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10 Tips for Taking Great Headshot Photos
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10 Tips for Taking Great Headshot Photos
Tutorial created using Adobe Photoshop CS5 with a PC
Our photography lesson today focuses on how to take great headshots. Here are 10 simple tips you can use no matter what kind of camera you have.
1. Focus on the eyes.
Check your camera manual to find out how it focuses. For headshots, you want to choose spot focus and aim right at the eyes while you press the shutter button halfway. While holding the shutter button in that position, recompose your view to include only the head and upper torso and fully depress the shutter.
Choose portrait mode on your camera.
Or for DSLR users, shoot in aperture priority mode and choose the lowest possible number for your f-stop. This will assure the pleasing blurred background (also known as bokeh) that helps bring the focus inward to your subject.
Zoom in on your subject.
If you shoot wide angle without zooming, your subject's nose is likely to look larger than life, which is usually not a good thing in a portrait! A rule of thumb is to shoot headshots no wider than 50mm.
Avoid harsh sunlight.
Find shade, a brightly cloudy day, or a bright room in the house without direct sunlight.
Use a reflector.
A photographer's reflector is a great addition to your supplies, but you can easily use a piece of white poster board instead. Or even more convenient, use a natural reflector. In the layout below, the side of our house (a very light cream color) acts as a natural reflector to bounce light onto the left side of my son's face. If he had been standing next to a brick wall, that side of his face would have been much more shadowed.
Achieve catch lights.
A catch light is the sparkle of reflected light in the subject's eyes. The reflector is a great tool to direct light into the eyes.
Shoot with available light.
Whenever possible, use available light. A professional would use an off-camera flash. You can achieve a headshot using flash, but it won't look as natural and tends to look "snapshot-y" even if well composed.
Shoot with side (90-degree) or 45-degree angle lighting.
This lends more depth and realism to the headshot.
Check white balance.
Take care of the white balance in the camera at the time of the shoot. If you want it perfect, check to see if your camera allows you to customize the white balance to your exact conditions. Alternatively, use a photographer's gray card in the first test shot of your subject. Then you can use that in your photo editing program to fix the white balance later.
Include a bit of your subject's personality in a headshot.
Bribe your unwilling child by allowing him to show off his latest Lego® creation in the photo! Perhaps your grandmother has worn a beautiful, wide hat - shoot a horizontal headshot instead of the usual vertical.
As with all photography, the more you practice, the better you will become. Start with adults, as they tend to be more cooperative during practice sessions. If all else fails, practice with a nice, patient teddy bear!
Commercial license versions of ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Dated Biggie, ScrapSimple Tools - Styles: For Him 6401 Biggie, ScrapSimple Tools - Styles: Houndstooth 6301 and ScrapSimple Tools - Actions: Deep Shadows 6501 PSE and PS Biggie are also available.
Article written by Cheri Thieleke
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Journaling Challenge Chat
Monday, May 14th - 6:00PM MDT
Do you struggle to get the story recorded on your layouts? Then this is the chat for you! We'll give you tips and tricks for including journaling on your layouts. Join Carla (CRS) at 6pm MT for this month's Journaling Chat! We'll be talking about Cherise Oleson's ScrapSimple Type Shapes: Journaling Around Squares. Hope to see you there!
Project SG Chat
Monday, May 14th - 7:00PM MDT
Join Shannon (tinkerbell11) in the chat room for a Project SG Chat! You can earn an extra point for attending the chat which gives you another chance in the quarterly and grand prize drawings. It is never to late to get started on this year-long project to keep up with your most current photos. Come and see how everyone is doing and offer one another encouragement to keep plugging along.
East Coast High Noon Crop
Wednesday, May 16th - 10:00AM MDT
Join April (April Showers) each Wednesday at 10am MT for the East Coast High Noon Crop. All coasts and time zones are welcome! These crops are designed to allow you to work on your own photos and themes, simply giving participants a one hour goal and a fun, new challenge each week.
On May 16th, we'll do a surprise color challenge! Create a layout predominantly using a color to be chosen by the group at the beginning of the crop!
Create your layout and upload it to the special High Noon Crop Gallery. You'll be amazed what you can get done in just one hour, but there is no High Noon Sheriff timing you! Hope to see you in the chat room!
Hybrid Craft Chat
Wednesday, May 16th - 6:00PM MDT
Join Shannon (tinkerbell11) in the chat room for our monthly Hybrid Craft Chat. This month we will be highlighting Syndee Nuckles' ScrapSimple Card Templates: Dad. This will give you plenty of time to create your own unique Father's Day card for Dad or another special guy in your life.
May's Forum Game: Boutique Alphabet Game!
The Boutique Alphabet Game is back! Do you remember playing the game "I am going on a _____ hunt and bringing..." where each player listed items starting with a specific letter? We are playing a similar game on the Scrap Girls Forum during the month of May. Each day except Sundays, a team member will post a new theme and starting letter in the game thread. Members then will search the Scrap Girls Boutique for a product that fits the theme and post it in the game thread. Entries are to follow the alphabet starting with the letter posted with the theme each day. Only one product per letter per round will be counted and products may not be used more than once. Collections and their individual parts count as one product. Time stamps will be used to determine credit in the case of duplicate letter or product posts. There is a limit of three game posts per person each day and another player must post before posting again. Member names will be added to a drawing based on the number of qualified product links posted in the thread.
Prizes will be awarded at the end of the month and winners will be announced in the June 9th Newsletter. Gift certificates will be awarded as follows: $15 SG Gift Certificate for first place, $10 SG Gift Certificate for second place and a $5 SG Gift Certificate for third place.
For complete details, visit the Monthly Forum Games folder on the Scrap Girls Forum.
May Monthly Layout Contest: May is a big month in the northern hemisphere for flowers. For this month's layout contest, we're going to give a little twist on the usual flower photos. We want you to try your hand at extreme close-ups. Be creative in point of view and angle. Even most point-and-shoot cameras have a close-up mode. Do the best you can with the equipment you have and scrap a layout with a photo or two – or three. Your submission will be judged on its merit as a layout, not necessarily the photography. Post your layouts in the May Monthly Layout Gallery before Midnight MDT on May 31st. Be sure to list your layout's product credits in the description or under the EXIF Properties. Two layouts will be selected to win a $10 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Club Concepts Layout Contest: Post your new layout using the current club selection (either the Scrap Girls Club or the ScrapSimple Club) in our Scrap Girls Club Members Gallery or the ScrapSimple Club Members' Gallery. Be sure to list all of the Scrap Girls products you used. If your layout is chosen, it will be showcased as a Club Concepts layout winner, and you will win a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
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