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  • Writer's picturebonniejheath

3 Reasons to Hire a Photographer Who Specializes in Headshots

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

When I began my photography business, I did all types of photography. I shot a lot of weddings along with many other events -- birthday parties, mitzvahs, etc. I photographed babies, families, real estate and occasionally food. Becoming more of a specialist in headshot photography has been beneficial for my business in multiple ways. It has helped me focus my marketing and promotions. Knowing your ideal customer helps you know where and how to find them! Additionally, I've been able to sharpen my portrait skills to help serve my clients with the best possible headshots. Here are three areas that I've refined over the last couple of years.

This shot was taken on a rainy day in a dark office. I lit my subject with a large umbrella with a diffuser and lit the background with a smaller softbox to show some depth and structure in the office.

1. Lighting: Everyone begins their career in photography as a natural light photographer. We pick up a camera and start shooting with available light. Some photogs stick with natural light because it can be daunting (and expensive!) to move into strobe photography. But, with some lighting skills and gear, I can walk into any situation and be sure I get beautiful, flattering light on my client's face. The photo above was taken in an office building on a rainy day. I had no natural light to work with in this hallway. I used two lights. The main light has a large umbrella with a diffuser to create soft light on my client's face. The other light is hitting the hallway in the background to create depth in the photo.

2. Posing: I've learned a substantial number of posing tips and tricks over the last few years. Posing can help flatter your face and body in photos, and help convey a message about your personal or business brand. I have posing suggestions to help my clients with confident, relaxed expressions in their images. The photo above was taken outdoors with one battery-powered light. I posed my client at a small outdoor table and asked her to lean over the table slightly. This leaning forward pose helps signal to the viewer that my client is a good listener.

3. Retouching: Retouching is the last step in the portrait process. With attention to detail, I work hard to get everything looking great "in camera" so that less work is needed in retouching with Photoshop. My objective for portrait retouching is to help everyone look their best while keeping the images looking natural. All of my packages include a number of images with basic retouching: blemish removal, stray hair editing, teeth whitening and subtly softening under and around eyes. The images above show a before (left) and after (right) retouching. This photo didn't need a huge amount of retouching. I removed some pet hair that I had missed with my lint brush in the studio. I softened around her eyes a bit and tamed some stray hair. I also made the blue background more even.


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Bonnie Heath, photographer, Atlanta


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