Commercial Model Headshots

The importance of taking a great commercial headshot for agencies is critical.  Understanding what makes a great headshot is part of the equation.  It’s not just a pretty picture.  The image can further a models career, slow it down or stop it completely.  This shoot was Andi’s first to test the waters so to speak.  These will be the only images the agency  has to market her.  I’m sure her agency won’t have a problem finding photographers who would love to test with her and her book will fill up in no time, but for now this is all she has.

To show clients the  quality of a models skin and the plains of their face is my goal.   Bookers appreciate and want straight on, straight on, straight on.  Strange unusual angles are not appreciated.

The model has makeup on (actually it can be quite a bit) but it is clean and fresh.  You shouldn’t see eyeshadow or lip  liner, the makeup should be  neutral and well blended.  If the model has great lips I prefer just clear gloss.  I like the hair casually messy.

We first shot the blue image of Andi, it’s the top she wore to the shoot.  I love the color but thought the beading was a bit distracting.  We looked through my wardrobe and she remarked she liked the neckline on this burgundy dress, that they always looked good on her, sounds good to me.  I kept the blue background, which is actually one of my custom painted canvas backgrounds just leaning vertically against my studio support column, it’s not even hung up.  I thought with her blue eyes the shoot should be in cool tones.  Going into a shoot that is my major consideration, do I shoot it warm or cool?

So this image was taken in the same place, my north facing windows with a triflector.  This has become my go to set up for head shots.  Hair lights, background lights, separation lights are not always necessary for model headshots, or even actors headshots for that matter.

These two headshots will show potential clients what Andi looks like.  The blue image is a bit smoldering, the burgundy  is more commercial.   I have only taken out a couple of slight blemishes and brightened up around her eyes.  I dodge and burn to taste using curves layers.  The two images are basically the same just handled differently in post.  I use a screen curves layer to add a bit of brightness.

Agencies want to see the goods and there is no better way than with natural light.  I love it!

3 comments category: Backgrounds,Headshots,modeling,Modeling Agencies

1 Mary DuPrie July 6, 2010 at 5:38 pm

if the models teeth aren’t showing it’s because they will not help sell her…


2 Sherry July 6, 2010 at 2:13 pm

What about the teeth you were telling us in Benton Harbor Essentials class? Don’t they need to see if the vampire canines are there? I was listening!!!


3 antonio toscano July 6, 2010 at 10:53 am

Your explanation is incredible, the headshoot is really important, I like you I prefer the blue blouse, as emphasize her eyes, besides the expression would be more natural, sexy and sells logic. Andy is an amazing model, her chin tilted me sensuality, her hair looks more fresher and natural.

Thanks Mary for reminding us of these important points, you’re an amazing photographer and secure any model has a great opportunity to excel when you take your photos and to make representations in business, greetings from your friend and fan n º 1 mexico: antonio toscano Florenzano, sorry my bad English please


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: