things to different people. That’s why I have a call with a client before the shoot so that I have a complete understanding of your requirements. Don’t worry if you’re not entirely sure what you want, I will give you all the help you need.

Later in this brochure I have included some headshot examples. 

 

Where will the headshot work be done?

I come to you with all the studio equipment needed to complete the headshots required. However, it depends what you are trying to portray or the purpose of the headshot. It may be that a plain white or black background is required or you might prefer the shot to include some of your workplace in the background or a leafy background outside. Again, we can discuss that during our call.

How long will it take?

Depending on the location, it will take around 30 minutes to set up at your premises. It will then take around 30 minutes to take the images of each person.

 

What should you/your team wear?

Please don’t wear any graphic logo t-shirts or band names or funny slogans on your top. This photo is probably going to last a couple of years on the companies website. So, something that may seem relevant now may not be in a couple of years time. 

 

Patterns and thin stripes don’t work well on camera and computer screens. There is a thing called the moire effect when thin strips close together create a secondary rippling pattern. This is especially evident when an image is small on a screen. Patterns which look good on your clothes may just be a busy visual noise on camera. Think about wearing something plain that will look good no matter what size the image is.

What about hair?

Sometimes people rush over to their shoot and their hair is a bit of a mess. Ideally, you want your hair to be like a shampoo advert. Looking smooth flowing, full bodied and neat. Obviously, don’t have loads of straggly strands of messy hair. Make sure that it’s all brushed and neat around the edges. If you have a fringe and want that looking good, try not to have any big gaps in there, unless that’s what you like. It’s so much easier to get it right before the photo is taken than afterwards.

 

Make Up - If you use it......?

This is a professional shot of you at work.  A natural look always works best. Don’t go overboard, what you’d do for a big night out, probably won’t work for a corporate head shot. Keep it simple and make sure it feels good for you. If you normally wear a strong lipstick, then that’s fine, but don’t go for a bold look if you don’t normally look like that. After all you want the image to be a good professional representation of yourself.

Glasses - Should I wear them?

This isn’t a big one, but it’s probably worth mentioning. If you normally wear glasses and people are used to seeing you in them. Wear them. If you only wear them for computer work (like me) and don’t often wear them when meeting people, make the decision beforehand whether or not to wear them in the photo. If you aren’t going to wear them, make sure you take your glasses off way before you come to have your photo taken, so you don’t have two red marks either side of your nose. It takes a while for them to go down. So, leave plenty of time. 

If you are going to wear your glasses, there are a couple of things that are really worth doing. First of all, give them a really really, really good clean. It’s surprising how much dust / fingerprints / eyelash hair etc. can show up in the final image. Make sure the lenses are spotless and if your frames pick up fingerprints or grease marks give them a clean as well.

Lastly when you’re having your photo taken, make sure you push your glasses back as far as they will go. Often glasses just slip slightly down the nose and tend to cover your eyes every so slightly. In profile photos, it’s really important to see your eyes, so when the glasses are pushed back that shows them off to their best.

What shape will my final images be?

This will depend on what you’re planning to use your headshot for. Again we can determine what shape you want your final headshots to be on our pre-call. But of course we can also modify that during the actual shoot.

 

What type of background do you require?

The background will again be based on what the images are going to be used for. Below are the most common background types.

Below are some common questions about headshots or if you prefer you can download this pdf to read offline

© 2020 Stephen James Photography