Headshot Photography exploring Angles: discovering what works for you.

Exploring Angles:

It is really important to nail the angles in a headshot. I think this is what makes or breaks a portrait – especially in terms of you liking an image of yourself. So if you know what angles work for you, let your photographer know before you start shooting (or as you are shooting).

I tend to ask my subjects if they have a ‘prefered side’. I get mixed responses – some are really sure of their preference, others have no idea or don’t really mind. This is fine – either way you can take steps to nail all the right angles during your headshot session anyway.

Here, in these examples of Matt, I took images on each angle. I had him sit on a slight angle, as well as square on to me, to capture these three images. We also took a few different head angles, and then reviewed the shots. For this image, matt liked the straight on shot – in the middle here.

The best thing to do is make sure you review your images with your photographer. This is done in all my sessions – if we are in the studio, I’ll get them up on a laptop so we can view as we go. If we’re outdoors, I’ll show you on the back of the camera so you can see what you like or don’t like.

Up, Down, Straight-On: it all matters.

Besides the actual angles of your face and body, there is also the photographer’s job of the camera height. There can be a vast difference when shooting from above or below, and even straight on. They also have to consider what lens they use, and the distance they are from you as the subject.

A wide angle lens, and being really close to you, is going to change all your angles and proportions in your face. They should be planning this in advance, and for a standard style headshot (rather than a creative portrait), a non-distorting lens is ideal.

Have a look at this example, which highlights how minor height adjustments on the tripod can change the appearance of me. The ‘below’ angle was taken slightly closer here – keep that in mind.

It is most obvious in the shape of my face, and my chin. In the below angle the chin has flattened out, and my face seems much rounder. Compare this to the other angles, particularly the above angle, and you will see how my chin appears much more pointed, and my face looks slimmer.

In Your Session:

– Talk to your photographer before you start shooting about your preferred angles.
– If you don’t know what your preferred angles are, check out some photos taken of yourself or look into a mirror (or, you can always ask a trusted friend’s opinion!)
– While you’re shooting, make sure you review your photos, and explore a few different angles. If you’re not sure about them, chat to your photographer, and suggest taking a few different angles all in a row so that you can both compare and decide what works for you.


I’ve written more headshot advice, including a guide to posing! Check out my other advice here!

If you’re ready to go, book your headshot session online with my booking calendar. Or if you’re after any other particular advice, you can contact me!


 

Julia Nance Melbourne Corporate Headshot

Julia Nance is a headshot and portrait photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. Her vibrant creativity is inspired by her experiences. From photographing whales underwater to travelling in Europe. With a vast background in a range of photographic areas, it is Julia’s natural ability to connect with her subjects that ultimately drew her to the art of portraiture.
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