Learning To Take More Beautiful Pictures

Three Ways To Shoot Headshots That Have An Impact

Shooting professional headshots can be a lucrative business for any photographer. Companies, community organizations, sports teams, and more all rely on headshots to appear on their websites and promotional material, and many of these organizations will hire photographers to get the shots they desire. There's a lot more that should go into shooting headshots than just putting your subject in front of a neutral background and snapping some frames. The more headshots that you take, the better portfolio you'll be able to build and show to prospective clients — and this should lead to more business for you. Here are three strategies that you can use to add impact to your headshots.

Add A Small, Relevant Detail

An effective way to increase the impact of your headshots is to ensure that each image you shoot, where possible, contains a small detail that is relevant to the subject matter. For example, if you're shooting the medical staff at a local medical clinic, have the doctors and nurses with stethoscopes around their necks; given that headshots often show part of the subject's torso, this type of detail adds a unique quality to the headshot and can help it to stand out.

Use Or Lose The Background

A common problem with many headshots is that the background is evident and doesn't support the theme. This can make the background distracting. "Use it or lose it" is a good mentality to take with backgrounds. In other words, see if you can shoot the subject in front of a relevant background. For the medical clinic idea, a shot in an examination room can really emphasize the medical nature of the headshot. If you can't find a background that works well, or the images aren't giving you the effect that you want, adjust your focus to blur out the background. This way, people will solely focus on the faces of the headshots.

Seek Natural Poses

Some photographers shoot headshots that are tightly cropped around the subject's head; in other headshots, the full torso may be visible. Both approaches can be worthwhile, but you should seek to avoid poses that aren't natural. For example, if someone has his or her hand resting on his or her own shoulder, or a hand under his or her own chin, this can seem awkward — after all, people don't commonly sit in this manner. Your subjects should look professional and relaxed, above all else. Don't try to make this photo assignment into a fashion shoot by suggesting abnormal postures for your subjects.