How to Take Headshots

Headshots are pictures taken close to a subject's face. These types of photographs meant to identify a person or demonstrate the beauty of an individual's facial features. The subject may use a headshot on his business card, personal website's profile page or even on different pieces of advertising campaigns. Here is a step by step approach to capturing a photograph of a beautiful headshot.

Materials You Will Need

  • Subject (a person)
  • Camera
  • Photography studio or shooting location
  • Lights

Step 1 - Choose Clothing and Makeup

Consult with your subject ahead of time and make sure he is appropriately dressed. Use makeup to properly highlight the features of his face. If you are going for a dramatic look, consider having your subject work with a makeup artist who can help create a dramatic portrait.

Step 2 - Set Up and Place Camera

Position your camera as far away from the subject as you can. This will give you an ability to zoom into the person's face without causing a great deal of distortion. As a rule of thumb, your camera should be at least 10 feet away from the person you are photographing up close.

Set your location in a way that will make your subject feel comfortable and relaxed. The best headshots are produced when the person being photographed enjoys his surroundings. Once comfortable, hewill produce relaxed smiles, and his eyes will sparkle for you and your camera.

Step 3 - Add Lighting

Experiment with different light sources to enhance and illuminate different angles. The light will help to erase harsh shadows and create a softer effect around the subject's face. It will also help to improve the overall appearance of your photograph.

If available, natural light may provide the best type of light you can use in a headshot. It gives a soft, illuminated look. Make sure the light is behind or beside your subject and not in front, as this may cause him to squint.

Step 4 - Tilt and Turn Head

Make sure your subject sits up in an erect and straight position, but have him tilt and turn his head different directions. This will create a beaming and alert portrait. Walk around with your camera to take shots from several different angles.

Use a pencil and paper to note any facial flaws or blemishes. When you are done shooting, you can alter and enhance the photograph to retouch and remove some of the flaws.

Step 5 - Focus on the Eyes

Remove anything that is blocking a great shot of your subject's eyes. Have him remove glasses and other eyewear, and move strands or locks of hair that are covering his face. Make sure the eyes stand out in your photograph.

Step 6 - Touch Up

Pick your best photos for touching up. Use digital software programs like Photoshop to retouch and enhance the headshot.

Popular Cameras for High Quality Photos: