What is a Headshot and How to Make Sure Yours is Perfect
Regardless of what line of work you are in, if you want to promote yourself, you really need to have a perfect headshot. Remember, a headshot isn’t just a pleasing photograph of you. It also serves as a tool that will make everyone remember you. So, in taking a headshot, make sure yours is perfect.
What is a Headshot?
A headshot is a photograph that is used by professionals in order to find work. It is basically just an image that shows your entire face, down to your shoulders. The aim of a taking a perfect headshot is to showcase a person, looking at their honest best. It realistically reveals the appearance of a person for reasons of branding, showcasing one’s looks and skills or simply for casting.
The Common Uses of a Headshot
A headshot has plenty of uses. Here are some of the common areas and industries where a headshot is greatly required:
- Entertainment Industry Headshots
In the entertainment industry, actors, singers and other entertainers are often asked to submit a headshot, along with a resume, when applying for work. These headshots often appear to be more artistic to give the potential employer an idea of the performer’s range of expressions and appearances.
Actors commonly prepare more than one headshot, especially when auditioning for different roles, but usually this image’s sole purpose is for identification only. Though they may have lots of headshots, these only differ in attire and expressions.
- Modeling Industry Headshots
A modeling headshot is often referred to as a tear sheet. It consists of the model’s name, statistics, work experience and compilation of photos. This is used by models for modeling work applications and castings.
In most cases, the headshots that are being used in the modeling industry are professionally retouched. This is to ensure that their close-up beauty photos appear perfect and flawless.
- Corporate Head Shots
Unlike the first two headshots, a corporate headshot is usually produced digitally for social media or other industry specialty sites. These headshots serve various purposes, including About Us Pages, résumés, brochures, press releases, articles, company publications, newspapers, author’s pages, annual reports and social media profiles.
In taking the perfect headshot, simply follow these simple tips:
1. Give emphasis to the eyes.
As they say, “The eyes are the windows of the soul”, hence, nothing is more important than having a photo that focuses on the sharpness of your eyes. By capturing the eyes in a powerful way, you will more or less draw more attention to the photo. This will establish a strong connection between you and your client.
2. Be careful on your angles.
Keep in mind that close-up angles will have an effect on the overall look and feel of your image. For ladies, it would be great if the eyes appear larger and the face appears gentler. This can be achieved by taking photos on a downward angle. For the gents, strength and achievement can be emphasized by just shooting at a slightly upward angle.
3. Look natural.
People are very much particular with the sincerity of a photo. Whenever they notice that a shot appears unnatural and forced, it will weaken the purpose of having a headshot. So, in order to look natural, you need to be comfortable with the people you are working with.
If you are taking photos in a studio, a relaxed and peaceful environment would be of great help. The attitude of the photographer will also play a vital role. The way they set up the equipment will have an effect on how you would feel in facing the camera. Whether you are an amateur model or a camera-shy person, as long as you choose a great headshot photographer, you will always look natural and carefree on your photo.
4. Watch your facial expressions.
It is of utmost importance to consider your facial expression in having a headshot taken. It has to match the purpose of the headshot. However, you don’t really have to worry about this aspect. It is the responsibility of the photographer to pull out the best in you.
Sometimes, they will engage you in conversations or crack out a joke to reveal your most natural smile. Remember, only you can set your mood and personality during the shoot, but it takes a great photographer to help you spot the best in you and capture it.
With the use of amateur techniques and equipment, achieving all of this can be really difficult. So, if you have no confidence in your skills in this area, then get some professional help or even those of friends with some know how. Keep in mind that while creating the perfect headshot may sound simple enough, the small details do matter and you have to make sure you get things right.
What is a Headshot and How to Make Sure Yours is Perfect by Holly Bissonnette