Headshots

Photography: Competition & Success. by Christian Webb

Christian Webb-Headshots-Actors-Cinema-Blues-MAIN-2.jpg

Someone asked me recently about my thoughts on competition to which I replied  “What competition!?”  Let me explain:

I don’t see competition.  I'm in my own zone.  I simply do what I do and do it the best I can.   I strive to shoot the absolute best headshot my client can get and use for their career purposes.  That has nothing to do with being better than other photographers,  it’s just me….telling myself, committing myself to being the very best at my chosen profession and then,  working at it to make it sure I deliver.   If anything,  I'm in competition with myself and my personal visions/goals.   It all goes back to what I always tell people when they ask about how to market or get clients:  

"GET REALLY F'IN' GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO! DO DOPE SHIT & THE CLIENTS WILL COME TO YOU!" 

I shoot how I do, provide a service.... and if people like it and keep booking me…that’s all I see.  There’s room for everyone to do what they do.   Some will succeed a little, some a lot.  Some won’t at all.  None of that affects what I do.  I just keep shooting, keep on my game and stay booked.  One of the components to our own success, is putting out the right energy and wishing success for others.   Anyone feeling that I’m competition for them or feeling a certain way about my success because it’s infringing on theirs…..isn’t competition,  they’re usually just people who haven’t put in the same effort I have and are having a hard time finding their own success.   So to those folks I say…”I wish you all the success you can imagine.”   

You’ll notice that the truly successful are usually madd cool with each other while the less successful….will often just…be on the sidelines, throwing shade or being bothered.  Think of it like this:  If a band and artist has risen to a level and is to the point of selling a ton of albums and/or selling out arenas, all they need to do is keep up it up as long as they can.   If a band isn’t selling records or selling out arenas in different cities,  it’s not because of the other bands out there, it’s because…well…..they’re just not that good.   So in closing I say to you….don’t worry about the next person doing what they do.  If you want success….get better at what YOU'RE doing and focus only on that.  If you find yourself still not successful……work harder and show more love! It'll eventually all come back to you!  

In the words of Jay-Z:

"Respect the game, that should be it.  What you eat don't make me sh-t!" 

How do you see it? If you found this interesting, feel free to LIKE/COMMENT and even SHARE. (just try not to steal or rip off my words then pass as your own.)   

UPDATE: So just to update and add to this post, it's truly amazing that some of the so-called "competition" or shall I say, "wannabe competition" trying to compete with me comes from Atlanta - A city that I don't even shoot full time in!  Atlanta is my 2nd city and I'm only there shooting every few months or so during a year.  Yet, there's always a clown or two wanting to compete with/for my business. LMAO.  That's got to be the most comical thing considering I should be of little threat to anyone who resides there and does full-time business.  The few times I'm in town,  I'm fully booked, I shoot and leave.  If the 20-30+ clients I shoot each trip are taking away from some other person's business, well then, that photographer has issues that go beyond me being in town.   For real though, that's not even me trying to be nasty, it's more a statement about the attitudes of people finding it necessary to compete.  JUST DO. Shut your mouth and shoot!  If you're THAT good, Christian Webb coming to town every now and then to shoot his clients won't have any effect on your business!  Not to mention,  when it comes to headshots/photography in general,  there are different styles, looks and price ranges.  The people paying me for my level of work are a totally different class of people than the the people looking for bargain basement specials.   I'm not going to get those clients paying my prices and a photographer shooting semi-professional, cheaper quality work isn't going to get my clients.  It's just balance and reality.   People, photographers.......try and live and get along.

Uploading sharp images for Facebook by Christian Webb

After a unsharp mask and resize for Facebook action. 

After a unsharp mask and resize for Facebook action. 

SOOC

SOOC

I've gotten a lot of questions lately about my images being so sharp even when uploaded to Facebook.  I promised to post a blog on the subject and as long as it's taken to get this post up, you'd think I had some super secret,  complex technique that would take ten pages to write about.   Well, that's not really the case.  I've just been tied up lately and just a bit lazy with my blogging.  So,  here we go,  the big reveal to how I get my headshots so clean and sharp:

An unsharp mask followed by resize to 2048 width.  Voila!  Done! 

