I've fallen in love with headshots again. I'll admit it. And it got me thinking.
You're an actor, a businessperson, or a salesperson. Or you're establishing your personal brand. Guess what? You need a headshot that captures who you truly are (or who you're capable of being, you actors out there).
In order to capture this, I ask my client a series of questions (I'm so nosy!) before they come for their shoot. From these magic questions (ain't magic fun?), we are able to create the tone for our shoot. And when I say "create" the tone of our shoot, I've chosen that word carefully. You and I, as a team, create the feel of your shots. Neat, eh?
Having established the tone or tones for the shoot we get down to the details. The location of the shoot is important: in studio allows a high degree of control over the environment of the shoot; and then there are moods that really can only be conveyed outdoors. The color of the backdrop when shooting indoors can change everything: brighter colors can help a casting director to envision you in younger roles; blue, green and grey eyes will really pop with a blue backdrop; a darker backdrop, with appropriate lighting, will convey a dramatic personality and depth. And of course, styling and makeup are key. (In another lifetime I was an agent, so that helps us a bit as well :) )
In addition to everything we discuss, there is a lot going on behind my forehead. The selection of appropriate lenses, lighting set-ups, and settings are always rolling. And while a similar lighting set up may be used for several different clients, I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm such a control freak about my clients being happy, that I'll do lighting tests beforehand, making minor changes as needed, to make sure that I'm getting exactly what my clients want, with our discussions in mind. The point isn't that I'm a control freak, the point is that I'm YOUR control freak! ;)
A Note on Corporate Headshots
If you are a business person, I'm sure you're familiar with understanding your ideal client or public. If you're a salesman, this translates to your ability to allow your prospect or potential client to identify with you. In working with a business or salesperson, I help my clients determine what kind of clients you have and would like to have, and what these would expect of you. Many times this boils down to what will allow your client or prospect to be most comfortable approaching you: Do they expect a suit and tie from you? Will they feel you're more approachable with rolled-up sleeves, an even more casual look, or maybe a particularly stylish look? In practice, this also works out to determining also what setting and lighting will help you to appeal to your ideal audience. With corporate headshots, as well as personal branding, understanding the current and desired audience is key.
Confession Time: I love meeting people. I KNOW. You're shocked! Get over it. ;)
What I really love is hearing what my clients are looking to get out of their photos. It might be a strange thing for an artist, but it's true. The feeling when we (yes, we) get what we're looking for out of a shoot is amazing. I love the collaboration!
And of course, in that spirit, I'd love to hear from you.