How To Take Better Headshots
Being asked to take people's headshots can be intimidating! It’s sometimes awkward to work with just one person. Couples are easy, because they can pose using each other. Working with families might be a little easier- because you don’t really pose a lot with kids running around.
Working with just one person might feel uncomfortable at first. So how do you make your subject feel better working with you?
Watch me explain how I did this quick 15 minute headshot session with Jessica at the beach, with only natural light.
Get a headshot lens. My preferred lens is my 85 1.8 for Nikon. It’s the perfect lens that lets you not be as close to your subject, but also letting you direct them. The background gets really buttery too!
Find good textures for the background with even shade. Don’t be shooting into the sun! Squinty eyes are not flattering on anybody. Parking garages are some of my favorite simple textures that aren’t too busy, but neutral- plus great natural lighting.
Change your angle- have them against the wall flat and look to the side. Or shoot down on them or across. That way you can get a variety of images in a short about of time.
Change their expression. It’s okay not have them smile for every image. Make they laugh and keep shooting to see what expression unfolds naturally.
Have their hands go somewhere. Awkward hands are so… awkward! Have them put them in their pockets, or against their face. For men, I have them hold their jacket or lean against a wall.
Be patient- usually my best shots come after the first 10 minutes. The person might feel uncomfortable working with you at first. It’s okay to not “get” the image you want until the end- it takes time for the person to open up to you!
A good headshot is one that is comfortable, casual and natural. So keep shooting!
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