My approach to headshot photography is similar to how I approach every shoot: the subject leads the composition and editing.
I believe that not every subject should be shot the same way. Some things like shoes or basic products mostly can, but people, places...they have a unique personality and style that I firmly believe in letting dictate my shots.
Sure I could shoot every person the same, in a controlled environment, with studio lighting (and I've seen some amazing work like that that I love!), but my personal style is to let my subject for the day influence what my shooting style will be.
Like with my sister: she's a hair stylist with a big personality, great style, and she just happens to own a pink car! I mean, how many people do you know with a pink car that don't sell Mary Kay (haha). So, that day I walked into the shoot knowing I had to get a photo of her with it.
I always prefer to take a photo of someone in their home, office, or favorite place as opposed to in a studio or a contrived location.
I start my process by taking account of the surroundings. Wherever it is that my subject wants their picture taken - I know that it likely says something about them. If I'm in their office, for example, their furniture, artwork, decor or even their "mess" will have an impact on the photo.
Do you have pieces of paper or coffee cups laying around while you work? Good! Keep it in the photo :) it all says something about you.
Some people may be uncomfortable with this at first, but I like to shoot this way because I know that if I was on the other side of the camera I would want my photographer to capture every aspect of my personality in the photo, too!
And I love capturing candids of people breaking composure - laughing or smiling big! Those ones are the best! So, on a shoot you might notice that I've always got my finger on the shutter...searching for those golden moments!
Sometimes even the quiet moments can speak volumes. I love being a fly on the wall to someone's creative process.
This one happens to be one of my all-time favorites because it shows my subject in his element - creating his art. It's not about me, it's not up close and contrived...it's personal and private - a snapshot of a moment that would be happening no matter if I was shooting or not.
And that's really what I'm always striving for with my headshots and portraits.
Ready for your close-up? I'd love to do more photos in a series like this, so if you're an artist in the Boston area interested in getting your photo taken contact me and maybe we can set something up!