When you go to a casting, many times you will see the walls lined with headshots of successful clients. It gives the room the ambiance of professionalism. As you wait to be called in for your audition, you peer around the room at all of the photos. They all look so perfect, so flawless. But what makes a good headshot? Well, there are 3 main ingredients: posing, lighting and retouching.
Some people naturally have the gift of posing. Those people are called models. Some people learned how to pose. These people are either named Paris Hilton or are avid watchers of “America’s Next Top Model”. Then there are the rest of us who have absolutely no idea what they are doing, which is why it’s great when you have a photographer who can tell you how to pose.
Taking direction from your photographer can improve your pictures dramatically. He or she knows what they are looking for and what they are looking at. They know what looks good so let them guide you to the right pose. It will most likely feel uncomfortable since the best poses are usually the most awkward but you have to trust them. They know what they are doing. While you’re at it you can pick up a few tips on what a good pose is and modify it to fit your personality for the next photo shoot.
Lighting is the reason why sometimes it’s better to have a professional do your headshots. Lighting is everything and if it’s not properly done you can come out looking either washed out, underexposed or shaded in areas that should be emphasized.
Photography studios usually have their own equipment or they rent the equipment from a lighting warehouse. Independent photographers usually rent their equipment also or they just choose to shoot outside and take advantage of the natural light provided by Mother Nature.
If you choose to shoot with a friend, outdoor pictures are the way to go. You’ll get interesting scenery and great lighting. If you go with an established photographer/studio, they will most likely have the lighting equipment that they will need so you can shoot either outdoors or indoors depending on the preference of the photographer.
Many of us have heard the term, airbrushing. It’s a term for applying makeup to a person by using a device that compresses air rendering the makeup into a fine mist. It’s also used to describe the practice of altering pictures with the use of a computer.
For instance, those magazine covers that you see are not real. That model is not that cut or that beautiful and their skin is not that flawless. If that model is a woman, she has been in the makeup chair for 2 hours to cover up any unsightly flaws. If it’s a man, he’s been touched up with makeup for about 20 minutes. (That’ right, ladies. Another instance when life isn’t fair.) After the pictures are taken, the photography assistants go to work.
They clear up uneven skin, they remove acne, they erase stretch marks and they tighten tummies. Yes, they can do that. If you don’t believe me, go to this website and roll your mouse over the pictures to see the before and after effects of retouching. It’s jaw dropping!