5 Tips for a Great Headshot
Regardless of the end use for your head shot, your goal is to take the best photo possible. These five tips will help you take the best photo possible.
Sleep. If you want to take a great headshot, be sure you are well rested the night before. Droopy eyes or that dull, hungover look will show and aren’t things corrected with Photoshop.
Time of Day. Some folks are up with the sun; others are night owls. Be sure to plan your photo shoot for your personal best time of day. If you don’t really wake up till 11 a.m., don’t plan your photo shoot at dawn. If 2 p.m. is nap time for you, don’t plan to take your headshots then. When do you feel most energized, alert, and awake? That’s the time you’ll take the best pictures.
Hair/Makeup. Go natural. A photo shoot is not the time to try a new or unfamiliar style. Go with your most flattering look. Women, if you want a couple different looks, start with your hair down, then put it up or in a ponytail for a more casual appearance. Guys, be sure to shave just prior to the shoot so you really are clean shaven. Use gel or aftershave to calm redness or irritation.
Clothing. Many, many people focus on the clothing, but the fact is that clothing is simply there to help frame the focal point: your face. Clothing is the icing on the cake. So the right clothes won’t improve an otherwise bad photo – but the converse is most definitely true. The wrong clothing choice can detract from an otherwise good picture. Go simple. Solid colors look great against any background. Plan a few layers if you want to try different looks. Make sure your clothes are professionally pressed before the shoot – wrinkles will show!
Expression. Your job is to know exactly what you want your head shot to do. Are you a CEO who’s trying to get a seat on a prestigious board? A manager who’s looking to move to the C level? An entry-level college grad who’s trying to make a great first impression? A single looking to find Mr./Ms. Right on a social dating site? A model looking for her next big break?
Once you’ve identified your goal, it’s the photographer’s job to help you capture the exact expression that best conveys that you are ready to achieve it.