Whilst at an event at the beginning of July I had a very interesting conversation about props in headshots and how justified they are, it lead me to contemplate my pet hates in headshots. Whilst this is my personal opinion I decided to share my pet hates with you in this blog.
Possibly my biggest pet hate of all – photographers that hold a camera in their own headshot. If your website and social networking profiles are set-up correctly and you have an engaged following your followers and connections will know that you are a photographer. In my opinion it comes across as far too cheesy. The same goes for writers that hold a pen or have a pencil strategically placed behind their ear, another reason it frustrates me is that by having a prop in the image it is distracting attention away from the face.
Another look that I am less than keen on is the chin clutch, you know the one you’ve seen it 100 times over. For me the key to a great headshot is to make it look as natural as you can and to capture real emotion and laughter, this look feels to rigid and staged because that is exactly what it is.
This is one for the gentlemen, wearing a shirt and tie is perfectly fine but ensure that your tie is worn in the proper way. The top button of your shirt needs to be fastened and the tie should be in a tight knot, otherwise the formal look has less credibility and appears to be far scruffier looking as it highlighted in the picture and more attention is focused on it.
Lastly, the headshots that never fail to frustrate me are those where the person does not look engaged, there is no expression at all. I do not believe this ever makes for a good headshot, even when people are neutral in a headshot it tends to give them a vacant look and a blank expression. To ensure that you are capturing their character, as a headshot photographer, it is essential to engage with your client and to build a rapport so that they feel comfortable and relaxed.
So there they are, my pet hates when it comes to headshot photography. Do you have any personal dislikes when looking at other people’s headshot? Leave a comment and share your pet hates.