February 28, 2014

Headshot Mistakes: Poor Lighting

Arlington Actor Headshots - Bad Lighting Example - Bronze Chance Hill 2994Continuing my series of blog posts on Headshot Mistakes … things I’m seeing every day … Common mistakes actors make in their headshots.

You see it all the time. Photographers advertising that they are a “natural light photographer.” This is often code for “I don’t understand lighting, so I just photograph what I think looks good in the sunlight.” Not all of them are this way, but the ones that aren’t don’t usually use that phrase in their marketing. What happens is you get a portrait (like this one) that is lit from the wrong angles and you end up with deep shadows in the eye sockets and no light or life in the eyes. The whole image just feels flat because of it – and a casting director will probably think the same thing of your acting ability… Flat. Dull. Boring.

Arlington Actor Headshots Bronze Chance Hill 3004fIn the second image, the light was moved around where it was supposed to be. The eye sockets are lit and there are catchlights (pinpoints of light in the eyes) at a flattering position.

When seeking out a photographer for your headshots, pay close attention to the work in their portfolio – especially the eyes. Are they lit up? Do they have proper catchlights that match the shadows on the face? If not, move on to the next one. Don’t be lured in by price alone. This is your first appearance in front of the casting director – make it count! Invest in it.

A special thank you goes out to Bronze and all the actors who helped with this blog project. They were great sports in letting me purposely photograph them badly.