This thread was locked on 2009-10-19 11:41:48
Forums > General Industry > All about Headshots

Photographer

Emeritus

Posts: 21949

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

.

Jan 08 09 11:47 am Link

Photographer

Emeritus

Posts: 21949

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

double post.  Sorry.

Jan 08 09 11:48 am Link

Photographer

Emeritus

Posts: 21949

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

.

Jan 08 09 11:56 am Link

Photographer

Emeritus

Posts: 21949

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Had some trouble with the images not appearing.  I think it's fixed now.

Jan 08 09 11:57 am Link

Model

Elizabeth Claret

Posts: 56038

Yelm, Washington, US

Your images. They are broked.

Jan 08 09 12:06 pm Link

Photographer

4C 41 42

Posts: 11093

Nashville, Tennessee, US

Thanks TX.  I've always wondered what makes a headshot a "commercial" headshot.

It is amazing how many model's portfolios leave you with no idea exactly what to expect when the model shows up.

Jan 08 09 12:45 pm Link

Photographer

Markcomp

Posts: 40517

Royal Oak, Michigan, US

Interesting.  Why would anyone have thought that a headshot is anything other than how it sounds unless told otherwise?  Thanks.

Jan 08 09 12:47 pm Link

Model

Rachel Jay

Posts: 20357

Northbrook, Illinois, US

Thank you!! smile

ETA: I'm going to add this to my n00b post, along with a couple other posts.

Jan 08 09 12:51 pm Link

Photographer

Robert Randall

Posts: 13842

Chicago, Illinois, US

Hey TX, thank you very much for all the effort you put into this thread. I am going to book mark it and show it to the few people that I periodically do shoot head shots for. While it may seem lame, I've never really paid all that much attention to what a good head shot is supposed to look like. Maybe now all those friends I have that want me to do them will actually use the pictures I produce.

Jan 08 09 12:51 pm Link

Photographer

Michael Bates

Posts: 1551

Austin, Texas, US

Thank you for such an insightful and educational piece! Kudos to you - for taking a "lot" of your time/effort and for presenting such a well-written article.

Michael

Jan 08 09 12:58 pm Link

Photographer

PYPI FASHION

Posts: 36332

San Francisco, California, US

Thanks Roger. Lots of good info in here.

Jan 08 09 01:01 pm Link

Model

ImNoOne

Posts: 1422

Abbeville, Alabama, US

This has a lot of good information. I think anyone who's trying to break into acting should read it prior to getting their headshots done.

Jan 08 09 01:24 pm Link

Photographer

deek images

Posts: 2303

Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

This is such a fantastic, informative post.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write and post it.

I'm sure this will be an invaluable reference point for a lot of people.

Jan 08 09 01:33 pm Link

Photographer

Daniel Norton

Posts: 1745

New York, New York, US

Very good information, it's amazing how many people offer headshots and have no idea what it really takes to make a marketable one.

-Daniel

Jan 08 09 01:34 pm Link

Photographer

Philipe

Posts: 5255

Pomona, California, US

Backstage/Backstage west magazine west have a ton of photographers (in the want ads) that do just head shots.. There are so many, there a dime a dozen and many offering retouching and your cd and yes sometimes prints, the same day.. All for a good price

Jan 08 09 01:35 pm Link

Photographer

Nadirah B

Posts: 28521

Los Angeles, California, US

Posted on my profile! I'm glad you were able to sit down and put this together. It spells out what Headshots REALLY are.

Jan 08 09 01:50 pm Link

Photographer

CLT

Posts: 12979

Winchester, Virginia, US

Thanks for the post.

Will link from the newbie survival guide.

Jan 08 09 01:55 pm Link

Photographer

KIRKPATRICK MEDIA

Posts: 47

Suwanee, Georgia, US

Thanks for writing this article! I have gotten four referrals for headshots to shoot next week 2 for actors and the others for fashion. I want to make sure that the final products meet their needs.

This helps!

Jan 08 09 01:55 pm Link

Photographer

Gregg Zaun

Posts: 1084

San Diego, California, US

Thanks for taking the time to post this.  For someone like me who is still new to model photography it really helps get to the guts of what should be done.  Thanks.

