Headshots: How They are Different

Headshots are photographs taken of faces and usually part of the shoulders. Generally, people use headshots in business cards, on websites, in profiles and to advertise a service or a product for a company. Headshots take some additional care and skill to photograph properly. They are very different than scenic or architecturally-based photography. Here are a few things that make headshots unique.

1 - Focus on a Subject

Headshot photography mainly focuses on one subject at a time. The backgrounds used are usually plain and soft in nature. They complement or contrast in form and function, the individual that is being photographed. The art of headshot photography is in making your subject look the best they can possibly look.

2 - Camera Use in Form and Function Differs

As a headshot photographer you must understand how to utilize a camera and the zoom capabilities and functions appropriately.  Understand that a camera should not be placed in close proximity to your subject. Place the camera away and focus on using your zoom lens appropriately.

3 - Choose Appropriate Lighting

Headshots are different in that lighting quality and quantity is very important than it is in many other forms of photography. In order to cast the likeness of your subject well, developing a great lighting schema is paramount. Utilizing all aspects of both natural and non-natural light is very important.

4 - Focus on the Right Space

Most headshots are taken in an interior space or room. Focus on finding the right space. Unlike other photography, the space for a headshot must be just right. Find a room or a place that has ample length. The width of the room should be no more than twice the length of the room.

5 - Understand Makeup, Hair and Dress

As most headshot photography is utilized in conjunction with job applications and personal or product promotions, you want to make sure you capture the essence of your subject. You need to have dialog with your subject. Understand what is and is not important to them. If they are an individual who utilizes high fashion and makeup techniques, you will want to make sure they keep with their likeness in the picture. You need to recommend appropriate attire and dress, including how to wear their hair and the type of makeup they should use. Each of these elements is important in capturing the beauty and artistic likeness of your subject.

6 - Poses and More Poses

Understand how the body moves. Headshot photography depends on your understanding of body language. Even in a headshot, the smile, the poise of the shoulders and the appearance of the subjects eyes can tell a lot. Make sure you arrange your subject to the likeness your client is looking to achieve.

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