Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Top Tips For Great Modelling Headshots

What is a Model Headshot and what makes it different to other pictures? The difference is what the picture is going to be used for. When you think about modelling, it's all about fashion photography and runway shows, it's clothing, products, fabulous magazine and web campaigns and of course the models themselves. A great headshot grabs the viewer and holds them. A great headshot is the tool to to launch a career, to book amazing fashion jobs, to be remembered by, it's a picture to never forget! That special photograph is very important and it's the photographer and their team working together with the model that creates that unforgettable image. Which is why you need a photographer who understands what fashion and modelling is all about. Scroll down for my Top Tips!

A selection of headshot photography to illustrate how to take modelling portfolio headshots - Photos by Kent Johnson.

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So what are my Top Tips?

Find your angle – 
left side right side, up or down. No two people are the same so as a photographer you need to find the angle that works for them. As a model it is helpful to know what angle works for you; this can help deliver better shots faster – but don't get too locked in; many photographers can find something new, a new you by changing the angle. So know what works but be ready to experiment too.

Get close -
there's a reason it's called a headshot! While the trends go from head and neck to mid chest; the classic headshot really is just the head. If you have great bone structure and well proportioned features with great symmetry, closer will work well for you. If your key look is your body, a longer shot may work better. Photographers, going in super close means it's time to change that wide angle for a telephoto, which is generally a much more flattering focal length to work with on a headshot.
Male model headshot, close up style in black and white, photographed on location by Kent Johnson.
IMG Sydney model Mason M.

It's you but it's not really a portrait -
This would have to be one of the most confusing and perhaps difficult to realise aspects of model headshot photography. This is a portrait but it needs to go into the fashion zone, the modelling zone and not the mum / dad / friends love me zone. And honestly it is something many photographers clearly don't get and many aspiring models too. If you are serious about being in the fashion industry you need to be in alignment with fashion. Wacky, “fun” or party-time with people cut out photographs just won't cut it. Go to the BIG modelling agency websites and look at the model portfolios online. Yes you can do that. See what they use – this is what you need.
Call or Email to Book you Portfolio Shoot today! Kent 0433 796 863
Emotive headshot in colour, photographed in Prague with model Nikola R. Pho by Kent Johnson.
Model Nikola R. in Prague.

Work with the best you can -
Which also means spend some money.. If you are yet to land an agent the easiest way to get a great headshot is to book a photographer that knows what they are doing! Yes you can go down the Gumtree/Facebook/Craigslist path but you may very well be wasting your time and end up with pictures that do not show your true potential – and that is a wrong turn that can easily be avoided. Cut to the chase; do your research, find a fashion or beauty photographer who shoots model portfolios; email them, book them – done!
Studio headshot in black and white for Emma K, photographed by Kent Johnson.
Emma k - Studio Photoshoot, Sydney.

Do a full portfolio shoot with a few headshots -
As a photographer photographing new talent, I like to work on headshots across a full portfolio photoshoot of three to five looks. Simply because everyone hits their peak on a shoot at a different point or with a different look. Working on headshots across the photoshoot allows for more choices once the shoot is done.  Yes you may end up with the tough – too many good shots to choose from problem, but I just call that the good problem and more shots to choose from is a great place to be.
Black and white photograph, headshot and male modelling comp card for James S by Kent Johnson.
Comp Card Headshot for James Scott.

So that's it; fashion and photography change all the time, but even as they change some things remain the same. The importance of a great headshot! And if you like what you see here, drop me a line to book your headshot photoshoot.

Telling Stories in Pictures all over the world..
Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

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