Increasingly over the past few months I have been asked to evaluate Headshots & Profile Images and provide Feedback. I try to be as objective as possible & so I thought that this could become a service that people might enjoy that also gives me an opportunity to connect and create a dialogue around my favorite topic, Headshots.
The evaluation that I make looks at a number of areas, you could evaluate your own Image with the following guidelines –
Is the subject clear & well lit ?
Is the subject in focus ?
Does the image have a busy background ?
Is the subject wearing a busy or non-professional looking top ?
Is it obvious that the person has been cut or cropped from a bigger Image ?
Is it obvious that the image was taken at a social function of some type ?
Are there any other people in the image ?
Are there any pets in the image ? If you are a working member of the RSPCA, it works. If you are a Sales person for a cosmetics company, is it relevant that you have a pet cat ?
If it is a full length image, can you see the face ?
Is the person doing some type of physical activity ? If you are using a shot of you Rock Climbing, fantastic if you are a rock climbing instructor ! If you are a Marketing Manager it doesn’t quite work !
Does the subjects expression look confident, natural and unforced or do they look “out to lunch”, “zoned out ” or like a deer in the Headlights.
Are the subjects eyes level with the camera. If the eyes are above the camera it can give the impression that you are looking down on the viewer and coming across as a snob or arrogant. Most people would have heard their Mum say ” don’t look down your nose at people ”
How many chins does the subject have ?
Most people I am sure can look at this list and make a pretty good evaluation of their own Image. Their next decision is, do I need a professional Photographer to take my Headshot. As a professional Headshot photographer of course I am going to Yes ! Whats a professional Headshot worth ? Its a little bit of a ” How long is a piece of string question” There are photographers that will do it for $50.00. If you pay $50.00 for your Headshot pay particular attention to the above points. A professional photographer that only charges $50.00 per shoot is probably struggling to make a living and be wary of the photographers that will stand you up against the wall and tell you to smile. Unless you a model that can smile on cue it may end up looking forced and not very warm.
A good professional Headshot should last you approx 3 – 4 years. If you come to my studio that’s less than $100.00 per year.