The end.  

Okay so,  that's really it.  I even have an action for it now so, at the end of my retouch, the very last thing I do is click FACEBOOK RESIZE AND SHARPEN and it's done. ( pretty sure you can Google search and find a bunch of options available.)    Here's a screen shot of the action:

I took screen shots of an image sooc in LR (the second shot.) Then, took that screen shot and applied the action in PS. (the first shot.) You can hopefully see the difference. 

Now, I think it would be irresponsible and kind of silly to suggest that this one step will make all of my images sharp and clean.   It obviously starts with a having a well focused, sharp image to begin with.   And this is where the work comes in. 

QUICK NOTE REGARDING SHARPNESS:

The following is written with the assumption you're shooting headshots/portraits of some type.  There are PLENTY of types of images where the sharpness thing isn't too big of a concern depending on the content of the image and it's intended use.  For headshot/portrait, most of what I'm referring to though is the sharpness when it comes to the eyes.  Even then,  it's a subjective thing. If shooting at low apertures like 1.4, 2.8 or 3.2 as I do...you're not always going to get completely sharp faces and in fact, both  eyes may not be sharp. They don't need to be usually.  However, it's important to remember that the eye closest to the camera should definitely be sharp and in focus.  If the rest of the face and features are soft....that's fine and a matter of taste, choice...artistic vision. 

That said....let's move on:  

I shoot with a Nikon D800 which is a 36mp BEAST of a machine.   My lens of choice is the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8VRII which is a BEAST of a lens!  The two together give you one hell of a starting point to some serious images....IF...you know how to handle them. I see a lot of photographers uploading images to FB where the clarity/sharpness is just poor and not tack sharp at all.  And it's not because of the upload to FB.  What's worse is, some of these guys are shooting with PhaseOne cameras,  Hasselblad, Nikon D800/810 and Canon 5DMkIII!  It's crazy!  That's a whole other convo.   I don't want to make this a long post about shooting technique and all sorts of technical stuff.  I just want to say that it's imperative to learn to get really good, clean sharp images from the get go. Especially if you're shooting portraits of people up close.    It's something that takes a lot of practice especially when using these high megapixel cameras these days as they're not so forgiving when it comes to mistakes.   Whatever method of focus you have, make sure you master it!  (there are TONS of blogs and articles out there on all of the numerous methods of AF.)  I personally shoot hand held in manual mode.  (for headshots on location. In studio, shooting a portrait or beauty I'm on a tripod and higher apertures so...clarity is a given.) That sounds crazy to some but that's just my preference and I love the feeling of knowing that I have 100% control over my focus. If I mess up, it's on me and my eyes, not my AF system.   I also shoot at shutter speeds anywhere from 200 to 1250+ depending and of course use VR so, the hand held thing isn't so much a factor.  When I upload my session to LR and start going though images,  I have some images that aren't sharp. Oh well, it happens.  Sometimes it pisses me off as that particular shot may be so damn good save for the fact that the focus is soft.  For the most part,  I nail most of my shots though and it's not so much an issue.  I do adjust clarity and contrast some in LR before exporting to PS but still,  I make sure to have a clean, clear, sharp image prior to even doing so.  

In addition to my focus techniques,  my lighting of course makes a difference.  Getting my key light positioned correctly in both height and distance from my subjects is obviously a major factor prior to even shooting.  

So that's it.  I know I didn't get into a bunch of stuff regarding how Facebook resizes and handles images upon upload.  I believe there are tons of articles on that out there  I just wanted to share exactly what I do and give some insight and guidance on getting sharp images to begin with.   The unsharp mask and resize definitely contribute to my final image upload and how sharp it is.  I recommend experimenting a bit with unsharp mask and definitely resizing to the 2048 size for upload to FB.  I have heard other sizes as being optimal such as 1200x628 but that's a matter of preference I guess.  Pretty sure 2048 gives you the fullest size.  In the end,  nothing beats having a clean, sharp well focused image to begin with!  Hope some of this has been helpful.  If it has, feel free to Comment, Like and Share.  If you have other methods and suggestions,  feel free to share in comments.  

