Peter Hurley has been my headshot photography mentor for a few years now. In fact, I have attended two of his “Headshot Intensives“ which teaches professional photographers the concepts that made Peter Hurley’s studio what it is today. The two-day workshop spends very little time on gear so it is best to be there prepared by already knowing the technical aspects of photography and your personal gear in particular. The time is mostly spent on what to do once you have someone in front of your camera to generate a dynamite headshot with an interesting expression.
I see so many Dallas headshot photographers cranking out image after image where the client does not look flattering either because of poor lighting techniques or an uninteresting expression. In fact, many local photographer’s are now copying the PH2Pro style, which I like to call cinematic, but fail miserably because they think it’s all about the white background and chopping off the top of people’s heads. Well, it’s not. The photography part is less than 10% of what is required to getting a headshot, the other 90% is all about getting the right expression. When Peter looks at one of your headshots and shouts “Shabang!” it was because you’ve created an interesting expression. After all, the headshot is about marketing a very special product…you! One of the many tips Peter taught me to getting an interesting expression was “The Squinch.”
I typically ask people to squint when I photograph them. It’s a significantly better look than when my subject has their eyes-wide-open, which denotes, fear and surprise so a person ends up looking psychotic. There are lots of tricks I use to get someone to squint just right. However, Peter’s 15-minute video below does a much better job explaining how to get it just right. Give it a try the next time you photograph someone or do a selfie. If you’re not sure what to do, just scan magazines such as Vanity Fair and Vogue. There are lots of sample there. When the Squinch is combined with a hint of a smile and a flattering pose, you’re on your way to a fantastic headshot that will make viewers stop, pay attention to your initial message and potentially look deeper into your website or other marketing materials. It’s not as easy as it sounds, so be sure to practice because the expression is all about the eyes, eyebrows and lips working together to deliver the right message..
Madelaine does marketing with Truly Noble Services, which provides a wide range of services for residential and commercial real-estate properties throughout the Dallas Metroplex, Houston, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. She wanted something that would work for both her LinkedIn profile as well as for publicity photos she needs for promotional events.
Whenever I am commissioned to create a corporate headshot for someone, my goal is to first make them confident and approachable. You shouldn’t look bland, lifeless nor eager. You should be interesting and fascinating so people will hopefully stop and pay attention to your message. A super big smile is not necessary but a natural expression that looks engaged definitely is critical.
As for make-up, avoid using any powder. Shows up in the camera too much. Go shear and as natural as possible so you look as if you do not have any make up. You or a make-up artist can always add more but it’s not easy to take off. If you wear too much, it’s sends the wrong message. If you have wrinkles, not to worry, my lighting hides the vast majority of it before we even press the shutter. The rest, if you want to spend the extra money, can be removed at post-production. But quite frankly, not necessary IMHO, because an overly retouched headshot may be considered false advertising. As for guys, you’re lucky as you get to skip the make up all together.
Heidi is a photographer who recently attended Peter Hurley’s Headshot Intensive in Dallas TX. I took the workshop a couple of years ago but showed up to help out, supply one of the lighting set ups and get a refresher all at the same time. As a Dallas yea
Courtney was in the studio a few days ago. I first shot her on location a couple of weeks ago where I was able to convince her mother to bring her in for a headshot. She’s real easy to photograph and it did not take much to get a reaction out of her. The image above was a captured moment where she was looking at her parents. I’m not sure why she was looking over there but I loved her look. Unfortunately, I only had a chance to snap one image before she turned her attention back to the camera. I tried to tell her to look back and do whatever she was doing but it was too late and we could not duplicate the image I saw just moments before.
Most of my headshots are against white. This one is against grey because I wanted to try something different for me and I was worried the black top would be too attention grabbing so I turned off the backlight that normally would hit the white seamless paper behind my subject.
Casting CallsNon Scripted Television Calls
For more info go to: http://abc.go.com/site/casting-shark-tank
SHARK TANK 5 OPEN CALLS
Attend one of our Nationwide Open Calls where you will be given the opportunity to do a 1-minute pitch of your business/product/idea to a member of the Casting Team – just like you would as if you were on the show. Come prepared to wow and dazzle us. You must also bring with you a completed application, which you can download here. Only the first 500 applicants are guaranteed to be seen so arrive early and get your numbered wristband. Be advised: security may check your bag and you are responsible for your own parking. We do not validate. Good luck.
SATURDAY, APRIL 20TH – DALLAS
WFAA – VICTORY PARK
3030 Olive St.
Dallas, TX 75201
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM – Numbered Wristbands Distributed
10:00 AM – Interviews Begin