As a Photographer, I always hear...
Usually, when I arrive on location and set up for a corporate or business headshot session, I get the usual comment, "I hate getting my picture taken," followed by, "I never look good in photos," or "I'm just not photogenic." It pains me to hear these comments because I genuinely believe everyone looks beautiful in their unique way. Plus, I know those comments are oftentimes deep-rooted feelings they have towards themselves. They don't see themselves as handsome or beautiful. That's why through a professional headshot session, I help individuals see their true beauty in front of the camera by using special lighting techniques, different poses, and capturing the right side of their face.
Lighting is Everything
Headshot photography is all about lighting a person the right way to showcase their face in the best way possible. For instance, if the light is too flat on a person's face, then they will look ghostly and 2-dimensional. If you light a person's face with too many shadows, then they look too dramatic and ominous. However, if you find the right balance you can shape their face with enough light and shadow to make them stand out. I make sure that during every headshot session, I can see my client's face, and that there is light in the eyes. I also lift the shadows by placing a small whiteboard under the client's chin. This way, the client's face is not too dark, but also not too bright and blown out. Last but not least, the way the light is directed affects how it hits my client's face, and that's where posing comes into play.
Posing is Crucial
If one of my clients is already feeling anxious about the photo shoot because they don't like the way they look, it's most likely because they haven't been posed properly. When it comes to taking a professional headshot, posing is everything. I have almost all of my clients stand for their headshot session so that they naturally stand up straight. If clients are sitting, it is common for them to automatically hunch over, which does not look good for the camera. In addition, I make sure that clients angle their body and face slightly away from each other to expose and define the neckline. If you take a photo of a person straight on, most likely their chin will absorb into their neck unless you darken the neck with special lighting techniques. For a business professional headshot session, we want to expose both the face and neck, but make sure you can distinctly see both. That's why turning the head slightly, and moving the upper torso of the body can create the perfect composition for headshots and look more pleasing to the eye.
We All Have a Side
One more important aspect of capturing a headshot that a client will be sure to like is capturing their "good side." Yes, believe it or not, most of us have a good side to our face, and we either consciously or subconsciously cater to it. Think about when you take selfies, or when friends or family members take group photos, which side of your face do you turn to the camera? That's the side I focus on when I'm taking headshots. I always ask clients if they have a side of their face they prefer, and if they don't know, then I test both and show them the back of the camera. 99% of the time, a client says, "Oh! That's the side I like better." This helps boost my client's self-esteem and helps them acknowledge that they DO look good in front of the camera.
So, in response to those who dread getting their picture taken, it's okay. I know it's not everyone's favorite activity, but as a professional headshot photographer, I go to great lengths to make sure that I capture the best version and side of your face so that you can walk away feeling confident about your new headshot. Don't dread the next time you get photos, so sign up for your headshot session today!