Headshot Photographer MayfairNovember 25, 2021
If you’re looking for a headshot photographer in Mayfair you’ve come to the right place. Photo Heads specialise in creating magazine quality headshots.
Working throughout the UK but predominantly in London, including Mayfair we produce relaxed headshots using three core principals.
We start with a personal touch to help people feel relaxed and look comfortable in front of the camera. It’s common for people to feel awkward about having their headshot taken so we work with people to put them at ease. When necessary, we will coach people to get the most flattering pose, body position or posture but it’s more important to put you at ease. When you look relaxed your headshot will look at its best with a confident and authentic look to it.
Technically a good photograph
Looking good in front of the lens is crucial but technical proficiency is the difference between a well-crafted headshot and a snap. Without the technical skills you might as well use your iPhone to take the picture. Manipulating the light to the correct exposure, sharp images are some of the things that get taken for granted when looking at a good headshot but it’s the details that make the difference. The untrained eye might not understand when a picture with limited technical skill looks bad but the subconscious reacts, negatively.
Let’s not kid ourselves there’s a big difference between a corporate headshot and a cover of Vogue but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for creativity in your headshot. We’ve all seen the bland bright headshot taken against a white backdrop. This look has been done so many times that it doesn’t make an impression. That isn’t to say that white background doesn’t work or that your headshot needs to be super creative. It just means that some creative decision making needs to be exercised to make the picture look good. Giving consideration to the framing the way the shot is lit, the style used to edit the image and background are just some of the things that need to be considered. And they’re some of the things that will make a difference between you standing out or blending in to the background.
Three Elements of a Good Headshot
There are three elements that will help to create a good headshot. Creativity, technical skill and a personal touch.
Pointing a camera at a person and taking a picture is easy. Turning that into a good picture is a more difficult challenge to achieve an impressive headshot is to make it look better than the bang average photographs your competitors are using to make you guys stand out. To do this you want a cool headshot, and these three elements will certainly help.
Technical skill is the basis of a good photograph. Most people understand some of the basics such as correct exposure. Over expose the image and it looks too bright, under expose the image and it looks to dark. This basic light manipulation is a critical starting point when taking a headshot. Building from this it’s important to think about how we manipulate and control the light, positioning the light source to a specific position in relation to the subject will all help to create an image that stands out. Other elements such as sharpness are also vitally important but often get overlooked. Your photograph should be super sharp, especially the eyes. Get an image in focus and making sure the right part of the image seems so obvious but it’s often overlooked.
There are more advanced elements to consider too. Depending on what the image is going to be used for influences the type of equipment used, which lenses, camera bodies and a whole host of other pieces of kit. But that’s for us to worry about. Remember the technical knowledge is the foundation for a good portrait for which creativity is positioned upon.
Without some level of technical skill creativity isn’t possible but without some level of creativity the technical capabilities are pointless. Some form of creative vision is the bridge between your ideas and values and your client’s understanding of them. If it’s important for you to present a certain image you have less than a second to portray that as people make decisions about you based on your appearance in the headshot. If your company culture is relaxed you need the image to portray that. If you want to appear more traditional and austere then again the image needs to deliver that message.
Everything from the use of shadows the colour toes within the image, the framing (and so much more) all combine to tell a story about you, your business and what you stand for.
It’s important not to get to lost in the technical and creative elements of the photograph t remember the most important thing within the picture. You! It’s you that people will be looking at, they’ll be making a subconscious connection with you through your headshot so you want to look your best. And by best I don’t necessarily mean wearing a nice outfit and being well groomed – although that is important – I mean your personality.
Your personality should shine through in the portrait. That’s easier said than done because who likes having their picture taken. At the very moment that you want to appear relaxed, confident and approachable you find yourself in a situation where you become self-conscious and image aware. This is where the human touch comes in to make the process much more comfortable. Rather than just sending a photograph out armed with the best camera equipment money can buy out photographer Paul approaches the shoot in a very human way. With a little bit of light chat and gentle coaching where necessary he’ll put you at ease and make the whole process a really comfortable experience.
This has the dual benefit of changing the headshot session to a comfortable experience but it will also show in the finished result so that your portrait looks awesome.
How creative should your headshot be?
Exactly how creative should your headshot be is one of those ambiguous questions that has many answers and depends on the type of headshot but let’s try and keep the answer simple.
Of course actor headshots can be pretty creative (although that wasn’t always the case). Corporate headshots have typically been less creative until recent times. A classic business portrait would have included a person wearing a suit standing arms folded as they angle their body towards the camera stood in front of a pale back drop. Yuk.
As business has changed from an old fashioned world where people were expected to attend an office suited with ties fastened to neatly pressed shirts to a world where dress styles have been relaxed and workspaces have changed to trendy hubs so too have the headshots.
The headshots has evolved to be more reflective of the business and it’s also changed because of the way that people do business has changed. It’s more common to catch sight of a client, prospect of colleague online now rather than in person the corporate portrait has to make a good first impression.
This is why it’s possible to be more creative with your headshot. It’s also why you probably should be more creative with your headshot, so that you can standout amongst your competitors. But when it comes back to the question of how creative should your headshot be it doesn’t have to be a spectacular work of art. Just a little creativity goes a long way. Employing some creative editing techniques or a little creative lighting will help create a standout image.
It’s also worth remembering that less is more. Being too creative can run the risk of distracting from you the person in the image. It can also dilute your authenticity but then that also depends on your industry. Using deep shadows might be effective for a tech start up but then might not be appropriate for a bank.
Overall the trick is to be a little bit creative but don’t over do it and know your clients. That’s the most important thing to consider because they’re the people that will be reacting to it. Going back to the example of the bank – if you were a bank specialising in trendy tech start-ups or creative agencies as clients then that might be the time for you to avoid playing it safe and go for something dramatic.
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Photo Heads can mostly be found photographing in London, sometimes in Bristol and occasionally elsewhere but we do travel throughout the UK and Europe.
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