A headshot is all about attitude; a great headshot gives you confidence and approachability. It’s my job as a photographer to get this out of you, as a client you don’t need to be bothered with all the technical side of the shoot, because that’s my job. When a client walks in front of my camera I need to be ready to build a report with them and build a confident client photographer relationship. Peter Hurley, one of the finest headshot photographers in the world always says he is 10% photographer 90% therapist.
As a prodige photographer of Peter Hurley, and a member of his Headshot Crew, it’s important to me that I approach my photography in the same way. I’m not just a headshot photographer I’m a portrait photographer. Yes I photograph corporate and social media headshots for my clients, but there is so much more to it than that. I love the one to one interaction between the client and myself. Getting to know the person as I photograph them breaks down barriers. This shapes the confidence of the person in front of the camera and helps to produce the best out of them. A big part of the way I shoot is conversation trying to build a common thread. In my posts I talk a lot about the importance of a great headshot and what it can do for your online presence. That’s what I do, I’m a full time photographer and I’m passionate about what I do and what I can do for my clients. I’m always looking to up their game online and with social media.
But as I said when you break it down I am a portrait photographer and your headshot is a portrait of you. The idea of a portrait is not just to record a visual image of you as a person; it’s not your passport photo. That’s a whole different subject. When you look at a persons portrait you want that image to make you think, it needs to project feelings and emotion back to the viewer.
My photography has a clean, crisp and modern look, that’s my thing! But many other photographers have their own unique style. I want to introduce you to a photographer called Victoria Will. Victoria is a commercial and portrait photographer from New York, but she has a very unique style, this year at the Sundance Film Festival she photographed celebrities. The style she used to photograph her subjects was to use a large format camera using a style of photography called Tintype. This is a very old style of photography where images are produced on single film plate. Normally know as wet plate, In the wet process, a Collodion emulsion containing suspended silver halide crystals had to be formed on the plate just before it was exposed in the camera while still wet. Chemical treatment then reduced the crystals to microscopic particles of metallic silver in proportion to the intensity and duration of their exposure to light, resulting in a visible image. She is effectively photographing headshot's, not in the commercial sense. But she is trying to capture the essence of the person sitting in front of her camera.
This link will take you to Victoria explaining how she approached the project, Victoria Will 2015 Sundance Film Festival
Portraiture has been used for hundreds of years as a means of showing the importance and capturing the raw emotion of a person. A Portrait was always a status symbol of the wealthy, but today we use what was then essentially a corporate headshot very differently. Of course today we don’t use paint we use photography, and instead of boasting our wealth a Headshot is to promote our personal brand and our company’s brand.
I want to reiterate, portrait photography is all about capturing the person and all the emotion that surrounds them. This inspires me to do what I do, and headshot photography is portrait photography. As I said previously to do this I need to create an emotional link to my subjects, whether it’s the CEO of a large company needing corporate headshots or just someone who wants a new headshot to go on there CV. Every client I photograph is very different and to get the best images the time we spend together is a journey of discovery.
I want my work to connect the viewer to the people I photograph and ask questions about them, create an interest. With my style of headshot I can create a cool looking portrait that will make people stop, take note visit your website. This will open up the opportunity to connect with others who may employ your services. I want to help create new relationships for my clients and introduce them to new customers and new employers. I said earlier a headshot is not your passport photo, its not just to let people know what you look like. Your headshot is your portrait and it needs to connect with people on a different level.