In this first example, Scott is showing off a few do's and don'ts in headshot land. Here are a few things that you may not have noticed, but make a BIG impact on the image.
1. He looks bored, blank and "out to lunch." There is simply no life in his mouth or his eyes. His face is totally flat, showing no emotion or expression. In fact, if his eyes were any wider, he would look like a deer in headlights. I actively coach my clients into engaging and authentic expressions.
2. Did you notice that his shirt is wrinkled? Doesn't it look more polished if it were smooth?
3. Sometimes clients love the look of a certain tie, shirt and jacket combination. That doesn't mean that it photographs well. Depending on the purpose(s) of the image(s), it may be perfectly acceptable to be seen without a tie at all. In this case, I had Scott change things up a bit. He looks more relaxed and less stuffy. However, he still looks professional, polished and confident!
4. From a technical standpoint, a good image will be taken from the proper camera height. In the before image, the camera height isn't awful, but you can clearly see the impact made when I dropped the camera height a touch. Doesn't he look more powerful? Can you see yourself looking like that? Don't you deserve to be shown in that way?
5. Also from a technical standpoint, proper exposure is important as well. I craft my light around my clients. As such, tweaks are always needed to get things just right. In the first image, Scott looks darker because he simply needed a little more light on him.
Here, Jay is showing us how to go from zero to hero! Let's take a deeper dive into what sets these two images apart.
1. In the first image, Jay isn't really interacting with the viewer. That lack of interaction shows us a lifeless expression and lack of interest. If he looks disinterested, it's a good chance that the viewer will be disinterested as well.
2. I am a stickler for clothing. I believe that it is my responsibility to make sure my clients are presenting themselves in the best light. I have a vested interest in my clients' success. Style is super important, and if the clothing doesn't send the right message, the impact of the image is diluted. As you can see in the image on the left, Jay is wearing a boring grey button-down shirt. Yet, with a few tweaks, the style is elevated infinitely. We layered a sweater-jacket over a grey henley shirt. Pretty cool look!
3. Did you notice that gap in the collar in the "before" image? It's on the left side of the image, right next to his neck. (We call that camera left). This may seem like a minor detail, but it's all about presenting yourself in a polished, professional manner. Whether you are an actor, entrepreneur, doctor or other professional, presentation is everything. I always have a keen eye on the details, because I believe they can make or break an image.
4. Every person has a "good side." This is the side of your face you prefer to be photographed on, or for people to see more of. Some people may look good on both sides. We call those folks "ambi-facial." Jay was not ambi-facial. Despite being an exceptionally good looking guy, he clearly looked better on the left side of his face. When I find a side of the face that works really well, I tend to exploit it because I know that the images will look much better than if I kept shooting his opposite side. The first image shows Jay straight on. It probably won't captivate too many people. It just doesn't have the same oomph that the other image does. From the moment we meet, I begin studying your facial features, figuring out which is your side, and which features need to be showcased.
In this third example, Amanda is staring through the camera, but not really interacting WITH the camera. In other words, the viewer won't feel as much engagement from her. They won't feel her personality or energy.
1. I cropped in on Amanda, because I want her eyes above the center line of the image. I also want her face and expression to be the center of attention.
2. I am particular about hair and styling. There are always occasions where ladies prefer more complicated hair styles. However, these tend to be distracting. For this reason, I tend to prefer long hair to be down or in a simple pony tail.
3. Quite often, ladies with long hair tend to do a hair wrap, as Amanda is demonstrating in the "before" image. I am not a fan of this move. It kills any degree of symmetry, and makes the side of her head appear heavier than it is. Plus, it lends itself to an unpolished look.
4. No doubt you noticed that my lighting is different from male to female. The reason for this is simple. Guys have facial features that lend themselves to a little shadowing. Plus, I have never met a woman who has asked me to make wrinkles or dimples appear deeper than they are. For that reason, I shed as much light as I can on ladies.
In this example, Jed is showing off the difference between a mug-shot and owning the camera. As an actor, his job is to show off a character infused with his own personality. That's a tough job, but it's even tougher if he doesn't have any personality.
1. In the "before" image, Jed's personality is non-existent. In fact, after this image was taken, I informed him that if he should ever find himself on the wrong side of the law, to feel free to use this image as his mug shot. It is completely devoid of personality, character or emotion. The cornerstone of my work centers around showing emotion and character, mixed with confidence.
2. The "before" image comes as close to "deer in headlights" as possible. His eyes aren't engaged, he appears disinterested and disengaged. It isn't warm, inviting or shows any degree of confidence. However, in the "After" image, Jed takes things up a few notches. He doesn't look miserable, and he's connecting with the viewer. THAT is the point. Connecting with the audience is not only Jed's profession, but is a skill which helps to keep their attention for a longer period of time. A captivating headshot will do just that: keep the attention of the viewer. From a psychological and marketing standpoint, that's exactly what we want.
3. Check out that jawline! Sure, Jed is a relatively thin fellow, and his jawline will appear more prominent than on someone a bit bigger. However, the "before" image doesn't show as strong a jawline as the "after" image. A strong jawline is simply more attractive to the camera AND to the human eye. Regardless of size or weight, we can achieve a stronger jawline and increase your look-ability factor.