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And you thought headshots were just for the corporate world

There is a myriad of uses for headshots, corporate, actors, musicians, models.  The list is only limited by your imagination. Photos for corporate profiles are what first come to mind. But there are many other professions that rely on headshots to screen candidates for positions, roles, temporary jobs, school applications, volunteer opportunities. We live in a highly visual world with the image often being the first introduction to a potential employee, candidate for an acting or modeling job, even potential friend. Although it is really not fair to judge a book by its cover perhaps with the exception of acting and modeling candidates, it is standard operating procedure in today’s society.

So, it is important for almost everyone to have a quality headshot. Even though every headshot should have impact and simplicity, there are many characteristics which can vary depending on the expected use of the headshot.  We will discuss some of the more popular categories.

The corporate headshot:  Even though corporate headshots are probably the most conservative type of headshot, there is definitely some variability based on the role and industry.  Clothing is the most variable element as apart from the face it takes up the most real estate in a headshot. That said, I can imagine a scenario where hair competes for a large portion of real estate. For example, the headshot of a CEO of a traditionally conservative industry should be conservative in dress, hair, and expression. On the other hand, managers and staff of more creative industries such as architecture or advertising are best served with a headshot that reflects the characteristics of their industry. The expressions also can vary from confident, competent, but not very approachable, i.e. a criminal trial lawyer, to confident and very approachable, i.e. a real estate agent. 

The actor’s headshot: Actors are creative by nature and their headshot should reflect this. The clothing and hair will be probably be more casual than in the corporate headshot.  But again, it should not detract from the primary focus, the face and expression.  An actor’s portfolio would contain a variety of headshots showing the expressions of different emotions. And actors should consider updating their headshots more frequently as different roles become available.

The model’s headshot: Models are also creative by nature.  Their headshots are usually much more stylized than either corporate or actor headshots. Of all the various types of headshots, a model’s headshots will become dated the quickest as fashion trends change often. The angle of the pose will often differ for the model’s headshot. These headshots often show a more extreme head angle than other headshots.  Again, they should reflect current fashion trends.  The makeup will be more intense, extreme, than in other types of headshots reflecting current trends.  But it is also important for a model to have a simple, straightforward, no makeup headshot as modeling agencies often require these.  An example of a photographer who handles well all these different types of headshots is Melissa Tremblay, a greater Detroit area photographer.  Check out her outstanding work.

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