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Photography - Artistic
A basic guide to taking great headshots (karma: 5)
By quelle_nightmaremember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1412, member since Mon Sep 06, 2004
On Mon Sep 04, 2006 06:14 PM
Edited by quelle_nightmare (105554) on 2006-09-04 18:14:42
Made sticky by Theresa (28613) on 2006-09-08 21:22:00

Hey everyone, I recently posted this in a reply to a post on the ballet photos-members board, and I realized that this is probably a good place for it.

I've been a photogapher for a long time, and this was one of the first things that I ever learned in photography class. And also one of the best-serving!

It's best to take these sorts of headshots in a very simple manner. Over-she-shoulder shots, shots with hands, complicated poses etc are very distracting.

You should definitely take these shots in vertical alignment - IE tilt the camera sideways. This is actually officially called 'portrait alignment'!

Use side lighting against a blank background. Stand angled slightly towards the light source and tild your head slightly (SLIGHTLY) towards the light source. DON'T use a flash, take the picture ideally next to a big window on a sunny day.

Keep your neck and your shoulders in the shot and a bit of blank space above your head.

As for hair up-or-down, it really doesn't matter, as long as it doesn't eat your face. So if your hair is really long, thick or huge (all of which mine is, haha) then pull it back. It's best to have it slightly off your face.

It's best to wear a more open-neck top to show off your shoulders - especially for ballet/dance. Show off your collarbone, because for most dancers, it's one of your best features! Too much makeup is a bad idea, because the camera will show every grain of shimmer and every stroke of eyeshadow.


Ok, I hope this helps some people! It really helped me out - I've been shooting my own headshots for several years!

Take care,
xo
amy.

7 Replies to A basic guide to taking great headshots

re: A basic guide to taking great headshots
By pointeytoes7791member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1143, member since Sun Oct 31, 2004
On Tue Sep 05, 2006 08:53 PM
FINALLY!


I can not tell you how helpful this is. I just posted a plea for help for taking headshots the other day. Thank you so much. This is pretty much the most helpful post I've ever read on ddn. Karma Karma Karma....I'm so psyched! Thanks again!




pointey ;)
re: A basic guide to taking great headshots
By pointeytoes7791member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1143, member since Sun Oct 31, 2004
On Tue Sep 05, 2006 08:54 PM
Oh yeah, by the way, is there any way we could make this into a sticky? I think others would find it very useful.
re: A basic guide to taking great headshots
By Armwarmermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3108, member since Fri May 20, 2005
On Thu Sep 07, 2006 06:22 PM
Send a mod report and ask for it to be a sticky.

Good job! What a great post. I don't do portraits often, but someday I'll try, and now I'll know how to do it right.

Ashley
re: A basic guide to taking great headshots
By pointeytoes7791member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1143, member since Sun Oct 31, 2004
On Sat Sep 09, 2006 08:57 PM
yays! it is a sticky. fo sho fo sho.
re: A basic guide to taking great headshots
By Riellemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 1280, member since Sat Jul 08, 2006
On Thu Sep 21, 2006 04:33 AM
great post! thank you
re: A basic guide to taking great headshots
By followthesmile Comments: 69, member since Sat Sep 06, 2008
On Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:37 AM
That was really helpful. You should post more tips! :)
re: A basic guide to taking great headshots
By colemanphoto Comments: 1, member since Fri Jul 24, 2009
On Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:21 PM
Not bad, basic advice!

I'm working on some articles for eHow and on my blog about New York headshots and I like the idea of including some diagrams.

I'm a firm believer in professional shots for a professional carer, but if you're just getting started (or in school), it's perfectly acceptable to take your own shots.

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