What is a Headshot and whats it for ?
A Headshot is really pretty simple. Its a photograph of someones head. I usually include some of the shoulders and upper chest but rarely more than that. As a Headshot photographer I always try to talk people out of including much more than their head & shoulders in a headshot.
There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, its more difficult for the subject, particularly if they are inexperienced in front of the camera. The more body you include the more they have to think about. I believe there is enough to think about just on the face & head, when you throw in a couple of arms or even legs then it becomes really complex trying to think about all those things and how to make them look natural & real all at once.
Adding more body into a Headshot is also more difficult for the photographer as he/she also has to think about extra limbs. For me people shots, portraits, are broken down into 4 main types – Headshots, ½ body (waist up) ¾ length ( thigh up) & Full length. From a corporate Image perspective I cannot think of any reason why you would need to include more than your head in a Corporate Image.
What is the purpose of the Headshot ? I believe the Headshot is to give people an idea of your atmosphere and in the Online areas that we are often operating in nowadays, it also allows people to put a face to an e-mail, a voice or a website. What should that face say ? Well, really, whatever it wants to say but, it will depend largely on the personality, job & demeanour of the person. If you are a vibrant, upbeat, outgoing person then do you want to convey that to other people in your corporate Headshot. I would say sometimes yes & sometimes no. We have to have a clear understanding of what the Headshot is for or where it is going to be displayed. If you are a corporate solicitor and you have a Headshot where you have a big laughing smile on your face, do you think this would send the right message. Likewise, if you are looking for work in Hospitality and have a dour looking expression on your face does this send the right message ? Your expression should match your personality but also match the industry or job.
Trust a professional when looking to have your Headshot taken. Hopefully a professional that has a reasonable array of images depicting a style similar to the type of headshot you would like.