A series of experiments by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov reveal that all it takes is a 1/10th of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposures don’t significantly alter those impressions (although they might boost your confidence in your judgments).
There are two types of photos when it comes to clothing: 1) For Portraits and 2) For Fashion.
If the photo shoot is for portrait you need to be sure that the clothing doesn’t distract, but rather compliments the person’s face. The fashion photo shoot is all about the clothing and the model is just there to make the clothing look good.
Look at these three examples of tops for a typical head shot.
To be sure we are concentrating on how clothing can add or distract from a portrait I shot these all the same so that the only difference is really the clothing.
First of all all three outfits look good on the model and the point isn’t about which one you like the most. The point in a portrait photo is which one makes you look more at the model’s face and less about the clothing?
- Avoid busy patterns as in Photo #1
- Choose a solid as in Photo #2
- Avoid Stripes as in Photo #3
Each person will look best in one of the following necklines: v-neck, oval or round.
Color choices can be tricky as well. Everyone will look good in Aqua. The reason for this is this is the closest to the complementary color for the skin.
While different ethnic groups have different skin, the general rule is it is more about how light or dark the skin is more than color differences.
However the other factor is our eyes and hair color. Complimentary and the same color are generally good on a person. Complimentary colors tend to make you pop more than the same colors.
The general rule which is often the most difficult to follow is always keeping it simple.
Lighting diagram used for examples
(2) Alienbees B1600
1-stop brighter on background than lights on subject
I recommend not having it perpendicular to the camera. Slight angle will help avoid light flare caused by light bouncing off background
(2) Alienbees B1600 with bounce white umbrellas
Nikon D4 with 28-300mm
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Clean and simple background inside.
All it takes is a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposures don’t significantly alter those impressions. This is how I started my blog about Skype Interview Tips. http://blog.stanleylearystoryteller.com/2011/07/skype-interview-tips.html
Today if you do not have a profile photo you might look like a creeper on facebook. There are 30 different types of profile photos according to Facebook http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-photo-styles-2009-03
The discussion on LinkedIn is to have a profile photo. http://www.linkedin.com/groups/IS-GOOD-PROFILE-PIC-IMPORTANT-1800872.S.45637410
I want to show you the variety of headshots you can have that are all similar except for one thing—the background.
Nice outdoor look for a background
As you look through these photos of my daughter Chelle, you may like one photo more than another, but notice how the background can set a mood, compliment or distract your attention. Remember pretty much all the rest of the photo looks the same in all the photos.
I recommend a simple and clean background. Next I recommend if your background has patterns or texture get as far away from the background so it is not so sharp and distracting.
The garage door is plain but the patterns are a little distracting
Background is simple and works OK
If want to make the photo outside go to the shade side of the house and have your subject face away from the house. The open sky will light them and not direct sunlight. This makes for softer light on the face. Also, you can turn on your flash to add a catch light in the eye and give more life to the eyes.
To make your photo inside find a plain wall rather than a busy wallpaper or busy background objects. Keep the light simple and soft, maybe a window for the light on the face.
If this is for something professional like for LinkedIn to find jobs, blog or website, get a professional to help you. Remember you only have tenth of a second to make a good impression.
Background is OK, but is dark
Even tho subject isn’t next to background–it is still distracting
Background is distracting