~ Christian 

Time for Some Action! - Headshot Action! by Christian Webb

Samona

Samona

I want to take a quick minute to discuss a few things when it comes to positioning of a subject for a headshot.  So by now, if you're familiar with my work,  you see that I shoot everything landscape orientation and I tend to shoot very tight.  As I primarily shoot actors,  I like my headshots to look like close up television or film stills.  Television and film of course is all about action.  But how do you create or convey action in a still image like a headshot? Well, it's all about  avoiding "pose" per se and focusing on what I call the "poised position!"   If you look at the shot above,  she looks as if she's about ready to spring into action as opposed to just standing there in a nice pose looking gorgeous.  The slight lean forward and position of her shoulders suggest that she's coming at you and engaged with you.  This is what's most critical for me when shooting a headshot.  Casting directors and the like will go through god knows how many headshots on a daily basis.  What I want is for them to get to my clients shots and feel as if the actor is coming toward them.  I have seen many headshots out there that more or less look like modeling shots and the focus tends to be on the pose and capturing the clients good looks.  I'm guilty of having some shots like that in my portfolio as well.   While we most certainly want to capture the look and personality of a client, it's  really important to not forget that within that tiny fraction of a second that someone looks at the photo, they need to see more than just....a pretty picture.  A headshot needs to grab attention and pull someone in.  A headshot for an actor needs to get them work on television, in film or theater and all three are mediums of action.  

 In addition to the actual pose, the expression needs to convey action as well.  How is that done?  Simply by having your subjects truly interacting with you and creating the action.  Try this experiment - Have a conversation with someone and just notice how their face looks and changes as you speak.  You'll notice the slight changes and movement in their eyes, eyebrows and mouth as they listen to you.  They're "in action" as they listen to you. (assuming of course you're not boring them with a cat story or some kind!)   They're interested in what you're saying and even if not genuinely interested,  they're hopefully at least trying to "look" interested.  Besides that, many people are just waiting for their turn to actually speak which naturally puts them in the "poised" mode mentally which eventually translates to their physical expression.  Sometimes it's subtle and sometimes, it's very obvious that they can't wait to chime in and speak their mind.  This is basically what you want to work toward in your headshots.  Each shot should almost look as if the subject has something to say, something to offer and something worth finding out about.  There are of course many different types of expressions/emotions to convey but which ones you're going for will be determined by the goal of the shot. 

The combination of a really genuine and interesting facial expression with just the right amount of lean in toward camera can make all the difference in your clients getting looked at with consideration or being tossed aside with all the other...pretty pictures.    

If you want to know more about positioning your subjects in headshots and some more on expression,  feel free to visit my Facebook page and leave me a message. 

Headshot Mastery - Pick Your Set up & Stick with It! by Christian Webb

                                      Go to gear,

                                      Go to gear,

I belong to a few online, social media photography groups, mostly headshot oriented.  It's interesting to see the numerous set ups and variety of gear used by a lot of headshot photographers just starting out.  I see people wanting to pull off one particular style of headshot but going way overboard with their attempts.  Then, inevitably,  they struggle with why they're not nailing their shots and or....their work is not consistent.  Why?  Simply because they're over thinking it sometimes and getting too caught up in trying to get fancy with their work.  Now obviously, there's no one size fits all set up or formula for every photographer but, I should think that within the realm of shooting headshots, even with different styles of lighting, the overall look isn't going to vary too much.   

Shooting fashion for example can involve one light or twenty lights, a plethora of modifiers,  tons of gels, reflectors and flagged off sections of studio or location space.  The actual job itself and/or the photographer's vision/client's vision dictates the lighting and overall look. There's a heck of a lot more room for creativity and you're not always shooting the same thing.  Not to mention the post processing, color grading and all sorts of stuff used to create the final images.  That said, if you're shooting fashion on the regular, chances are you've got a variety of gear that's used based on need and what look you're going for. 

