Making any photograph look great is a task that is far more artistic than most people realize if they have never attempted serious photography. And within this, there are very few elements of photography more exact and artistic than headshots. Capturing the perfect headshot depends on a number of different factors that have to be precisely organized in advance. And of course, the perfect headshot can be nothing short of stunning, capturing all of a person’s best features in a single photo. With that in mind, here are a few specific tips for taking the perfect headshot.
Eyes Come First
When you’re arranging a headshot, you should always keep in mind that the eyes will end up being the primary focus of the photo. No matter how attractive or noticeable a person’s other features are, the eyes naturally draw the most attention in a headshot, which means you should focus on making them appear as clear and noticeable as possible. This can be done in a number of ways with regard to positioning and lighting. Additionally, if he or she typically wears glasses, consider persuading the subject of your photo to wear contact lenses so as to avoid glare and allow the eyes to show off a bit more.
Avoid Showing Blemishes
To some extent, facial blemishes can be disguised or hidden by the use of makeup and other strategic elements. Indeed, this is something you may want to discuss with the subject of your photo in advance. However, you can also do your part to hide facial blemishes by way of lighting and angles. Clearly, if your photo is taken from a profile or even partial profile standpoint, you will want to focus more on the clearer side of the face. Additionally, however, you may want to consider making use of diffused light, which can properly illuminate facial lines and angles without shining bright light on the entire face and showing blemishes.
Capture The Right Expression
Many people falsely believe that a photographer’s job is entirely about directing lighting and choosing the right lens. However, particularly when it comes to headshots, it is also your job to extract the proper expressions from your subject. Be sure to find out in advance what the purpose of the headshot is. For example, is it going to be used in some manner of professional profile or website? Is it going to be placed on an invitation or party program? Depending on the purpose of the headshot, you can determine what sort of expression and attitude is needed. It will then be your job to achieve this expression, not merely by asking the subject to smile, or keep a straight face, but by directing conversation in a way that naturally brings out the right look. This is perhaps the most important factor in a good headshot.