Why headshots are important
January 17, 2017
Muscles of Facial Expression
Courtesy Anatomy Zone.
are so important
We all know that a headshot is an important branding component to professionally represent an individual or a company. An effective social media profile such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram has become a basic necessity for professionals of all fields.
The simple “headshot 101” information can readily be found on Wikipedia and other countless media. However, no one has written an article as to exactly why headshots are truly important, until now.
You’ve heard that a “picture says a thousand words”, but this quaint, old turn of phrase understates the value of a modern portrait. A headshot speaks to the subconscious minds of your family and your friends as well as your present and future clients. In a deep and profound way, a headshot allows them to feel and understand something that is beyond mere words. Leonardo DaVinci was stunned to discover that the human face has had 43 muscles to express and convey emotions. We learned to read and write before the discovery of letters intuitively by reading human expressions.
If we look at images of three horses we normally would not find much distinction between them. However, if we were to see images of three people our mind would register three unique individuals because we have been hard-wired to be stimulated upon staring at a fellow human being.
Consider a World without technology and you are alone in the Jungle and run into a group of humans. These humans could mean life, pleasure and interaction or they may want you for food. Our minds will immediately detect the others intention to ensure our survival.
In June of 1985, National Geographic made a portrait of a refugee girl their cover photo. This image would become the cover of numerous special issues for their fascinating magazine over the following thirty years. Why? It is because anyone seeing the iconic portrait of Sharbat Gula understands that this beautiful 13-year-old young woman has recently endured suffering and makes us want to help her and connect with her. National Geographic understands that among all the wonders of nature, a person’s face is the most impressive and expressive.
While looking at a person’s face for the first time our mind will decipher a complex amount of information. We will wonder if this person is an ally or an enemy; should we trust them? How do they make us feel? Immediately we begin to interpret their moods and their life experience. I believe that we can determine such profound questions as: is this person happy and healthy? Is this person confident and successful?
A well-photographed headshot is a show stopper. A window to the soul. Its power lies in its ability to allow the viewer to make a deep and profound understanding of the individual in an unconscious and natural way. Man has always had the ability to see and interpret visual information. The text has only been around for a few thousand years. Is it any wonder that a picture is worth a thousand words?
Different Styles of
Cinematic style of headshots are great for some actor’s and creative business people. The portrait is captured outside at low depth of field making shadow focus. Very popular, lately.
Studio for obvious and not so obvious reasons is the most popular style of headshots for corporations. The company can pick a colour and keep the same colour for all the portraits. A studio session doesn’t have to worry about weather or unforeseen disruptions during the session.
Green Screen or Clipped
Green screen headshots can be used to remove the background ( clipping ) allowing the design company to add any background it wants. We recommend going through this process only if a professional designing company is involved.
Different Types of
Actor Headshots are usually produced for casting a role as a performer for film or stage acting through a printed headshot sized 8×10. Actor’s workbook provides performers an opportunity to showcase talent online.
Corporation can showcase talent through their corporate headshot of people in the “about” us page.
Headshots for Social Media
LinkedIn, Facebook , GSuite and thousands of other…
LinkedIn, Facebook and GSuite to mention but the three main social media giants have their own unique style for representing headshots. LinkedIn prefers square cropping and a small size, while Facebook prefers a larger size and allows the individual to decide the cropping format. Each profession has its own databank of social media channels with unique requirements.
Branding headshots are a modern portrait usually used by a professional, business people or corporation to make a statement of who, what and how.