Jan 08 09 01:57 pm Link

Photographer

Kelly Watkins

Posts: 4144

San Diego, California, US

Thank you so much Roger!

*bookmarked*

Jan 08 09 02:09 pm Link

Photographer

CLT

Posts: 12979

Winchester, Virginia, US

Generally speaking, for "mainstream commercial" headshots, would outdoor location shots more appealing than a plain studio setup?

Jan 08 09 02:37 pm Link

Photographer

Lumigraphics

Posts: 32751

Detroit, Michigan, US

Thanks for your time and effort, Roger. Posts like this are what make MM useful to those of us trying to better our product.

Jan 08 09 02:48 pm Link

Model

V I C T O R I A

Posts: 13980

Los Angeles, California, US

YAY Thank you for this post Roger! And for the pictures smile

Jan 08 09 02:50 pm Link

Photographer

Emeritus

Posts: 21949

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

CLT wrote:
Generally speaking, for "mainstream commercial" headshots, would outdoor location shots more appealing than a plain studio setup?

Mostly the shots I see are shot in studio, but there is no rule requiring it.  I just think it's easier for the photographers to bring all the elements together . . . and some of them hardly change their setup from one person to the next.

Jan 08 09 04:35 pm Link

Photographer

Robert Neil

Posts: 455

Torrance, California, US

Great post, thanks for all your time and effort here.

Jan 08 09 07:46 pm Link

Photographer

Bruce Talbot

Posts: 3850

Los Angeles, California, US

*peeks ova the OP's shoulders for those elusive beauty shots*


:: blink blink ::


bt

Jan 09 09 04:15 pm Link

Photographer

MWNudes

Posts: 7232

Kansas City, Missouri, US

Wow, awesome post, Roger. Thanks so much for taking the time. And I agree with usually wondering what the models "really" look like. I mean, it's nice to sometimes just see a clean slate, and let our imaginations work it out.

And I'm definitely going to re-read, as Id love to really learn how to take a great head shot.

Jan 09 09 04:43 pm Link

Model

Christy in LA

Posts: 263

Los Angeles, California, US

I look different everyday !

Jan 09 09 04:45 pm Link

Photographer

Gibson Photo Art

Posts: 7990

Phoenix, Arizona, US

OK. I'm seeing a trend with the headshots from the site you provided TX.

My observations in no particular order:
-All the shots were very evenly lit. Even the backgrounds were well exposed.
-dof was fairly shallow on nearly all the ones I looked at. Nothing extreme though.
-Bright eyes and faces always.
-Pleasant smiling faces and eyes.
-Great eye contact with the camera
-Strong use of thirds
-Nothing overtly sexual
-Cropping is tight without appears constricted
-Wardrobe is often business like

I see more, but I'm running out of time. Meeting to go to.

Your thoughts TX? What am I missing?

Jan 09 09 04:47 pm Link

Photographer

MWNudes

Posts: 7232

Kansas City, Missouri, US

Christy in LA  wrote:
I look different everyday !

If you have a major change, such as hair color (some people do it a lot) or length, or plastic surgery, you should update accordingly. I have a friend who is an stage actress, and she gets updated head shots once a month so that she represents herself as accurately as possible.

But I highly doubt you look completely different every day. But just in case you wake tomorrow as a 4 ' 11" black male, would you kindly post on this thread and let us know? big_smile

Jan 09 09 04:50 pm Link

Photographer

Gibson Photo Art

Posts: 7990

Phoenix, Arizona, US

Also I see that most of these headshots appear to be actors. I wonder how this translates to the modeling world though. Wouldn't fashion magazines have more of a look that modeling agencies are looking for?

Jan 09 09 04:54 pm Link

Photographer

CDP Photo

Posts: 2149

Brooklyn, New York, US

Probably 95 percent of the "wanna be" models on this site are not going to listen to headshot advice.

Serious actors know and obsess about a great headshot, they scrimp and save to pay top headshot photographers.

Actor headshots and model headshots will be different but both should have them. Any photograph that is phot-shopped to death untill you look like a cartoon is not a headshot.

