A great head shot made easy

Technical Background Head ShotWorkplace background head shot

Logo background head shot

Neutral Background fun head shot

A head shot used to be the almost exclusive domain of actors and models. But now more than ever a good head shot has become ubiquitous for all manner of uses.

Such is their popularity there is even a dedicated Wikipedia page for those wishing to know more.

Elite Image has many years of experience in taking head shots for a range of clients.

So here are some tips to make the job easier and the end product better.

How is the head shot to be used?

Different styles suit different uses. Social media profiles tend to be less formal. A LinkedIn head shot needs to be more professional. Business cards or job applications require a more traditional passport type head shot.

Sometimes a more formal portrait type shot might be the best way to communicate your style.

If using the head shot on a company website, brochure or marketing material it needs to be keeping in the established style.

Plan in advance for a few different head shot styles to cover multiple uses.

Locations

Whilst the background will be out focus it will set the tone and dictate the style of your head shot.

White backgrounds work best for a more formal head shot. The office background for more technical professions or company logo for corporates. A natural outdoor location can also work best for a less formal head shot.

Remember to keep your head shot background simple, avoid anything too busy or distracting.

Clothing

Keep the clothing for any head shot neutral.

That lovely tie-dyed number or Hawaiian shirt might have worked well on holiday but don’t belong in a head shot. Also avoid fine stripes that confuse digital cameras. Florescent colours, logos, writing or the latest on trend accessory can also confuse and date your head shot.

Mid tone colours (eg. blue, green, purple) tend to be more flattering. Avoid flesh tone colours (eg. tan, cream, yellow) which may not offer enough contrast to the head shot. If the head shots are to be converted to black and white allow for more contrast in clothing choices.

Keep it simple and classy. Something that you’re comfortable in, fits you well and in a classic dark grey or blue works best.

Organise

If organising several people for their head shot make sure you allow them plenty of time for their requirements. Stagger the timings so the latest head shot subject isn’t having to pose with an impatient audience.

For bigger groups get the head shot subjects to write their names on an A4 and hold it up, mugshot style, before the main shot. This is a great icebreaker and makes tracking and naming a breeze later.

Allow enough time to get your head shot done properly without rushing and arrive early to ensure you’re looking relaxed.

Relax

Now you have everything else right you can relax and pose for the perfect head shot.

It does pay to have a quick look in a mirror beforehand but don’t go overboard on the makeup and hair treatments. Check the basics, hair in place, tie is straight, jewellery in place, buttons done up.

Breath easily, put your hands in your lap, look straight at the camera, stop talking and start smiling.

Relax, be natural and your head shot will look natural.

Check this gallery out for a selection of head shot ideas and results.