How to prepare for your photoshoot
BEFORE THE SHOOT
- WHAT TO WEAR: Your headshot will only show your shoulders and up but what you wear still matters. Generally, for professional headshots, you should strive to wear solid colored tops vs. bold patterns so that your clothing doesn’t distract from the star of the headshot which is always your FACE. Women should not wear elaborate necklaces or earrings and men should not wear bold patterned ties and should be clean shaven or have well manicured facial hair. A light colored shirt with a dark jacket is a classic look for both sexes but a less formal and simple look works just as well.
- POSING PREP: You will be seated the entire time on a stool so you can be more relaxed and don’t have to think about what to do with your feet. I will direct your movements for the most part so you can relax and just listen to my voice. If you are naturally photogenic I will direct you less and let you shine. You can get a head-start on what I will be asking you to do during the shoot with your jaw and eyes by watching the YouTube videos below that give a great explanation.
Video 1: What to do with your eyes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff7nltdBCHs
Video 2: What to do with your jaw – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe3oJnFtA_k
- SCHEDULING: You can choose an open slot on my schedule using the link I sent you. If I didn’t already do so you can go here. https://photoheadz.com/schedule If you need to reschedule please do so with me at least 24 hours ahead of time.
- RELEASE FORM: Please print, complete and sign the release form linked below and bring it with you to save time on the day of your shoot. Release form link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1hxGYLJ4Ux3OB7r2zf43Ulw9CuJTr3eMk
AT THE SHOOT
- YOUR ARRIVAL: Just ring the doorbell and after I invite you inside we will sit in my living room and chat for 2-3 minutes about your headshot needs. It always helps to build rapport when a stranger is pointing a camera at your face. 🙂 I will collect your signed release form at that time as well so all we have to do afterwards is focus on the actual shoot.
- THE STUDIO: Next, we will take a short trip down the hall to my in-home studio(spare room) which is small and intimate but perfect for taking great looking headshots. While I fine tune the camera and lighting you may relax on the stool or use the full length mirror on the wall for any last minute face touch ups. Shots will be taken with my camera on a tripod with a white background behind you. This is a classic look and can be used with any color scheme and also allows for easy changing of the background at some point if you choose to do so. I use CFL/LED lighting so no worries about hot lights causing the sweats or ruining makeup. For women, I generally use light directly in front (“Beauty Lighting”) because it’s the most flattering. For men, I like to use light on one side (“Rembrandt Lighting”) to create contrast with their masculine features. This can change based on the look you are going for and/or the shape of your face so some experimentation may be in order. I will trigger all shots remotely from my tablet for the convenience of reviewing shots together.
- THE SHOOT: The shoot itself will last about 20 minutes…give or take a few minutes. First, I will take shots of your left, front, and right sides and we will review those to determine your “good side(s)”. You may already know your good side(s) but I always want to do due diligence. Once your good side(s) are determined, we will focus the rest of the time on just that side(s). I like to mix in casual conversation while directing and shooting to both relax my clients and bring out their natural look so just be yourself. 🙂 I will review pics with you from time to time for feedback on progress. Once I have 10-20 acceptable shots we will then review them together. I will give you my feedback on my favorites but the ultimate choice is always yours. Once you have made your selection(s) I will then note them on your release form so there are no mix-ups and we will conclude the shoot.
AFTER THE SHOOT
I will perform retouching & cropping on your chosen headshot file(s) and will email to you within 48 hours of the day of your shoot. I always adjust the color tones and brightness but I don’t perform unnatural retouching so will only remove/address blemishes, blood shot eyes, unnatural swelling, harsh eye bags/circles, overtly stray hairs, etc. I don’t remove scars, moles and other natural/permanent facial features as that would not be an authentic representation of you. I do focus quite a bit of time on the eyes because that is where people always look first in a headshot. When cropping I usually crop the crown of the head as this removes the focus on what’s behind your head and/or the head/hair shape and puts the focus squarely on your face which is the star of any headshot. I always position your eyes in the top third of the image (known as “rule of thirds) as that is proven to be aesthetically pleasing to the human eye. If there is a delay in getting your retouched file(s) to you for some unforeseen reason I will always let you know ahead of time.
If you are not 100% satisfied with the photos taken during your shoot, just let me know at that time and I will refund you 100% of your money. Very few photographers give this type of guarantee but if you are not happy, I am not happy.
Client for life
Existing clients receive a 50% discount off current retail pricing for future photo shoots FOR LIFE. If you are helping me build my business I want to reward you ongoing for standing by me.
Six Reasons Why You Need Professional Headshots
A headshot is different from a portrait in that the purpose of a headshot is to present just your FACE at it’s best and not your wardrobe and/or environment. The photographer’s lens is focused on the center of the face and the image is usually cropped at the shoulders and above. The subject’s eyes are always focused directly on the camera lens and intended to engage whoever is viewing the image. Portraits can be very similar to headshots but tend to be more flexible and artistic with placement of eye direction, clothing, background, props and can be waist up or even full length. Investing in a high-quality, professionally taken headshot is an investment in your personal brand. It shows you at your best, the way you want prospective clients to see you. Many of us are not naturally photogenic. As a result, amateur photography can actually end up making you look nothing like you do in person…and definitely not your best. A professional photographer that specializes in headshots knows how to position you, how to choose the best backdrop and how to use lighting to get the best shot possible.
They can also advise you on the best type of clothing and colors to wear. I believe you should dress as you would in your work environment. If you are a business executive, wear a suit. If you are a doctor or nurse, wear your lab coat. If you are a fishing guide, wear what you would wear if you were on the water. If you do work in the business world and have a bit more flexibility with your “work uniform,” choose colors that are flattering to your skin tone and hair color. In general, solid colors are better than patterns. For men, a brightly colored (but not too bold) tie paired with a classic white shirt and dark-toned suit is a nice choice.
Now that social media has taken on such an important role in promoting our professional abilities, having an impact-making headshot is more important than ever. Since every social media platform requires a profile image, your headshot will have a far-reaching web presence in addition to more traditional uses like the staff page of your organization’s website and publication in conference or speaking engagement–related materials.
So, are you still wondering if you need to invest in a professionally taken headshot? Here are six reasons why you should:
Professional headshots aren’t just for top executives anymore. Everybody needs one. If you don’t have one already, I encourage you to seek out a skilled headshot photographer and check it off your “to do” list. With a great headshot, your professionalism and unique personality will shine through, opening the doors to new opportunity and new business.
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