How to Choose the Perfect Headshot Photographer

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A Headshot is a must have in our modern world. A good shot can be the difference between landing that dream job or getting that first date! With the internet being the initial go-to for everything we require, there are many reasons why a headshot needs to be truly representative of who we are either personally or professionally, it really is the new way to give a first impression. So how do we make sure we get it right? It’s all about the right photographer for your purpose and making that choice can be more than confusing, but we at Vanity Studios can of course can help guide you through the muddy waters of headshot photography!

Before you start looking, there are three things that you to need to establish;

1, What is the purpose of your headshot?

Are you an actor? A model? Is your shot for your company website or the launch of a new project? These are all things that will determine the overall style and look of the image.

2, What impression would you like to give?

Do you need to show versatility as a performer? Are you a practitioner that needs to look friendly, approachable and informal or should you appear astute and professional? Is this a shot for personal use that needs to illustrate as much of your personality as you can capture? These are the questions that will affect the poses and direction of your shoot.

3, What style represents you and your work/ personal image?

A huge aspect of this is your chosen wardrobe. At Vanity Studios we always ask clients about their outfit changes. Choice of wardrobe will of course affect the hair and makeup and the style of your shoot can vary massively depending on how you would like to be represented. Simple and classic, bold and colourful, hard or soft light. These small alterations can give completely opposing impressions.

Once you have identified what you want out of your headshot, the rest is about feeling at ease in a friendly and professional environment, where you will receive plenty of direction and a great number of shots to choose from. This is why you should ask all your questions and get a great idea of who you are booking with before your session.

The Differences

Actors Headshots have a very distinct look that appeals to casting directors and agents, if you are looking to refresh your headshots, the main thing to note is that you will need to show your range of both looks and character. Gone are the days of the soft focus, black and white headshot that is carefully taken from your best angle. Today agents and casting professionals alike want the truth.

A good actors headshot should be an accurate representation of how you actually look that also showcases your potential, in terms of casting type. Any actor looking to promote themselves will also need a more than one shot, each with a variance of appearance. Men look great casual as well as with smart/ dressy or more professional looks. A hair change is also great if possible.

Girls will need very natural makeup but also a slightly more glammed up look and casting professionals always recommend a shot with hair up as well. Basically the more shots you have that show you in a range of different appearances, the more your agent has to work with when submitting your for a role. If you are a model looking for a strong headshot the same rules apply.

What to Look for in a photographer: Range. Range. Range. If a photographer can portray an actor in a way that showcases a variety of looks, this is key to having a successful set of actors headshots. Clean light and a simple background that is not too bold a colour is essential, as you are the primary focus of the image. There should be nothing about an actors headshot that distracts from the subject.

Corporate Headshots are now an essential for any working professional. With company websites more and more inclined to have a ‘meet the team’ page and social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter being a professional must, your headshot is your first port of call when drawing in any new business enquires and using social media for instant updates and client outreach. The impression your headshot gives can be the difference between forging new connections and being overlooked. The initial key questions are paramount when planning a corporate shoot.

What to Look for in a photographer: Style and simplicity. A good corporate shot gives the exact impression you are looking for and is on brand when linked to a product or service. All the while being relatively simple and extremely well lit. Lighting on a corporate shot should never be over stylised unless this somehow relates to the brand image of the business. The main thing a photographer needs to establish is the nature of the business and the best way to capture it and you perfectly. Ultimately when choosing your photographer, it is not just about lighting and composition but personalising the shoot to give you exactly what you want. At Vanity Studios we do a huge amount of corporate and actors headshots for a wide variety of companies and entertainers. We are always happy to discuss what you want to achieve.

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