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Lessons:15Length:1.8 hours

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Free Preview: Headshot Photography


  • Overview
  • Transcript

Headshot Photography is a great way to get started as a people photographer. In this course you will learn how to find clients, take great photos of them and deliver amazing product to them. Whether you want to photograph actors, CEOs, or just regular people who need a profile photo, this course will lay out the knowledge and skills you will need to be successful as a headshot photographer.

1. Introduction

1.1 Introduction

Hi, I'm Scott Chanson for Tuts+, and this course is called Headshot Photography. I believe that this course is so important because at some point in every photographer's life, there will come a time when someone will ask you to take a headshot for them. Now, it might be your waiter/actor/model friend, or your aunt who's a real estate agent and wants headshots for her new business cards. Or maybe it's your entrepreneur cousin who needs to update his look on his LinkedIn profile. In any case, you need to be prepared to create great headshots for these people in a comfortable and professional manner. Another reason that I think this course is so valuable, is that headshot photography is a great way to get your feet wet as a professional photographer. If you were thinking that you might want to try to make money with your camera, I cannot think of a better way to get started than with headshot photography. Unlike a once in a lifetime wedding, or big commercial shoot, headshots are relatively low pressure. And since everyone needs a good headshot for their social media accounts, the pool of potential clients is huge. In this course you're going to learn all about the ins and outs of headshot photography. First, you'll learn about the different kinds of headshots, and how and actor headshot differs from a corporate headshot. Next you will learn what camera and lighting equipment you will need to get the best results for your headshots. And perhaps the most important lessons you will see how interacting with you clients is really the key to getting them to look their best. We will also cover several headshot lighting setups, that will make it easy to set it and forget it, once you start shooting. Finally, you will see my headshot workflow, and how I process and retouch photos for my clients. This course will be full of very practical lessons from my years of experience as a headshot photographer. And I am very excited to get started. So let's get started with the first lesson, which is, what exactly is a headshot?

1.2 What is a Headshot?

Hi, I'm Scott Chanson. Welcome back to Head Shot Photography. I guess the best place to start in this course is to define what exactly a head shot is. A head shot is a specific type of portrait that realistically demonstrates a person's appearance for branding or casting. I love that this definition says branding, because this is what makes head shot photography so important. In today's world, pretty much any career path you choose will require you to build a personal brand. And in my opinion, one of the most important aspects of your very own personal brand is how you present your face to the world. This is where we as photographers get to shine by using our gifts and skills to create images of people. Whenever I get a call to do a head shot, I am honored. Because it means that this person is trusting me to produce an image of them that is going to represent the essence of who they are to the world. A few months ago, a client called me to schedule a head shot session to create some images for the promotion of her new book. These images have now been published in the New York Times, the L.A. Times, and in Time Magazine. I mean, wow, that means a lot of people have based some of what they think about this woman based on something that I've created. I just don't think I'll ever get used to that, and it really is a blessing to do as a job. In my mind, this is the essence of what a head shot is. It's not about whether I shot it in landscape or portrait orientation. It doesn't matter if it's black and white or color. It's not shot with tons of makeup and perfected in post production. I mean, she's not even looking at the camera. But if you know Kristen, you know that this image is a spot-on representation of what she's really like. She's fun loving, funny, and she loves adventure. And I think this image perfectly captures that. As we move through this course, I'm going to give you some very specific ways to shoot different kinds of head shots based on my experience, my taste, and the feedback that I've gotten from my clients. Some of these lessons may sound a lot like rules, and they are valuable lessons. But ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that your job as a head shot photographer is to bring out the best in your clients and to create images that reveal best of who they really are in the context of where they will be used. I like to think of head shots as fitting into three categories, those categories are actors' head shots, corporate head shots, and what I like to call anybody head shots, or social media head shots. Each of these is a little bit different and to get things going, we're gonna start with actors' head shots.