                              And that right there is the set up again and again.  Location may change here and there but the set up remains consistent. 

                              And that right there is the set up again and again.  Location may change here and there but the set up remains consistent. 

With a headshot on the other hand,  you're shooting one thing - A tight shot of someone's face/head.  It's a shot to represent the person and their personality and to get an actor work.  While there are different opinions on landscape vs portrait and studio vs location,  either way you're pretty much going to have a basic set up each time and it's not about clothing or shoes or jewelry, hair or styling. It's about that one person in front of your camera.  Give or take a few personal preferences, it's a  pretty basic set up - Your key light to light the subject, some fill and possibly some type of kicker/accent light. That should really be it for the most part. (In studio, if doing the high key, white background thing, you'll have lights to light the background.)  The type of lights you're using, which modifiers and how you set it all up is of course, up to you.  Even if you're strictly a natural light headshot photographer, you've got one consistent source of light (the sun) and chances are you'll have some sort of fill via a reflector.   All of that said, the main thing I want to get at in this post is that you truly need a consistent, go to set up for your work when shooting headshots.  There really shouldn't be the same experimental, freestyle, artistic license thing going on as there may be for fashion, editorial or a random portrait.  

                                      The basics. (speedlights and accessories in bag 

                                      The basics. (speedlights and accessories in bag 

 While you can always play around and have 6 to 10 lights , 3 oversized, octagon shaped reflectors and miscellaneous contraptions and set ups to light one person for a headshot, it may not be the best idea and probably overkill.   You should keep it simple and not go overboard with trying to do anything fancy other than lighting your subject the best possible way.  You need to consider what style of headshot you want to shoot, learn how to do it, what you need and then...stick with THAT set up on a regular basis.  THIS is how you nail consistency.  And consistency is what ultimately will serve to make your brand.  You can always make a few adjustments/changes here and there and possibly experiment once in awhile, there's nothing wrong with that.  But,  you should commit to your main set up, know your gear, master that set up and repeat it over and over and over!  

The Crazy Eye Lights- Catch Lights Gone Wild! by Christian Webb

Christian Webb Photo

Christian Webb Photo

Just a quick post regarding catch lights in headshots.  I've seen some headshots where the catch lights become the most dominant thing in the photo.  Using multiple lights, a variety of shapes and different sizes to get all sorts of funky things going on in the eyes. I'm pretty partial to natural looking or classic catchlights whether round or square.  However,  I know that there are some lighting set ups that have become pretty regular where a rectangular lighting set up in one way or the other produces that same rectangular or square catch light in the eyes.  Cool.  I think it's gotten to be a pretty specific, contemporary look and for the most part, it looks great when done right.  But what happens when it goes overboard?  I'll tell you what happens: You end up drawing way too much attention to the eyes for all the wrong reasons and the catch lights take on a creepy effect making your subjects look like androids.  First and foremost,  any use of lighting and the arrangement of such lighting needs to be specifically for ONE thing - To effectively light your subject according to the goal in mind.  Specifically, I'm  referring to headshots more than anything.  With a headshot, you light and photograph with the intent of capturing your subject and conveying their look and character in a shot.  Trying to purposefully design "cool" catch lights with a superfluous amount of lighting or elaborate placement of those lights serves as nothing more than a distraction.  I guess if you're shooting an artistic portrait of some kind then anything goes yeah?  But for a headshot, try and let the catch lights just be as they are without obvious manipulation of the process.  

Mastering The Headshot - Teaching a Workshop by Christian Webb

   Setting up for the day.

   Setting up for the day.

