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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.