Headshots come in many flavors, from clean and commercial to more nuanced, moody affairs. Different kinds of clients need different kinds of headshots. An actor or model’s needs are very different from those of a Realtor or executive. Sometimes you need to create a variety of looks for the same client, especially actors and models.
Headshots are becoming higher in demand with the rise of social media. In the age of startups, more and more people need to have a professional photo that represents them and their brand. If you’re not taking advantage of this exploding market in photography, I highly suggest you start. There are five steps to creating easy headshots that I implement in every single session that comes through my door at www.nj-headshots.com. Whether or not you have a studio, you can take these are steps to create the best possible headshot for every client.
When you think about creating a black-and-white photo, ask yourself, why black and white? Some clients simply want it for a particular marketing look or just for the love of black and white. Either way, you should know why you’re shooting in this style. In this article, I focus on a recent black-and-white project I did for a commercial client.
My first paying gig as a photographer was shooting headshots of doctors at a medical convention, packed into a tiny corner of a trade show booth. Back then I didn’t quite understand the impact that type of situation would have on my methods of lighting. Every technique I developed over the next decade was based around learning to shoot a great, professional portrait quickly and in just about any location. I’ve since refined the process, and have found that most of my lighting for high-volume headshots can be categorized into three main techniques.
When I first picked up a camera, I had no idea I was going to use it to photograph powerful CEOs, fly on their private jets to where they wanted me to photograph huge business deals and find myself almost too busy in my studio. If you’re starting off in weddings, it can seem like a pretty big leap to jump into a new genre of photography. A lot of people think it requires a completely different method of marketing, but it doesn’t.
As a wedding photographer, I envy portrait shooters who work inside a studio and not on location. They get as much time as they need to set up the perfect lighting and settings, and do everything else that goes into a studio photograph.
When I moved from photographing mostly weddings to doing what I do now—mainly headshots, portraits and fashion—I hit a learning curve. Trying to figure out on my own how to control light in a studio was very different from shooting on location.