It’s a marketing tool for an actor, business owner, realtor, or anyone who wants to put a face to the name. Don't cut a corners.
Some call a headshot ones calling card. An ok looking headshot simply makes you look ok. Be seen as the pro you are, not someone who's just trying. How are you to be taken seriously? With a smartphone photo? A Facebook photo? Let go! Be willing to be vulnerable. Yes, you may not be a professional model who is used to a photographer hanging around for hours shooting every part of your body. Be willing to let go to the fact that this is not exposing your soul as much as you believe that. It's a moment (a session) to breathe deeply and not let the world get in the way of being who you are...an individual with a sense of inner wonder and power.
Points to consider when it comes to your headshot:
1. Use a professional who is trained, understands lighting, and not some friend who happens to have a decent camera who “knows a little about photography.” If the headshots look cheap, they probably are. And you look like you didn't care. You can have a great headshot taken by a professional photographer for as little as $95. You don't need to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
2. It’s not about looking amazing, it’s about representing your true self -that's what's amazing.
3. Eyes should be perfectly in focus, energized. A professional headshot photographer will bring this out in you.
4. Your headshot is best about chest-up or belt line up. It's different for women and men depending on the industry. Look directly into the camera.
5. Natural light vs. studio lighting. Both are wonderful. Outdoor headshots lend a sense or ease and casual feel but in studio headshots are just as good in relating the ease one may sense from an outdoor setting and looks a little polished.
6. Clothing should be classy (and clean)
, and maybe follow a recognized formula. Professional photos are more attentive to little things like matching the eyes to a shirt or blouse/sweater.
7. Makeup should be a highlight not the glamor look of a department store makeup aisle. Photoshop retouching is a great addition but don't expect the pro to make you look younger/slimmer/happier just because he/she is the pro. Your hair should be clean and tidy. Use spray or another product even if you never use it just for the shoot. So many things about the hair are exaggerated with lighting and tidy hair is a way to keep the focus on your face and eyes.
Don’t cut corners. You're just wasting your time and money.