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The ABC’s of Headshots – Part 1

Your Headshot is your business card. It is the first step in marketing you! Whether for business, publicity or theatre auditions,

Your face is your tool for all your self-promotion – websites, social media influencers, author portraits, casting profiles, real estate postcards, business cards, playbills, etc. Your headshot is your brand. You are pitching yourself, and your headshot is the image that best represents that. This kind of branding is key, so how do you get a good headshot?

Why You Need a Professional Photographer

In today’s digital age, everyone can take a picture, and some folks might even call themselves photographers. So what sets a professional notches above Joe Average with a cell phone? A lot!

Most professional photographers have been through a college degree program or apprenticed with a studio photographer. The knowledge, technical expertise, and visual acuity that professionals have acquired are a sought-after commodity. Sure, you can watch some Youtube videos and get some tech information, but there are many tricks of the trade that are not given away in a 10-minute video online.

Mostly, I would tell you it is about “seeing.” Pros have a trained eye – each with their own unique style – in visual storytelling. This is so important when it comes to a good portrait or headshot. It's also about giving you the space to be yourself - helping you to feel comfortable and confident.

When I’m shooting, I want to make everyone look stunning – bring out their inner and outer beauty. But that, of course, is based on what I see when you are in front of my lens, and how I can bring out your features with strategic lighting and angles. And, bring out your personality – fun or serious – when we are shooting together. Or, we might stage something unique altogether!

How to Find the Right Photographer for You

A good photographer is not necessarily a good headshot photographer. Headshot photography is all about capturing your essence and expression – which your best friend the landscape photographer is not experienced at. Keep in mind that the quality of your headshot reflects directly on your professionalism. Headshot photographers are easy to find, but finding the right headshot photographer is another story. It’s all about finding a good match.

Do your research. Look at photographers’ websites, ask for referrals from friends and colleagues. When you find a potential photographer, talk with them and make sure you have the same vision for the final product. Some question to ask in your initial conversation would be:

1. What do you charge?

2. How many shots do I get?

3. Are they all retouched or is that extra?

4. What should I wear?

5. How should I do my make-up or do they recommend a make-up artist?

More tips in part 2 !



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