Good headshots keep it simple
I’m a bit of a foodie, and a big fan of Italian cookery. What appeals to me most about this style, aside from the sheer deliciousness of the dishes, is the simplicity. Great Italian dishes have only a handful of ingredients, cooked quickly and simply. The idea is to let the flavours sing, not to mess about with them too much. Such a principle has garnered worldwide acclaim, not to mention a few Michelin stars for some of the restaurants that adhere to these principles.
I have the same outlook when it comes to photography, and headshot photography in particular. Because a headshot is such a seemingly simple photograph, it’s easy to over think what is needed, and to over complicate the process. I’ve seen plenty of headshots where the lighting is the star of the show. Now, I’m a fan of expressive and beautiful lighting as much as anyone, but is it appropriate in this situation? I’d say no. A headshot has a particular job to do; that is, to put your face in front of the viewer. It’s supposed to be a realistic representation of you and what you actually look like.
Of course, it goes deeper than that. A good headshot (like all good portraits, whether they’re taken with a camera, painted, drawn or created using CGI) reveals something about the subject. It should give a glimpse into their personality. It should evoke a response in the viewer, hopefully along the lines of ‘I like them. They look nice/kind/honest/trustworthy/etc…..” After all, it’s designed to be a part of your business’s marketing toolkit. So it needs to be taken seriously, and done well. But not over thought.
I always keep lighting on my headshots simple, for the reason I’ve highlighted above. You, the person in front of the camera, are the star of the show. Not me and my ability to light shots. My skill comes in talking to you, posing you, getting you to relax and give me the expression we both want to capture. Your job is to turn up looking right, to have thought about the clothes you’ll wear, and the way you’ll wear your hair and make up. Between us, we’ll collaborate in creating the photo that gets across the best version of you.
If you or your business are thinking about getting new headshots, please get in touch. I’m happy to chat about the process, give advice on the ways to get best results and, of course, provide a quotation.