What We Do For You (boop boop pi-doo)
“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered” – Nelson Mandela
Your face is usually quite unique. In a way, you could call it your trademark. When friends see your face, hopefully your name springs to mind. That’s the connection. Simple. If that’s true, your headshot is your calling card – that one item you may or may not want your friends to identify you with, depending on how it’s done.
Hugely popular and growing with social media use, the headshot is our personal icon. We rely on it to be our first impression. That’s what we’re going to talk about. If you’ve been thinking about getting yours done, but don’t know where to start, or what to ask for? This blog may help you decide what style is right for you.
So, what is a headshot anyways? What qualifies? One may think it’s rather obvious, but when we first composed this we actually had to stop a bit and think. At first one would think that an image should be at least 50% of the image being a face. (y’know, your head) but we’ve covered headshots that have chest and shoulders which puts the face at about 25% of the image. So we adjusted our official opinion and will go on record saying any image where the exposure of the face is most prominent. Your focus should be first drawn to see the face and by extension the eyes. The expression on the face should say the message, therefore props tend to be a distraction and can turn your headshot into a portrait. Of course, rules were meant to be bent to gain the correct message for the right application.
They are basically 3 kinds of headshots and the rest fall into one of these categories with slight variations. They all say different things.
Lucky you! You’re going somewhere exotic! You may be updating your driver’s licence. Not as exciting, but still better than being arrested and getting your headshot done at police headquarters. Yup. These are your officail identification headshots and we all hate them.
Truly, this does not take the talents of a photographer. A photo booth could do what is needed. The lens has to be an exact distance from the subject. The light has to be of a certain strength and distance from the subject. Placed in front slightly higher than the lens, it’s position never changes. Focal distance is always the same. Even the backdrop is specified. No facial expression allowed. It is important everyone’s head is captured the same size in relation to everyone else. The name of the game is uniformity.
Angel Studio does not cover these. We prefer to look for more attractive representation than the passport shot. When the time comes for a more flattering image, give us a call!
The Business Shot
This is your go-to marketing tool. We understand that these images are an important part of your public relations arsenal. On a business card or advertising, it personalizes your service by letting your clients know they are dealing with human being. Like it or not, people will gain a bias when they see your headshot. Done correctly, your PR pictures can be quite effective. On the other hand, if your images look amateur, you’ll probably look amateur. First impressions really do count!
Your business headshots must convey integrity, ability, approachability and intelligence. That’s a lot of weight for one image! For this reason a shoot will consist of several captures with different expressions. You may need a serious, but capable look for one application, but another requires you to be friendly and informal. Call us picky, but we believe our attention to nuance will help lead to your gaining that contract or sale.
You’d be excused if you didn’t know there’s science behind a good business head shot. Psychologically, shadows convey a feeling mystery. Unless you are a magician, perhaps you don’t want to seem mysterious. This is why we believe that your business head shot should be brightly and evenly lit with few shadows or just enough to define your features. We need to see the colour of your eyes so the viewer can connect with you. We can get that in two ways; Artificial light, preferably in the studio. The other way involves waking up really early and hoping for good weather. (read: it’s all about the right light)
We have no problems giving you a backdrop to match your company colours. Otherwise our head shots default to pure white backdrops. We actually have reasons for that. The first reason is a gradient backdrop creates a distraction from what is important – you. The second reason reason is one nobody thinks about until later – at some point you may want to use your image on a business card or letterhead. A pure white backdrop guarantees to match white paper or card stock. Instead of a head-in-a-box, your image will float. This always looks more polished. This makes your investment more flexible and this gives your arsenal more power!
Headshots can be a few years old, but after a while they do become stale-dated. When this happens we want you to come back and we make it easy to do with our Head-Shot Club. Ask us about it! All head shots come in full RGB colour and B&W. The reason for that is newspaper ads are usually B&W half tones (images are comprised of small dots) and changing a colour to B&W can be quite unflattering. Newspapers don’t care about that – so we do. With our business head shots we offer full resolution copy so you can print. This last perk is only available to for commercial use.
The Glamour Shot
You want to impress somebody. You may just need a ‘feel good’ gift to yourself. Hey! It’s no biggie! Whether it’s just for Facebook, a dating site or that one special person, we all want and deserve an attractive image of ourselves. A glamour shot is how we do it. We use light and shadows accentuate your best features. We use potraiture rules that diminish what we don’t need. It is unusual for focus to be on anything else, but the eyes. We all know the electrifying of being on the receiving end of ‘that look’. With a glamour shot we try to capture that feeling. Here, we’ll spend more time on catch lights in your eyes that make your look come alive with sparkle. Always a flattering touch! If you are a woman, we make no apologies, but we will use all our expertise in conveying you with elegance and/or dignity mixed with a bit of ‘HEAT’. If you are a man, the same efforts (although different rules) will be made to achieve a hard and masculine look. All our productions are echoed back to you in full colour and a tasteful rendering in B&W at no extra charge because that’s the way we roll.
Our monochromes are not desaturated. Instead we render each one alone on its own merits. In the image above we were struck with our model’s beautiful, platinum hair. Once rendered we see the swirls of hair more as a face framing texture. The epicenter of the headshot is the model’s eyes or the first place you look. From there is tapers gradually to empty canvas. We call them monochromes instead of B&W because sepia is a monochrome too, but not black and white. These renderings are still a striking expression as they reduce distracting colour so you are left with only the lines and gradients. As you can see the female model above was rendered into monochrome softly, whereas below more contrast and structure detail boosts the hard look of our male model.
From another perspective perhaps a colour image is too much for your decor…? Perhaps it winds up looking a bit too loud? A monochrome custom built for your decor is a tasteful and elegant answer.
Who gets their headshots professionally done? There seems to be no rules. Anybody who has a face walks through our studio doors. Realtors, business people, advertisers, single and married people, professionals…We get people who need agreeable images of themselves. The largest group we experience are those who claim not to be photogenic. (“I take horrible pictures”) This is a phenomenon that occurs after too many unflattering captures. It’ll wear thin on anybody! Truth is everyone has a good side. Some of the most attractive people just need a particular light to make the most of their features. We think it’s a shame that some of us have doubts about their appearance. To us, a happy human is one who feels comfortable in their own skin. We like think the reflections we offer our clients boost personal confidence. Angel Studio’s love-it-or-don’t-pay policy demonstrates our assurance of quality.
Few things in this life can help you put an positive spin on your self-awareness and self image than a tastefully executed glamour headshot. This is important to anybody’s self -esteem, but especially therapeutic to the world’s most self critical species – the 14 year old girl who is susceptible to media bombardment. Yes, we have daughters too and have seen the transformation that flattering photography brings.
Of course, the glamour shot is on the different end of the spectrum than a business shot and just left of Venus compared to a passport picture. Try as you will, all other headshots will fall somewhere in between these three genres. It’s all a matter of how much of each you want.
Sooner or later the occasion will call for a headshot. We work hard to make sure our images are loved enough today to become tomorrows heirloom.
If you are an employer, you may consider the possibilities of having your staff covered. Nothing fosters a family feeling more than displaying your employees in your place of business! From the client’s point of view, it will personalize your business. From the employee’s point of view, it’s tam builder. Also, as a perk one gets working for you, they get an terrific headshot social media use.
Whatever way you choose to go, from mild to wild – whatever your photographic needs are today, when you get a headshot with Angel Studio you automatically join our headshot club. This will get you ‘friends and family prices for every headshot you get from us in the future! No, you definitely won’t have top carry another loyalty card. Your face will do the job. It’s good to be known!