Tips for Better Headshots

ACTORS

Your shoot is an investment, make the most of it with these tips.

It’s a pain to carry all that clothing… I get it, but believe me, it’s worth the effort. You want to look a certain character type.  Start with a colour T-shirt, and if you are not sure of the colour, bring extra.  Black is always useful! If black, choose a top with more detail than plain. 

A light jacket or blazer is easy to style, the cleaner the design the better.  Fitted is better than loose.  Blazers should be casual in style and matched with a collared shirt. I prefer not to shoot ties.  Pass on the heavy winter coat.  Light leather jackets work well, dark brown or black with simple collars. Complicated collars are a distraction. Dark denim jackets or shirts are always a win.

For the most part, guys can get away with no makeup.  Just retouching is good.

For women who have limited experience with preparing for Headshots, I highly recommend a makeup artist. A good artist can give you that polished Look that you usually cannot achieve yourself. It is a worthwhile investment! Don’t worry, the artists I work with never do glamour or YouTube style makeup. Colours used will lean towards natural tones.

Your hair is extremely important! If longer I suggest you put heat into it ( blowdry or iron) in prep for the shoot. Bring some product to help with styling different Looks. Practice at home first and don’t be afraid to take chances with the styling.

I will provide plenty of coaching and advice throughout the shoot, but you need to contribute as much, if not more. The look in your eyes is what you should focus on. Practice in the mirror. At the very least, know the emotions and techniques that help you bring a certain Look.

I will always direct the posing, but it helps for you to move with subtlety and not remain stiff to help you with the expressions.

Framing and Lighting is my job and you will get a variety of Looks for your portfolio.

Lighting can include studio strobes and/or natural window light at my studio Being in the Distillery District, there is plenty of opportunity for outdoor Looks.

Framing is usually limited to head and chest with some room for cropping. The focus is on sharp clear eyes.

Backgrounds matter and I tend to avoid plain white, grey or flat coloured paper rolls. The background should compliment the Look we are trying to achieve towards your character type.

We will review your photos on a full size 27 inch monitor as we shoot. You can’t improve without immediate feedback! Also, there are no surprises as to what you get from the shoot. Favoured shots are marked as we review. And, good or bad, I will always have an opinion.

I usually shoot about 300 to 400 shots for 3 Looks. Your online gallery is usually 150 to 200 photos. You can download and/or share your photos from the Google Drive gallery and use them as you please.

My retouching leans towards removing distractions, including all blemishes, evening out your skin tones and correcting any issues that are not permanently a part of you.