Your headshot should be unique for your personality and your brand. It shouldn’t look like every other headshot. Most business headshot photographers want to get you in and out with A setup they are familiar with. That means everyone who goes to them will end up with a similar looking headshot. As a commercial and editorial photographer who loves photographing people in a variety of ways, that was the entire reason I started s72; to give people a better option. Here are a few examples of different styles I’ve done for different clients.
While the lighting and mood in these two images may look the same to most people, I see them as being very different. They both have a sense of drama with a darker shadow, but the lighting is very different. With the man you can see the lighting is a bit softer. The transition from shadow to light are not as harsh. With the woman there is a more defined shadow and the lighting is harder. Different faces and ages need different treatment. With the younger woman her skin could stand up to and even benefit from the harder lighting. An older man will benefited from softer lighting (unless of course you’re looking to accentuate age and experience). They both give off a similar mood, but in different ways, each flattering to the subject.
These images were shot for different clients who wanted an image that made them stand out. One was a writer and the other a graphic designer. I realize not everyone would want something as extreme as this. But when you’re in a creative field (or just want to be different) you can take risks and do something other people aren’t willing to do.
This is another one that may not be for everyone, but I always like photos where people aren't looking at the camera.
With these two images the lighting and backdrops are different but they have a similar look. These images show you how the post production of an image can change the mood. On these images I liked the idea of a warmer skin tone but with green tones throughout the image. This was all done in post production. The backdrops used in these images are actually neutral grey and black respectively. While using a neutral color pallet would have worked, the clients and I felt this color pallet made the images unique.
These images are very dark. These are the types of images I prefer, but I realize not everyone will want something this dark for their headshots. Yet, as with the “color gelled” images above, these portraits were commissioned by a design firm who wanted to do something different. They asked for “Vermeer Lighting” which tends to be very soft but shadowy and dark.
These images are the exact opposit of the last set of images. They are bright and colorful in both the lighting and the subject’s demeanor. Not everything needs to be dark and moody or shot against a neutral backdrop. Adding color to an image is a great way to make your headshot stand out.