When Chris Smith of Global Photo Adventures sent me an email asking if I'd like to host a workshop on Mastering The Headshot,  I thought "Me? You sure you've got the right guy?"  While I'm pretty confident in my work, I never thought to put on a workshop of my own and never suspected anyone would actually invite me to do so.  It seems that everyone with a camera these days is hosting a workshop.  I really didn't want to be in that crowd as again, I figured "who am I?" and just figured I was happy doing what I was doing.   Chris assured me that I was the right guy.  He had been following my work and belongs to some of the same photography groups I belong to and apparently,  noticed people following and liking my work as well.  So,  all of that out of the way and with Chris taking the helm as far as setting it all up,  I whole heartedly agreed and when the time came,  I found myself in Atlanta all set to teach people what I do when it comes to headshots. 

After arriving in ATL and dropping off most of my gear at the hotel,  Chris and I headed over to the location where the workshop would take place,  Photoplex Studios.  There we me the studio owner Mike Noa who gave us a tour and spent some time discussing the studio and some of his experiences in business as well as photography related matters in Atlanta.  Photoplex is an amazing and pretty large space with multiple studios for shooting and every amenity imaginable.  While we loved the studio,  much of what I would be teaching would be location shooting.  So, Chris and I headed outside and scouted a few locations that would serve as great backgrounds. (this in itself was one of the main lessons to be taught in the days to come.)  

DAY 1:

12047178_10153664900449631_2108446206938556204_n.jpg

Finally got to meet the folks who actually signed up and committed to spending 3 days with me.   All incredibly cool, gifted and really passionate people which made my job that much easier.  We started with basic introductions and I bored them with my brief bio and a random Power Point slideshow I had put together. ( just figured, hey, I need something like that for a workshop yeah?).  Before long we got down to business and we all headed outside where everyone worked on finding their backgrounds and setting up gear.  We were fortunate to have an actress, Nicolette Goetz,  sent over from local talent agency, Aligned Stars. After some instruction on gear set up and getting things dialed in with set ups,  I spent time coaching a bit more on technical adjustments and then, most important....working with the talent and coaching.  Within a short amount of time and after discussing some random tricks here and there,  everyone seemed to be well on their way and it ended up being a great first day.

DAY 2:

   A student working my camera for a few shots. (Gotta choke up on that lens!) 

   A student working my camera for a few shots. (Gotta choke up on that lens!) 

We spent some time discussing some business aspects of headshot photography and were even joined by Aligned Stars agents Patrick and Andrea who discussed headshots from an agency perspective.  Again, we were fortunate to have two of their actors join us as models for the day - Brandon Tewalt and Cashmere Bonton.  Both were great to work with and had natural presence in front of the camera.  After shooting both in studio and outdoors,  we spent some time going over some of the headshots the students shot.  After some critique and a feedback session,  I did a live edit for everyone to go over the retouching work I do for headshots.   The rest of the day was spent shooting and by this time,  everyone was truly on their game. 

  John working with Brandon in studio. 

  John working with Brandon in studio. 

                                            Brent working with Brandon on location. 

                                            Brent working with Brandon on location. 

  Studio set up. 

  Studio set up. 

DAY 3:

   Pointing out something there on the tethered capture. 

   Pointing out something there on the tethered capture. 

   Cashmere working the smiles and expressions. 

   Cashmere working the smiles and expressions. 

Our final day together started out going over the students "homework" assignment which was having them retouch/ edit their own shots.   After, I spent some time discussing some more business related aspects and marketing approaches.   Finally, we finished out the workshop with everyone shooting and having fun.  Again, we were provided with some great actors from Aligned Stars - Marcus and Erin. 

                                            

                                            

All in all, after my initial bit of anxiety on how this workshop would play out,  I left feeling incredibly good about the three days and extremely satisfied to know that I was able to help in bringing my students, fellow photographers and new friends to a new point with their work and helped to up their game.  It was an honor and a privilege for me to be there in the first place and I'm truly grateful for the trust given to me to pull this off.  

   With Nicolette. 

   With Nicolette. 

Thanks again to Chris Smith of Global Photo Adventures for making all of this happen.  Many thanks to Mike Noa, Photoplex Studios,  Aligned Stars Talent and their actors as well as special shout out and thanks to  the incredible make up artist we had on hand for the three days Samantha Gunn.  A true talent and simply badazz cool!  

