What's a 'Headshot' Portrait?

Are all "headshot" portraits the same?

As a photographer I’m usually asked to do headshots. Even though the results seem very simple, but, they’re a little bit…more complicated. 

Today I will be explaining what “headshots” are. The main focus of a “headshot” is the person’s face. The main goal is to be able to produce such an image that it will be used to open doors for modeling scouts or acting agencies. It’s the exposure through that photograph that will help you get the attention with the right people.

They are three main kind of “headshots”. The commercial, theatrical and corporate. Each of these can have their own categories below them. Example: the commercial headshot can be used for models and fashion. The person can be smiling, showing warmth and friendliness.

The theatrical headshot is more direct into acting and will focus more on a serious face. These kind of headshots are for getting you into plays, TV and filmwork. 

The corporate headshot is for business folks, politicians, public figures etc.

The lighting has to be precise on all of these headshots.

I’ve seen hundreds of headshots. But, not all grab my attention. They seem more like snapshots. The lighting is bad, the photo is flat, colors are wrong and the post-production has not been done.

When a photographer shoots your headshots, that’s only the beginning. He has to do the right post production, and I don’t mean manipulate the photograph. In the film days we photographers used to send our film to the lab. Nowadays, we are our own lab. So, the contrast, saturation and other digital details have to be processed to get that image to pop out.

In the next post, I will explain how your headshot should look and be presented. Meanwhile you can view some sample headshots.

I will be offering headshot sessions on Tuesday 12/3 in San Leandro for $45 plus FREE post-production. Please contact him for more details at raaphoto@ymail.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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