If you read the guidelines of casting agencies for actors and models, they always suggest using vertical, or portrait mode, framing. So, why do I use the horizontal orientation?
All my headshots are designed to give the highest impact. To do that, I fill the frame with your face, and that means that most of the body is cut out on purpose. The top of the head is often chopped off too. And yes, I do it in camera, not in post-production. If I was shooting vertically then much more body would show, unless I move the camera very close to the subject. So close, in fact, that there would be an excessive distortion of the face caused by the short lens-to-subject distance.
Look at the portrait on this page. Do you really need to see the rest of Dick’s jacket? Do you wonder if his head is complete? Those elements are not as important as the impact of having the face so fully featured. And with such a great expression, Dick’s image is not helped by more wardrobe showing.
The same rules apply to the background. I often hear people asking to be portrayed with some fancy background, maybe outside. That doesn’t help you when making a professional portrait. With an artistic portrait, it’s different. In that case, we work to create an image that has a certain feel, a certain look. Maybe we go for elegance and fashion. Maybe we try to show wealth and prestige. But with a professional headshot, we need to show two main things: confidence and approachability. Everything else is just distraction.
Again, look at Dick’s face. His confidence is unquestionable. He has been in the business for decades and it shows. His genuine smile also tells us that he likes to talk with people. Do we need to see bricks behind him? Or some foliage? Absolutely not! And with the white background, he can use this headshot easily on his business card and on most websites. It works wonderfully on LinkedIn, Facebook and any other social media site.
Lastly, a headshot that is different from the others will make you stand out, and isn’t that what we all need in business?
Call me today to schedule your professional headshot: (843) 701-1138.