I have seen it too many times! The dreaded awful phone selfie as a profile picture. Or what about the awkwardly cropped head from a group pixelated group photo. Hold on wait, don’t forget the portrait from 1999 with the muddle blue backdrop and school portrait lighting. There is a host of awful headshots floating around the internet. Wait not just the internet! Don’t forget mailers and all kinds of other marketing material!
If you identify with one of these previously named professional headshots, don’t be ashamed! You’re not alone! So many people don’t know what it takes to make a professional headshot! This is a craft that good photographers spend years perfecting and making seamless. A good photographer will not just snap a photo and take your money, or set up a billion lights just to have you sit and “say cheese” or “smile”. A good photographer knows that a professional headshot needs to be friendly, but not casual. Approachable yet creditable.
so what makes a professional headshot?!
- SIMPLE BACKDROP! Gone are the days of the muddled blue canvas with a vignette! Thank goodness! All you need for a professional headshot is a simple gray or white backdrop. Gray can work with any profession and outfit! White is always clean crisp look and again, is universal for any profession or business.
- GREAT LIGHTING Yes, of course you need great lighting! The trick in great lighting is well placed shadows! Shadows that contour the face gently and hide the double chin! This lightening should be soft and flat, meaning, wrinkles, bumps and fine lines will be softened.
- SIMPLE OUTFIT A professional headshot needs to be timeless and the best way to dress is solid colors! Neutrals will last over time in multiple uses. If this is your first headshot or your seasoned and needs refresh, you will so pleased with a minimal approach to what you wear.
- PROFESSIONAL HAIR & MAKE UP Professional make up and hair artists know all the tricks to help you look your best for the duration of your photoshoot. The goal is is for even skin tone and some light volume in the hair to promote the appearance of fullness.
- RETOUCHING! A professional headshot needs to be retouched! That means you will look your best; but, not artificial! Check out these before and afters!! It is the final touch of a professional headshot!
- GENUINE EXPRESSION Nervousness can be read in the mouth, so, sometimes getting a genuine expression that is also relaxed is hard work, but it is a game changer for a professional headshot. This is what makes you look approachable and friendly.
All these elements make a recipe for a modern and professional headshot. Now, the key is to find a photographer who can make the recipe a success! You should feel confident and empowered by the end of your photoshoot session and I am confident I can help you get there!