Your Headshot Photographer Lesson to Taking Great Headshots
If you want to make a name as a photographer, you need to master the art of headshot photography. Every individual will need a headshot photo at some point in their lives, and if you want to stand out from this industry, you need to deliver excellent headshot photos. Your skills in taking headshot photos can be your leverage to gain the trust of customers, which can pave the way towards your goal of being a renowned photographer. Take note of the following headshot photographer lessons for you to take great headshots:
1. Have a pre-session consultation:
Before you mark your calendar for an upcoming photo shoot, schedule a pre-session consultation with the client first. This consultation should be done in person, not through e-mails or phone calls
. When you interact with your clients personally, it’ll be easier for them to be comfortable about working with you and everything that will happen during the photo shoot. Having this kind of emotion can significantly change the outcome of their photos. The more relaxed your clients are, the more pleasant they’ll look in their headshot photos.
During the consultation, inquire what the client would want for their photos. You should also learn about their profession, so you’ll know which equipment or tools you should prepare. If your client is a lawyer, a clean white background will be suitable for their headshot photos. If your client is a yoga instructor, opt to have the photo shoot outdoors for you to capture the natural environment – perfect your client’s industry!
2. Help them choose the right clothes:
It’s typical for clients to be clueless about what they should wear for their headshot photos, especially if they’ll be doing a photo shoot for the first time. Since clothing significantly impacts the look of your clients in their headshot photos, you should help them choose the right clothes. Generally, neutral colors work best for headshot photos as these don’t contrast against people’s faces. If your clients are a group of people from one company, for example, it’s important that everyone knows what the required outfit is. If it’s formal wear, everyone should wear formal wear. If your clients are required by their boss to wear their uniforms, they should show up for the photo shoot wearing them.
But regardless of the times you’ve reminded your clients on what to wear, there will be instances when they’ll forget to follow. As a precaution, bring a spare jacket, especially for the men. If other photographers are helping you out for the photo shoot, have them bring several pieces of clothes, too. Doing this will not only provide a consistent look in your headshot photos, but this will also reflect how prepared and flexible you are as a photographer.
3. Create separation from the background:
All of your clients’ effort to look good will be worthless if there are shadows in the background of their photos. To prevent this from happening, make sure that your client isn’t standing too close to the background. If you’re having the photo shoot indoors, standing too close to the background can create shadows, and this can make your photos look unprofessional. The same concept should also be followed when you’re shooting outdoors. You shouldn’t let your client stand too close to the background in order to create a bokeh effect, which can create a stunning but nondistracting background.
4. Starting the session:
Sure, you might have the chance to have a pre-session consultation with your client days before the photo shoot, but with everything that’s happening during the photo shoot, they can still feel nervous. Regardless if your client is a single individual or a group of employees, make time to have a little chat with them before the photo shoot starts. Ask about how they’re feeling, how they’ve prepared for the shoot, or if they have any kids or pets. The minutes you’ll spend talking to your clients will go a long way so they can feel and look relaxed in their photos. They’ll appear more comfortable and confident – all thanks to the short conversation you initiated!
5. Silly faces:
Having headshot photos with silly faces isn’t an option especially if these photos are intended for a business’s marketing efforts. However, just because it isn’t an option doesn’t mean that your clients can’t do it, right? On the contrary, making silly faces in front of the camera will help your clients relax and determine their best angles. Plus, this can also be an excellent icebreaker so the client will feel at ease in working with you. Having your client make silly faces for the first few frames can also serve as your lighting test. You’ll be able to determine which needs to be adjusted in order to come up with the best headshot photos!
6. Keep talking and always be positive:
Working with a client who has never been in a photo shoot before can be stressful. You’ll have to instruct them about what they should do and not do. As a professional photographer, like www.jaheadshots.com, you shouldn’t let your nerves get the best of you. Instead, you should reassure your client that he’s doing a good job and you’re getting excellent images from his efforts (even though you’re not). Silence can quickly kill the atmosphere, which can make the client become more conscious about his poses. This will only lengthen the duration of the photo shoot. So no matter what happens during the photo shoot, keep talking and be positive!
There are a lot of sources that can tell you how to take great headshots. You can find a handful of these sources from the Internet and from first-hand experiences of photographers. But regardless of the source you’re going to follow, you should always be patient with your attempts. You should also have the determination and perseverance because even if you followed an expert’s advice in taking headshot photos, success doesn’t come overnight.