Most people have a bit of anxiety over having their picture taken. We all have those horrendous drivers license and passport photos. I bet even Kim Kardashian has a couple. The camera can be cruel, but it can also be your friend. Bad lighting, bad hair, photographer not giving you time to put on your game day face, all these contribute to a photo you really wish you didn’t have to live with for the 4 years before you get a new drivers license. But getting your headshot taken doesn’t have to be a bad experience or result in a suboptimal product. It’s important for the photographer to be skilled in making you feel comfortable and confident in your appearance as well as skilled in all the technical aspects of what makes not only a good headshot but an outstanding one. I plan on discussing all the elements of a great headshot in the post and future posts. In this one, I will focus on the essential element, a great expression that shows the best you.
How do we capture a genuine expression that conveys what you want to be recognized for to employers, casting agents, etc. First of all you have to be confident, feel good about your hair and makeup/grooming, that you made the right clothing choices for your shoot. The photographer will help you with all these choices. They know what may look good (an attention getter) in three dimensions in a crowded room, may not look particularly good in two dimensions on a web page. Their experience, attention to detail, and good aesthetics equip them to guide you in your choices. Simple is best. The focus should be on your face and personality.
The second ingredient is a relaxed you. This may happen immediately or may take a bit of time. A skilled headshot photographer is part therapist. They know how to build your confidence, put you in a good fun mood. The ability to shoot tethered gives you immediate feedback and reinforces when you are knocking it out of the park. And the experience should really be fun!
And last but not least it is important to have a photographer who is genuinely interested in you and making you look your very best. Stay tuned for additional posts on the other ingredients for a smashing headshot. I spoke recently with Karaminder Ghuman recently on this topic and he confirmed that it really echoed his experience.
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