We live in a digital world, more than ever it is vital to have a headshot that speaks for you. The challenge is finding what headshot photo style is best for you. Our headshot clients receive a questionnaire prior to coming into to studio so that we can prepare our lighting to best express the message our clients want to share. How we pose our headshot clients also depends on both our client's facial features and their profession.
In general, there are four types of headshot backgrounds that fit most people. High Key, Traditional, outdoors and occasionally Environmental
High Key: High key headshots are bright with a very light or pure white background, the
subject is well lit, usually with flat light. This type of headshot gives a more high energy, and friendly look and feel. Another advantage or high key images is that they lend themselves well to use in print ads and websites, as the pure white background can blend smoothly onto a white page or website background. High key headshots are also very popular for modeling and acting, these are often shot with a landscape orientation as opposed to the traditional portrait orientation. The message here is energetic, friendly, happy, approachable. Perfect for coaches, realtors, speakers.
Traditional: Traditional headshots are shot on a gray background, with a portrait orientation.
This type of headshot is ideal for professionals such as doctors, lawyers, managers, and other corporate types. The background can vary from light gray to almost black, which is best depends on skin tone, hair color and other factors with which we can help. Lighting can vary from flat light to very dramatic lighting. Posing for this headshot is very straight up and down, often with little or no smile. This type of headshot looks more serious and austere. If the message you want to give is that you are serious, no-nonsense professional, then this would be the headshot for you.
Outdoors: Don't limit yourself to studio headshots, we won't. Outdoor headshots can help
give you a more casual message, perhaps a professional that wants to look a bit more approachable, maybe a pediatrician. Outdoor headshots are also great for anyone in the health and fitness fields. Proper lighting is key to a good outdoor headshot. It is very easy to end up with a blown out background (where the sky looks completely white), or for the subject to come out darker, and just blends with the background. You want to retain the rich color of the greens and blues while making sure you have enough light on you to make you pop! The message here is that you are healthy, energetic and approachable.
Environmental: This is a headshot where the background is related to your work environment. In this example, our client is a counselor and psychologist. The background
helps deliver the message of a relaxed, safe, comfortable environment. A big, warm smile closes the deal. If it is important for your headshot to show what you do for a living, this is the type of headshot you should choose. Keep in mind that it is perhaps not as " "all-purpose" as a high-key or traditional headshot. You will need to make sure that you are wearing the attire or uniform that you use in the workplace to fully express your message.
The next question to answer is how close do you want your headshot? That answer to that will depend on several factors too. First, how do envision the headshot to be used? If it's a photo that is attached to your email signature block, then a three quarter or full body photo make it difficult or impossible to even see what you look like. On the other hand, if the photo is going on a full page ad, then a very close-up shot may show much more of your face than you want. Ideally when setting up a headshot session, you should ask about a session that includes at least three headshots. The basic headshot package we offer in Tyrone and Peachtree City GA, provides you three images, and a variety of looks to choose from. If you already have a branding look and feel, we will create some headshots that complement your existing marketing
The Close-up: Keep in mind that today, it is very likely that people will look at your
headshot on their smartphones or tablets, so having a close-up headshot really allows people to see your warm, friendly smile and say to themselves "That's someone I want to do business with!" This headshot can be a head and shoulders, or close enough to crop off the top of the head slightly. They work well when shot as landscape or square images. A close up looking directly into the camera delivers the message that you are confident, honest and connecting to the viewer.
The Three Quarter Headshot: This is the most traditional headshot. This has been a staple headshot photography since way back then when most headshots were used as
8x10 prints that would hang in an office somewhere. This type of headshot is shot with a portrait (vertical) orientation. This is perfect for any formal or corporate use. This headshot says, "I am a professional, and this is a professional headshot, you are dealing with a serious person that knows their stuff and take their work seriously as well." This is not an image that will stand out from the crowd, but if taken with a high-resolution camera, you will have plenty of pixels that allow you to crop it into a closer in, square format. If you are a professional, one of your headshots should definitely be a traditional three quarter. Light gray to almost black an ideal background color. You may want to try a color that fits with your website if you are planning to use your head for your online marketing. Avoid patterned backgrounds, as they look dated.
Half-Body Headshot: This is a great headshot. You don't see it very often, and that is what
makes it so great...it stands out just because it's a different crop. This is great when you want to stand out in a very competitive market, think real estate agent or life-coach. Again if taken in good light with a high-resolution camera, you can easily crop the image to a three-quarter headshot without any perceptible loss of detail or sharpness.
Full Body Headshot: This is a great headshot to show
powerful or confident pose. It is often used in fashion photography to show off both the model and clothes. Even if you are a little large, a good photographer can work wonders with posing and lighting. This headshot is great for print advertisement, where you know the size and distance at which it will be seen. A full body photo will not be the best choice for a linked-in profile that will be seen on a small smartphone screen most of the time. Are you a personal trainer, or model? Then a full body photo is a great one to have for your marketing and advertising!
Gobi Photography is located in Peachtree City and Tyrone Georgia. As a Tyrone and Peachtree City Photographers, we strive to deliver the very best headshots and photography in Fayette County, but the entire South Atlanta area (well all of Atlanta :)). If you need an image that delivers your story and your message, give us a call and we will work with you to get you headshots that reflect who you are and what you do.