Whether you are a professional adding images to your portfolio, an amateur taking family photos for your Christmas cards, or you are just trying to take the perfect selfie for your Instagram account, it’s good to know the tricks to taking the perfect headshot. Follow these tips to help you achieve the perfect headshot for any occasion.
We talk a lot about lighting when discussing all other types of photography shots. Headshots are no exception. When trying to capture the most flattering headshot, lighting is everything. It affects the glare on eyeglass, and the shadows and highlights that can add or take away facial and neck qualities. To achieve a blemish-free, perfect skin on your subject, use diffused lighting. This will gently wrap around the skin while bringing definition to the skin. Beachcamer.com has the perfect Universal Flash Diffuser to help you.
To add depth to the shot and pull the top of the head out of the background, try using the sun or your flash to add hair-light to your headshots. Add a slight glow to the hair by placing it above or behind the subject.
You’ll want to use a lens that will slim your subject’s face and compress the image. To achieve this, you will need at least a 90mm or above. A lens with a large aperture is also a must. That doesn’t mean you can’t shoot a great headshot with your Sony Xperia smartphone from Beachcamera.com though. Today’s smartphones have these apertures.
You’ll also want to avoid using a wide-angle lens when taking headshots as well. This type of lens will amplify imperfections and make your subject appear unrealistic.
Unless you are taking passport photos for someone, you need to try to add some design details to your background that will allow your headshot to pop. If there is a crowd or a busy background that would distract from your subject, try blurring the background with a telephoto lens.
Prevent mug shot looking headshots by avoiding symmetry in the subject’s stance. Have your subject stand or sit with shoulders one in front and one turned to the back rather than aligned. If you photograph the subject from a low angle, they will appear taller, stronger and more powerful.
Take the shot from above for opposite results. Shooting down will also make the eyes appear larger and the face more delicate. Always remember that most people have a good side, so semi-profiles are an option as well. If you choose to do this, make sure that the direction in which your subject is looking has more space than the other side.
The most important element of a perfect headshot is the expression on the subject’s face. It is important that it matches the purpose of the photograph. You may have to get very creative to achieve this final element. It’s your job to pull out the most natural looks by delivering compelling, complimentary conversation, asking serious questions to acquire a thoughtful gaze, or making jokes to capture a natural smile. At the same time you are doing all of this, you must continue to keep your focus on the subject’s eyes because nothing is more important than capturing the eyes in a way that will draw the viewer into the photo. After all, the eyes are said to be the window to the soul.
So there you have it, some simple and effective ways to make those headshots look great no matter the occasion.