And of course,  a really special shout out and "THANK YOU" to the photographers who gave me the opportunity to work with them:

The Best Headshots? Best Headshot Photographer. by Christian Webb

Ava Raiin, NYC 

Ava Raiin, NYC 

As an actor,  you need a headshot.   So you have to find a photographer.  Naturally, you'll tell yourself that you need to get the "best headshot" you can get. (hopefully you're saying that!)  So with so many photographers out there shooting headshots, how do you actually find "the best?"  What is the the best?  Who is the "best?"  I've had this discussion a few times with a fellow photographers/friends where we talked about the very subject of "best headshot photographer!"  What does that mean exactly and how do you know who the "best" is?  Well, I think I've figured it out and the answer is....

Well, it's not that simple really.  But let's see what we can come up with.

Here's how I see it - There's no such thing as "the best headshot photographer" or the "best headshots!"  There are headshot photographers that shoot headshots and then there's "the BEST headshot photographer for YOU!"   What that means simply is that out of the many choices of photographers an actor can choose, some of them may not be right for any number of reasons.  Pricing may be one factor.  A young actor studying theater and waiting tables at night, barely making rent and bills may not have the budget for "the most expensive" headshots.  For them, the best headshots will be headshots they can afford.   However,  this doesn't mean going out to specifically find a bargain basement headshot photographer.  The first consideration should always be QUALITY and professional level work!  Without out a doubt,  you should treat your headshots as a necessary investment.   A truly professional, dedicated actor knows the importance of a great headshot and how it will serve their career.  They are not looking for the best price, they're looking for the best headshot.  So what to do? 

Jeff Morgan, Atlanta.  Landscape orientation, 2 light cinematic set up with my usual,  "blue" theme going on. 

Jeff Morgan, Atlanta.  Landscape orientation, 2 light cinematic set up with my usual,  "blue" theme going on. 

Start by finding the go to professional photographers in the business and work your way from there.  You'll soon find that even with the variety of styles offered by the top headshot photographers,  there are a few things that are consistent when it comes to their work.  For example,  they'll shoot PROFESSIONAL level images.....meaning - clean, clear, well focused, well composed, sharp images.  The retouching will always be PROFESSIONAL level and look clean and natural.  ALL of these things matter!  Let me repeat: ALL OF THESE THINGS MATTER!  I can't stress this enough to you!  If you spend $1,000 on a headshot or spend $99 for the "all inclusive bargain" headshot...the photography has got to be ON POINT!  Out of focus images - NO GOOD! The eyes aren't sharp, clear, in focus - NO GOOD!  The retouching has you look like your face is melting and is way over smoothed - NO GOOD!!!  You will simply have to get new shots all over again!  

Kara G., NY

Kara G., NY

Let's discuss pricing more.   For the most part, you'll find that there is a pretty general price range when you get to the top industry leaders.  The price fluctuations won't be that extreme so you should expect to pay what the "average" standard amount is in your particular region.  Most markets will range somewhere between $300-$800 depending on the packages and such.   Truth told,  if you find a bargain headshot photographer offering "value meal" plans....and they're $200 cheaper than a truly professional, solid photographer with a real reputation in the business, you're better off just taking your time to save up the extra $200!  You should NOT be thinking of your headshot as some random thing you need to just get out of the way and do.  You shouldn't be thinking that any decent shot will be okay.  You shouldn't be lured by cheap pricing gimmicks.  The reason why you're probably going to get better work, better quality at the higher price ranges is simple:  Those photographers have experience and you're paying for that experience. They have the technical skills to deliver solid, high end shots and they know what they're doing.  They're not just talking a good game.  They've been in the game for some time and have proven track records.  Even more,  they are consistent and their work speaks for itself!   Often times, a photographer who is just starting out and looking to build their business and compete will come in the game and offer the "super special" all inclusive deal simply because they haven't reached professional level status yet.  They don't have the technical skills or experience and they are just learning.  That's fine. Everyone has to start somewhere.  But that's NOT who you want to shoot with.  That's like hiring a dentist or doctor still in med school.  Maybe they know a little something something but is that the risk you want to take?  Even if they're decent or okay at what they do,  their overall level of professional work won't measure up upon examination. 

