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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|Example of a company using a modern look with the white background|
When people go to your website and click on your team, do you have headshots? If not you need to seriously consider adding these in today’s “Social Media” environment. Just ask your kids what they call a person who doesn’t have a headshot with their profile–“Creeper”
|Using a more classic look gives a different feel to the company headshots|
While having a headshot will help you not look like a “Creeper.” having all different types of headshots can look quite unprofessional. Are you saving any real money by taking your own snapshot of your team to put on the website or your blog?
Remember you only have about 1/10th of a second to make a first impression. They are not reading your bio to make that decision–they are looking at your photo.
What does your “About Us” page have for your potential clients to learn about you? Are you a “Creeper” with no headshots? Do you look like you cut corners and try to save money and take your own headshots? Do all your headshots match or does it look like someone missed picture day at the high school and had a snapshot sent in for their senior year yearbook photo?
Give me a call if you want all your company headshot to look similar and help “brand” your company.
When you create portraits that will run together you can create a “feel” for the portraits. One way is to use a traditional formal portrait where the backgrounds are identical. Another way is to use a similar style.
The last three photos are more traditional. But when used together they are not very good as a theme. What you need on a company website or organizations website is consistency of portraits. My recommendation is to find a theme and then have all the portraits done the same.