NakeshiaRenee Photography | What Makes a Great Headshot? Headshot Branding Sessions.

What Makes a Great Headshot? Headshot Branding Sessions.

March 15, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

What makes a Professional Headshot's?


Actors, Actresses, Business executives and other professionals need one key thing to put on their profiles and marketing information. That one thing is a professional headshot. I’ve done several professional headshot sessions, and I know what most people need or what they’re looking for in all honesty the name ‘Headshot’ is very misleading. A headshot isn’t simply just a shot of your head. That’s more like a mugshot, and no one  wants to have those taken.


So, What makes a headshot a professional headshot?




1. Choose a professional Photographer - most professional photographers know what makes a good headshot - sometimes cheaper isn’t always better. Great photographers shoot in RAW or a very high Quality of JPEG images - It will make using the images on marketing materials much easier and any graphic designer can easily adjust the images to say billboard vs. flyers.


      Don’t just hire someone based off of the word of mouth from   friends. Find a photographer that matches your style. If you’re uncomfortable with the photographer, it will show in your images.


2.  When it’s time to take  photos make sure you’re well rested, hydrated, and ready to smile on demand. When you’re sleeping and yawning, and your eyes are watering, it doesn’t make for attractive images. Yes, photographers can edit the bags under your eyes, but it’s great if you come well rested and prepared. We all want the images to resemble you as much as possible.



3.  Know the difference between Commercial and Theatrical headshots.

 Commercial: Advertisers usually want headshot’s that says ‘This person is warm and fussy. You can trust this person.’  So you’ll be smiling, and you’ll be brightly lit without shadows.


Theatrical: This will show off your more dramatic side you’re usually you’re not smiling, and there’s a shadow in the image that creates a depth or dark type of image. Most actors and actresses use this kind of headshot.


4. Color or B&W have always been a debate - I say for business, and advertising color images are always better. Black and white images can appear dated and when it comes to social media and business relations now days you want to pop out from everything around you not blend in.  When I’m doing headshot sessions however I use a mix of both color and black and white images in the proofing galleries.


5. Understanding the three types of headshot’s


Head and Shoulders: Self explanatory frequently a photograph of your head and shoulders. This is usually the preferences for company pictures on the website small, square and uniform.


Three Quarters: These are my favorite types of headshot’s.  It’s mostly standard for business printed materials, models, and flyers.


Full Length: It’s not common, but it can be useful.



What to Wear:

  • Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you look great
  • Make sure your jacket and shirt fit you well. A poor fitting jacket or shirt will be apparent in the photos (especially around the neck)
  • Don't overdress
  • Turtlenecks are almost always a bad idea (since they crowd the face)
  • Clothes should be neatly pressed and should look new or like new
  • Avoid busy patterns and large lines/stripes
  • Blue/green/turquoise shirts/blouses or accents can help emphasize blue/green/hazel eyes
  • Avoid big prints and busy patterns

I hope this was helpful! If you like this please share it! If you don't well, don't read it again ;-) 


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Headshot Branding Session



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