How to nail the perfect headshot shoot

May 19, 2016

One of the most exciting things about being a headshot photographer is not knowing who is going to walk through my door day-to-day. Its always fascinating meeting and getting to know new people and have always been intrigued by the way people socially interact and deal with their emotions. 

 

Having your headshot taken is a nerve-wracking experience, even if you are a seasoned pro, there is still an element of 'butterflies' that comes with it. But this nervous energy is not always a bad thing, it can heighten you slightly and give you an edge you otherwise wouldn't have.

 

There are many factors that contribute toward having a successful shoot, and also ensuring the photos you capture are right. 

 

Case study

 

Vicky Longley came for a shoot in April, turned up with a great energy, walking in in full of life with a nice confidence, but also very laid back. I love it when people come in and can make themselves at home in the studio, this is what she did. 

 

The energy when you walk into your shoot needs to be the same as you would go into an audition. We both know it can be scary having your headshots done, but if you shut down and turn into a mouse, it's going to be hard to get any shots with energy in them. The top tip I give people is walk in with confidence and trust in your photographer, it will set you off on the right foot. 

 

It soon became evident over a cup of tea that Vicky knew exactly what her casting was... "I'm the young bitch, or tart, Essex bird but also (without sounding big headed) the pretty girl, but the one that is a bit two faced maybe?. I'm not period, I'm much more comfortable in contemporary..." and all this was a relieve to hear. She could have easily said she was the pretty lead or girl next door and it would have never led us down the same route for our shoot. 

 

  

It's hard sometimes to accept your casting, or what you play naturally, Vicky's personality was in no way bitchy or seemed two faced, but had come to a realisation that she was getting typecast as that, and was happy in that bracket - "they're the more exciting parts anyway" she said. It's not to say she couldn't play other parts, but had made a strategic decision to push that side of her casting. 

 

 

The wardrobe Vicky brought with her was great. A real mixed bag that gave me a load to choose from, but more importantly, she'd made a list of outfits and they were all linked to the castings we had previously discussed... Denim jacket for younger modern girl, red sassy top for something a bit more tart etc and some good jackets too.

 

 A great portfolio of shots resulted. Mixed looks all relating back to a great, thought out casting range.

 

Summary

 

Being photogenic lies in a confidence. All the best client I have photographed have come with preperation and planning mixed with some confidence on camera, and the ability to take direction easily, and then play with it.

 

The best thing to do is try to leave your ego and self critisism at the door and place yourself in the position of the casting director viewing your headshot, communicate with your photographer and get some killer headshots!

 

 

 

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