Every professional needs to have a current headshot as an essential part of their business toolbox. There’s a natural inclination to put off originating or updating as the need is only urgent when it presents itself. However as every good scout knows, be prepared.
Getting a Great Head Shot:
There are three things to remember about headshots:
• They’re worth it.
• They’re always best scheduled before you need them.
• A nice picture isn’t a substitute for a professional shot.
Working with professionals on both coasts I wanted the expertise of those I trust to give an insider view on getting a great head shot.
New York Based Fashion Stylist Karen Kleber says:
• Bring wardrobe options. I thought my favorite Fendi jacket was perfect for my new headshot look. But as my photographer Bill pointed out, it looked like a choir robe from the shoulders up. Take in to consideration the cropping will be very tight. After all it’s called a head shot. We settled on a black dress with a simple clean neckline.
• Don’t overdo it with the accessories. Choose classic clean pieces that do not draw your eye to the accessories, but compliment your total look.
• Trust your photographer. The photographer’s job is to make you look and feel your best. Let the photographer do their job. No micro managing.
• Don’t forget to breathe! Have fun and enjoy the moment. It’s all about you!
New York Based Make Up Artist, Hair Stylist and Photographer Bill Westmorland says:
• Wear something comfortable, yet stylish….don’t wear something that does not feel like “you”. Even if it looks great and is uncomfortable it usually shows through in the photo. Avoid busy patterns and keep jewelry to a minimum.
• Having your makeup done for a photo is usually a must…but by someone that understands photography and lighting. Being overly made up or using products that are too shiny can really hinder the outcome of a photo.
• The same holds true for having your hair done. Make sure that you are comfortable and that “you” look like “you”. Trendy styles can quickly date a photo.
• Keep the background of your photo plain and simple…your headshot is about you, not your surroundings.
• If you have a phobia of having your photo taken make sure that you establish a friendly rapport with your photographer. If you are nervous tell them that you would feel more comfortable if you engaged in a conversation while you are shooting. This may help you relax. Note that the photographer will ask you occasionally to “close your mouth” so that he doesn’t catch you in mid-sentence, which will not look good.
Seattle Based Celebrity Photographer David Hiller says:
• Use a professional photographer who specializes in headshot-portraits. Don’t use your
friends if you want to stay friends!!! Do your research. Check out their work, speak
with them and get information. This goes for make-up and clothing stylists
(It’s a good idea to use them).
• Provide direction for the photographer and stylists. Bring samples if necessary,
but be open minded to what the photographer and stylist has to say, they are working
for you to get the best possible shot.
• Relax at the session. Bring music to set the mood. Keep your negative thoughts at home or best yet throw them away.
• Let everything in the shot (clothes, jewelry, hair, make-up and props) compliment
you, not work against you.
• It’s in the eyes, they say it all in a portrait. Something I pay close attention to when I
shoot. Very important to look at the camera and not stare.
• A few basic rules…No haircuts day of shoot, stay away from salty foods and alcohol
the night before, usually mid to late morning are best times for a shoot if it has to be
in the afternoon make sure you freshen up before.
• Relax and have a good time. Remember to ask questions if you have any concerns.