How To Photograph A Headshot - Dan Cantero Headshots
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In Sydney, Professional headshots are a necessity for anyone in business. A headshot photograph is not a portrait as it has different uses.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur launching your own company, or an individual trying to get a new job, headshots can be very important and often times difficult. To help take the confusion out of headshot photography we’ve created this guide with all the tips and tricks you need to know!

Let’s go over the things that we will discuss in this article.

  • Lighting
  • Expression
  • Posing
  • Camera Settings

Lighting For Headshot Photography

Lighting is key when photographing headshots. You want to find a location that has good natural light, or if you’re using artificial light make sure it’s flattering and not too harsh. The one thing you need to look out for the most, is that you are not getting any nasty looking shadows on your subject’s face. If you are using natural light, this is done by placing the subject in a shaded area and reflecting some light back on to their face.

If you are using artificial light, you should diffuse the light to make it as soft and large as possible.


Expressions For Headshot Photography

Expression is probably the most important factor in the photograph. Your expression is what is going to come through first when someone looks at the photo. Expression it what what does most of the communicating in a photograph. You could potentially get away with bad lighting and incorrect camera settings, but if the expression is wrong, the image won’t work. This is because the expression is what we use to send the desired message to the viewer. For some people, this comes naturally. For others, they need to get coached on how to express themselves in front of a camera.


Posing For Headshot Photography

This is often the first thing that people will try to do when they are having their photo taken. Posing may seem like a simple thing, but it is actually quite hard to do well. This is why professional models work hard at making themselves look good on camera. For around 90% of people, this is not something that they can do on their own and they need to be coached. Posing may look natural in the photograph but it does not feel natural when posing. The camera dulls expression and because of this we need to exaggerate it whilst in front of the camera. People will often say that they feel silly and that they don’t think it will look good but they quickly realise when they see the photograph, that the effect the camera has on posing. This is something that they need to be helped with by the photographer.


Camera Settings For Headshot Photography

There is some flexibility in the settings used in your camera when shooting headshots. Some please like the blurry background which can look very nice. This usually requires a high quality lens with a small aperture to throw the background out of focus. Most camera phones aren’t able to do this unless using the portrait setting but this can often look a bit fake so it is not recommended. If the person will be cut out of the photo to replace the background, it will need to have a smaller aperture to ensure a nice crisp border around them that can be cut out. The camera settings will depend on the final requirements of the photograph.


Final Thoughts On Your Headshot Photo

Your headshot should express who you are as a professional. It’s important to look natural and not too posed. You don’t want your headshot to look like a passport photo! Try and relax, smile, and let your personality come through. This photo is going to represent you online so it needs to be the right headshot photo for you.

What’s next?: Headshot photography can be very intimidating. To help take some of that fear out, that’s why I created this headshot photography guide to help you. However, if you think you need some help to capture an amazing headshot photograph, get in touch to see how I can help.