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Portrait Photographer

Headshots Las Vegas 101

Commercial portraits, or what are commonly referred to as headshots, are used mainly for identification—as a means for someone to present himself/herself. The headshot is commonly used in the entertainment industry, in model castings and even in business. They are attached to resumes, portfolios, reports and press releases.


The photographer also needs to consider the common structure of the headshot. Backgrounds are not important and unnecessary even since the focus is really on the subject itself. White backgrounds are actually considered as the best because they appear timeless. A headshot is cropped tightly and the subject must be looking directly into the lens so as to confirm focus and even intensity. 


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Each person has a unique feature—something that professional photographers have dubbed “lookability”. It is something in the subject’s posture, facial expression and body language that capture the attention of the viewers. This “something” is what a headshot photographer must draw out from the subject. 


Communication plays a crucial role in capturing the perfect headshot. The so-called “lookability” of the subject is not always easy to determine and the photographer must rely on his/her communication skills to draw this out. As one famous Las Vegas headshot photographer who has popular studios in Las Vegas and New York puts it, “Headshots are 10 percent photography and 90 percent communication.” The photographer will not only draw out the lookability of the client through communication, he/she can also put the client at ease and enable him/her to pose more naturally for the camera. 


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When taking headshots, the photographer should be able to bring out the subject’s best side or the best angle. The photographer can do this by focusing on the face’s key features: eyes, nose, forehead and mouth; and determining in what angle these play up the best. Furthermore, the more expressive and alive the eyes, eyebrows and mouth are, the more successful the headshot. This gives the photo a dynamic and personal feel. 

Another thing that is important in this kind of photography is the proper accentuation of the subject’s facial structure. Bone structure, especially the jawline plays up really well with proper lighting and angle. It accents the subject’s uniqueness. 


Since all of the above has been taken care of, you may now focus on the technical aspect—the 10 percent of the job. 


Diffused light is the best for headshots. Diffused lighting gently wraps around the skin thus showing a blemish-free skin tone in the photographs. It defines the lines of the face without compromising the skin appearance of the subject.


90 mm and above—these are the types of lenses that are preferred in headshot photography. They compress the image and actually slim down the face of the subject. On the other hand, make sure that you avoid wide angle lenses especially for close headshots. 


A headshot may be simple and straightforward and it might even become your forte as a photographer as long as you know the techniques and guidelines that go with it. Go on and take that perfect headshot!


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