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Headshot Advice: Are you ready for your close-up?

Copped On Photography - Headshot Advice from Barbara Franzoni. Photo of Barbara with camera

Few people feel confident about their looks and many feel anxious just at the thought of portrait photography. I’ve met many lens dodgers over the years and it’s something I have huge empathy for. Feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera is one of the main reasons why I moved BEHIND the camera. So here’s some headshot advice to ensure you never have to dodge a lens again.

If you are getting your photo taken with Copped On Digital Media, you can relax as you’re in good hands. I studied photography in college and have participated in photography clubs and groups also. I’m experienced in headshots, event photography, reportage and studio work. Most importantly, I’ve made it my business to know how to make you look good.

Headshot Advice and Tips

A great photograph takes three things: Preparation, Presence and Post-shoot editing. Preparation involves getting yourself and the location ready for shooting. Presence is about how you and the camera interact. Post-shoot editing is the final polish, where I highlight what’s great to make your perfect image.

Camera Ready Preparation

Before the photography shoot, everything that will be shown in the frame should be checked. Therefore, if you want photos in your office, be sure to spruce up your office first. Your background is important so make sure that only relevant items are on show. Finally, check yourself to make sure you are as camera-ready as your surroundings. Ensure that you’re happy with your look in terms of hair, clothing and makeup, if you choose to wear it.

Personal Image Tips (Clothes and Hair)

During your photoshoot, we want to reach a point of happy relaxation. This is where the magic happens and it’s what makes a special photograph. To be happy and relaxed on camera, it’s important to prepare yourself beforehand so as not to waste any camera time.

Wear clothes that you know you look and feel good in. You should, however, avoid wearing visible logos or slogans, (unless that is the specific photographic intent, e.g., a staff photo in uniform). Wear clothes that tell the right story, supporting the image you want to convey. If you want to convey a professional image, wear professional clothes. Wear casual or sporty clothes if you want to achieve a more relaxed, non-corporate look.

Photo of bloomers on a washing line. A quote from Chris Martin reads; You gotta wear the right trousers if you're gonna be a rock star. Headshot Advice photo from Copped On Digital Media

If you want to change clothes during the shoot then have them ready and keep an eye on the time. Experimenting with scarves, hats or jackets are a great way to change your look quickly without eating into camera time.

Style your hair before the shoot, ensuring it’s nice and neat. If you’ve experienced a windy day then bring a hairbrush or comb to the shoot for a last-minute touch-up. To vary your look, you might want to literally ‘let your hair down’ halfway through a shoot.

Should you choose to wear make-up, remember that a little goes a long way. You don’t need special cosmetics, whatever you normally wear will be fine. Make sure your lipstick hasn’t strayed to your teeth or your eyeliner run under your eyes. If you wake up with a mighty zit on your chin then, don’t stray from your usual makeup in an effort to camouflage it. Instead, let your photographer know and ask if it can be minimised in post-shoot editing.

Do also be sure that you are not still wearing fragments of food from your last meal.

Headshot Advice for Posing

Whatever you place closest to the camera lens will look bigger than what’s further away. This difference between what’s large and what’s close is an underlying principle of photography. So if, like me, you want your eyes to look bigger and your chin to look smaller, then tilt your head so your eyes are closer to the lens than your jaw. Many people have insecurities about certain body parts, but an experienced photographer can advise you on how to minimise your insecurities.

Quick tips for posing:

  • Ensuring the lens is above your eyeline will make your face appear slimmer
  • Moving the lens below your eyeline makes your face appear more powerful and muscular
  • Leaning forward to put a stretch on your shoulders will make your neck appear slimmer
  • Stretching your neck by pointing your face into the camera will also minimise lines and wrinkles
  • Leaning back slightly will make your legs appear longer (although we do have other tricks for that too)

Finally, don’t forget to smile, a smile makes you look younger and more radiant and beautiful. Relax and you’ll look amazing on camera.

I hope you found this headshot advice helpful. Check out our photography page for more details including testimonials from previous clients: Photography Page

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