So what makes a good head shot?
When looking into professional head shots, it’s important to take these things into consideration:
The background of your head shot photo matters. Colored and patterned backgrounds can be distracting. We go for a clean and simple grey or a traditional "Rembrandt" style with brown tones. Black is okay too but sometimes most find it to be too harsh. We just don’t want to distract from what really matters here, the subject!
The lighting is probably the most important while also the trickiest aspect to a head shot. Lighting can change a person’s look and feel with the slightest move of an angle. There are many different studio lighting techniques to create amazing definition. We use a three light set up... a main light, a fill light (adds to the shadow side), and a hair light (adds a lovely, but subtle back light to the hair and shoulders, which gives a great separation to the background)
Yes, every photographer sees something a little different, but the really good ones have learned their craft so well that they can concentrate on bringing out the best expressions from people. I learned years ago from a great mentor, "Set it and forget it". Simply put, learn how to set your camera so that you can do it in your sleep. Many photographers spend too much time messing around with their camera settings and looking at the screen as the image pops up. A truly good photographer will not need to keep looking at the camera after each captured image, they can work on talking to the subject and bringing out the best smile that person has. THIS is one of the most valuable lessons I ever learned!