Jan 09 09 05:09 pm Link

Photographer

Lumigraphics

Posts: 32751

Detroit, Michigan, US

One thing I would love to see, TX, is a short critique of some of the shots that didn't make the cut. Just a quick- "This picture is good for XYZ except it has problem ABC." I'd like to know what my examples were lacking (not that I'm surprised, I never had someone tell me what I needed to do for good headshots.)

Jan 09 09 05:10 pm Link

Photographer

CDP Photo

Posts: 2149

Brooklyn, New York, US

Gibson Photo Art wrote:
Also I see that most of these headshots appear to be actors. I wonder how this translates to the modeling world though. Wouldn't fashion magazines have more of a look that modeling agencies are looking for?

I believe modeling agencies prefer plain Polaroid shots to anything else (yes, I know Polaroid stopped making film) because they are not manipulated.

Jan 09 09 05:12 pm Link

Photographer

Gibson Photo Art

Posts: 7990

Phoenix, Arizona, US

CDP Photo wrote:
Probably 95 percent of the "wanna be" models on this site are not going to listen to headshot advice.

Serious actors know and obsess about a great headshot, they scrimp and save to pay top headshot photographers.

Actor headshots and model headshots will be different but both should have them. Any photograph that is phot-shopped to death untill you look like a cartoon is not a headshot.

Dude. You realize there is a bunch of Photoshop going into those images. You can't get that kinda color right out of a camera from my experience. The thing is it's very good Photoshop work.

Jan 09 09 05:12 pm Link

Photographer

Kelly Watkins

Posts: 4144

San Diego, California, US

Lumigraphics wrote:
One thing I would love to see, TX, is a short critique of some of the shots that didn't make the cut. Just a quick- "This picture is good for XYZ except it has problem ABC." I'd like to know what my examples were lacking (not that I'm surprised, I never had someone tell me what I needed to do for good headshots.)

I think it would be great if people did as Roger suggested, and that is to post your shots that didn't make it on this thread, and offer a self-critique based on the information Roger gave us.

I would. But I'm kinda scared to. Ha Ha!

Jan 09 09 05:16 pm Link

Photographer

Gibson Photo Art

Posts: 7990

Phoenix, Arizona, US

Kelly Watkins wrote:

I think it would be great if people did as Roger suggested, and that is to post your shots that didn't make it on this thread, and offer a self-critique based on the information Roger gave us.

I would. But I'm kinda scared to. Ha Ha!

Chicken! bak bak bakgaaaaaw. smile

I think I see what I would need to do to match. I may go out there and see about that. Adding that to my bag would be nice.

Jan 09 09 05:19 pm Link

Photographer

John David Studio

Posts: 1724

Fort Myers, Florida, US

Thank you for this great article.  I learned a few things from this and will modify  my technique to accomdate these suggestions. I fully agree that most models on this site need to focus much more on headshots.  I express this to nearly every model that I shoot and it has paid off for nearly all of them.

Jan 09 09 05:20 pm Link

Photographer

CDP Photo

Posts: 2149

Brooklyn, New York, US

Gibson Photo Art wrote:

Dude. You realize there is a bunch of Photoshop going into those images. You can't get that kinda color right out of a camera from my experience. The thing is it's very good Photoshop work.

Sure, actor headshots were always B/W, even then lots of good darkroom work. Since digital color has become the style and the photoshop shows even when it's really good. Nothing wrong with looking your best but there should be some level of honesty to the portrait. Directors and casting people are not going to be happy meeting people who don't look like their pictures.

Jan 09 09 05:27 pm Link

Photographer

Bruce Talbot

Posts: 3850

Los Angeles, California, US

Gibson Photo Art wrote:
Also I see that most of these headshots appear to be actors.

I see mostly models with the type of head shot models should have, yet don't.

Gibson Photo Art wrote:
I wonder how this translates to the modeling world though.

No translation needed. This is what agencies need to represent their talent effectively. Taken to bare bones, the head shot will be a Polaroid or its digital equivalent.

Gibson Photo Art wrote:
Wouldn't fashion magazines have more of a look that modeling agencies are looking for?

That places the cart in front of the unicorn. 

Fashion magazines are the destination. When required, models are akin to a raw natural resource that yields those beautiful images after being directed, styled, photographed, edited, retouched, incorporated into layouts, and then published.

bt

Jan 09 09 05:39 pm Link