Modeling Headshots

 Let me see your headshot..

If you don’t have a head shot to show, you’re not really a model.  Or at least most professionals in the industry won’t take you seriously.  All professional models should have an up-to-date “headshot’, no matter how small a town they’re from.The headshot can be either black & white or color.  It is usually either 8x10 or 8.5x 11 in size with the models name written somewhere on the print.  Since headshots are usually handed out to potential clients, they are printed in substantial quantities.  Besides being handed out to clients, this image will be used to represent you in most of your marketing efforts.Headshots can be either taken in the studio or on location.  Some model’s headshots are shot from low vantage points looking up and some are shot from high angles looking down.  Some are shot using plain backgrounds and some are shot on complex backgrounds.  Some are shot with the backgrounds in focus and some are shot with only the model’s eyes in focus.  The model’s headshot is a unique, artistic representation of the model as they what to be known.

Research Your headshot

The world wide web is a wonderful thing.   You can visit the worlds best modeling agency web sites.  Take a look at their model’s headshots and see what you like and don’t like.  You’ll find shots that you think are really nice and some you hate.  Note the poses, the expressions, the looks, and the outfits.  Wade through all these elements and figure out what you like and dislike about each headshot.  Is it the pose?  Is it the expression, or even the hairstyle?  Then apply that information to your photo shoot.


Clothing for your headshot..

So when it comes time to choose clothing and a hairstyle for your headshot, keep in mind the look you want to be most known for. Generally speaking, plain colors are better than prints, darks are better than lights, and form fitting is usually better than loose. You don't want to distract the viewers with loud patters and you don't want to appear to be heavier than you are, especially since the camera tends to add a few pounds to everyone that stands before it. If you're a Caucasian, or have light skin, your face will tend to contrast better against darker clothing. The opposite may be true if your skin is dark.

Hairstyle for your hair..

Hairstyle is something that the client will certainly use to select you as a model.  Your headshot can’t have you with two feet of flowing curls and then you show up at the job with a crew cut.  If you do that, you’ll have some very unhappy people looking at you.   For your headshot, you will want to select a hairstyle that supports your look.  Moms don’t spend hours working on their hair, and if you want to have the mom look, don’t make it look like you spent hours working on your hair.  If your look is exotic or you aren’t comfortable doing your own hair, ask the photographer if they could recommend someone, or visit the salon before the shoot.  Remember, that when doing headshots, variety is a good thing.  Sometimes your least favorite outfit or hairstyle may end up in the end, being your favorite.  You just never know.


Headshot Updates

Headshots are not something you do once and then forget.  They must be kept up to date, as you age and get better looking. If your hairstyle changes, you need another headshot. I’d say that every two years is a good increment of time between headshots.


Expressions of your hairstyle

Like your hairstyle, make-up, and outfit, you expression should relate to your look.  Usually speaking, moms are friendly, fashion types should look sultry, kids should be happy, and studs, should look studley.  (whatever that means…)   If you have been practicing in the mirror, or have had other pictures taken, you already know what expressions look best on you.  Let me suggest something though.  This is a good time to experiment in front of the camera.  Now with digital photography, the photographer doesn’t mind shooting extra shots to cover different expressions, In the old days, each click of the shutter cost the photographer money in film and processing, which meant that the fewer shots the photographer took, the more money they made.  Today, shooting additional pictures just means that it will take a little more time editing trough the images.  No big deal.


The Pose

If during the shoot, you get in a jam and really can’t come up with some good poses, chances are that the photographer can help you out.  But posing is really your job.  The photographer can help you by tweaking the pose for the particular crop within the camera, but to be a model, you really need to be comfortable when the lens is pointed in your direction.  If you’re not, then maybe you’re in the wrong line of work.


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