What is a Headshot Photo?

March 14, 2013

What is a headshot photo, you may ask?  I am currently in Nova Scotia, in a rural area near a town called Bridge Water.  Most people I have met in my stay have been doing similar career paths for generations.  The same jobs as their parents and their parents parents.  A school teacher, was taught in the same school her Mother attended and taught by her Mother.  My wife’s family routes are so long ago that they can no longer trace the first descendant that migrated to Canada.  What do they know about a headshot photo?

Headshot photographed by Carlos while visiting Nova Scotia

Headshot photographed by Carlos while visiting Nova Scotia

I had visited Nova Scotia on an urgent and sad note, my wife lost her Father, suddenly.  I came to support her and be there for her and her family on this tragic occasion.  People would ask me what do I do?  I didn’t want to tell them I was a photographer because people associate a photographer with their own experience’s of a photographer.  “Yes, I had a photographer take pictures of me when I was in High School, I know a Wedding photographer”.

My career is something completely unique and different to the usual career paths of most inhabitants of rural Canada which includes my wife’s extended Family.  Had they contemplated hiring a professional photographer to capture a portrait for modern needs such as Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter or any other popular social media site?  People spend money on hair stylists, so why not have a professional specialized in capturing portraits take headshot photo’s every now and again?

“What do you do out there in Vancouver, Carlos?”, I have been asked.  “I am a photographer!”,  “You sell pictures, in a store?”, asked Harry my Wife’s Uncle.

“No.  I am a headshot photographer…  Do you know what is a headshot photo?”…  I replied to Harry who was interested in learning about me.  He would later tell me that he often worried about my Wife moving all the way to the West Coast alone, but now that he met me – he is finally relieved.

“A headshot photo is an image of business people, sale people and performers or actors.  They use the image to brand themselves, to audition for a role and/or for social media”.  I replied.

“So you just go click, click, click – rapidly?”  Asked Becky’s Aunt Shed.

“Ah, ah…  Quite opposite, it takes me usually 20 or so minutes before I start clicking away.  My clients sit and talk to me about their life, as if they are in a counseling session.  Except I don’t counsel them, I simply hear them and make them feel great about their life and experiences.  Now we have them at their best internally which shows up, externally”.

“What is a Headshot Photo, Carlos?”.  “A Headshot photo is a portrait for modern needs, captured in a way that one can feel excited towards the energy and spirit inside the person being viewed through social media or a website, business cards or at times in wrapping a bus…”

I wondered if I would be a successful headshot photographer in rural towns around the country by educating people on the Art of Headshots.