A Professional Photographer Makes A Big Impact On Your Headshot:
Of course, there are many people claiming to be professionals out there. Lots of people who own cameras and have figured out they can charge to take your photograph. Those who have decided ‘I can do that’. The key to finding a professional is to look at their actual folio of work, read testimonials and reviews, and find out a little about them (their qualifications, experience, and attitude to business).
Choosing a professional can have a great impact. You choose someone for both their skills and their talent. Like many things, other people can probably ‘do it’, but sometimes it is a better choice to use someone who specialises in that skill set. This can go from baking a cake for a wedding, to building your website, landscaping your garden, to…having your photograph taken.
Phone Vs DSLR:
Phone companies are really using their inbuilt cameras as a big selling point. Apple are putting billboards up with images taken on the iPhone. The technology in phone camera’s is amazing now, and it might seem easy to point your front-camera at yourself and take a selfie. Or maybe put your camera into portrait mode, and have your mother take it. But phone’s lack the image quality and choice that a professional and their DSLR have.
Things like lens choice, sensor size, aperture, and control over manual settings are what sets a DSLR apart from phone cameras. Professional gear allows for compete control over the image – the contrast levels, brightness, sharpness and depth of field (how blurry the background is).
Lets not forget the benefits of using off camera flash to manipulate the lighting – either in a studio environment or outdoor environment. These controls are much harder on a phone. And much harder again when you’re taking a selfie, or just grab a friend to take the shot for you.
The Knowledge of A Professional:
Similarly to above, professionals use professional equipment. Your friend/family member, or just a random off the internet charging cheap rates for a headshot, may have a DSLR. That’s enough social proof right? If they have a professional camera then they must be a professional yes?
Being a professional goes beyond just owning a DSLR. Lens quality has a major impact on the final images you will receive. Often, it is the lens that creates standout shots. Premium lenses allow for really low apertures (more blurry backgrounds), and extremely sharp images.
Furthermore, a professional will have studied light and composition. They will consider the background: Do you want a shot that has cars, bins, rubbish or other people all visible in the background? A professional will consider the background, and if there too much clutter they can turn that clutter into a beautiful bokeh background, or compose the shot around it. Professionals will use available or artificial light to their advantage. If it’s bright and sunny an amateur might struggle with dark shadows and glare. A professional can turn this light into something beautiful.
Who Do You Trust More?
Many professionals are validated by their experience, their portfolios and their qualifications. So many people base their photographer choice off price alone without considering the outcome of their shoot. You need to consider if your payment is going towards headshots that you will love. Looking at a portfolio is the best place to start.
I’ve seen many acting headshot photographers claim they’re the best choice to hire, because they are actors. It is much the same as someone saying they can bake you a professional wedding cake because they enjoy eating cake. There are some amazing headshot photographers out there who are or have been actors. They’ve taken the time and dedicated themselves to becoming industry professionals in the photographic field. Unfortunately, not every photographer has done this.
Make sure your photographer is serious about their photography discipline. You don’t want them to have just picked up a camera for the sake of picking up a camera. If you’re wanting to show you’re serious about your career, go to a photographer who is serious about theirs.
To read more headshot advice and tips, head to my blog. You can see my folio, and packages. To book your session, head to my online bookings page.