Allen Redmond,Atlanta

Allen Redmond,Atlanta

Now let's talk style.  While there are some basic similarities to a headshot,  there are many photographers with different styles of lighting and set ups.  Some shoot exclusively in studio while many shoot exclusively on location.  Some do both.  Some use natural light only while others may use strobes/speedlights or a combination of both.  The BEST headshot is going to be the headshot that fits the style that YOU like and want.  Or, perhaps your agent/manager recommends a particular style for you.  It's also true that certain markets can have or favor different styles.  Regardless,  a great headshot is a great headshot whether it favors the particular trend of one region/market.  (L.A., NY, ATL) or not.  Something you absolutely MUST understand and keep in mind is this:  There's a difference between a good headshot and a GREAT headshot!!! You have to know the difference and you have to be committed to enough to your career to know that it does matter! 

And this is Jeff shot in natural light, portrait orientation.  A completely different look than my normal look.  But....still, clean, clear, focused and a natural retouch. 

And this is Jeff shot in natural light, portrait orientation.  A completely different look than my normal look.  But....still, clean, clear, focused and a natural retouch. 

Another consideration and perhaps an overlooked one,  is making sure that the photographer is actually BEST for you regarding comfortability.  When searching for someone to shoot your headshots, it's important to get a sense of the photographer's personality and their way of working.  Checking referrals, reading their info on their website,  asking around from others who have shot with them before can help in making the decision as to whether a particular photographer is BEST for YOU to work with.  It's not uncommon to find a photographer who has decent work yet, they don't work well or "play nice" with people.  Or perhaps they're personality is too zany, over the top  or just the opposite, too drab and boring.  Making sure you find someone you're comfortable working with is a critical part of getting the BEST headshot that will serve you well. 

My shots, my style...the way I light, compose my subjects and all may not in fact be right for you if you prefer a different style.   But as far as photography goes, all of the elements you should be looking for are present in my work - clean, sharp, well lit,  professionally retouched, contrasty images that "pop" and stand out. 

My shots, my style...the way I light, compose my subjects and all may not in fact be right for you if you prefer a different style.   But as far as photography goes, all of the elements you should be looking for are present in my work - clean, sharp, well lit,  professionally retouched, contrasty images that "pop" and stand out. 

Above all in conclusion, the quality of photography should really be of highest consideration.  A headshot photographer's work should most certainly live up to the industry standard as far as lighting, composition and overall professional look. Take a look at their website.  Look through all the portfolios.  Are ALL of the images great or just a few here or there?  Often times, that's a sign of an amateur just starting out and building.  They knock a few shots out of the park every so often but their level of consistency just isn't there.  Look at their retouch and their final images.  Are they professional level or sloppily retouched?  Do the faces look too smooth?  Again, is EVERY image professionally done or just maybe a few?  Just keep in mind that spending the most, doesn't guarantee the BEST either,  but spending very little more than likely won't be good.  Most times there's a reason why you'll pay a premium for a particular person's work and most likely, that photographer's work is probably solid.   And yes, often times, you get what you pay for. 

YOU HAVE TO EDUCATE YOURSELF ON HEADSHOTS AND STUDY THAT PART OF YOUR BUSINESS!  

Bottom line is...please....for the sake of your career....DO NOT RUSH the process!  Take your time! Do not just jump at some random cheap deal to save money.  At the same time, don't think spending a ton of money is going to get you the shots that you want.  Inspect the work of ANY photographer, get feedback, examine everything, ask around and then start to narrow down your options to make a choice.  In the business of headshot photography, with so many photographers to choose from,  a bit of research, shopping around and really taking your time will turn up plenty of options and plenty of great photographers.  Any of which may in fact just be....the BEST for YOU! 

Let me know your thoughts, experiences and feel free to LIKE or SHARE if you found this post helpful!