Because it isn’t just a picture

I guess this is going to be a bit of a rant.  My tagline for many years has been …because it isn’t “just a picture.”  When that is read with my artist’s statement, many will understand just what I mean.  But seeing a number of really bad head shots flying around in the last few days I’ve come to the conclusion that I must be the only person in the world who believes that.

I mean the most basic basic things were missed.  We’re not talking just bad lighting, color correction, poses, and composition.  We’re  talking something even more basic that should have been done prior to even arriving at the location.  Ask some questions: Why is the photo being taken in the first place?  In the case of a headshot or portrait, what needs to be communicated about the person? Is it an actor, actress, musician, businessperson, teacher, etc.  These answers should lead to more questions.  What values should the photo communicate, and who should it communicate them to?

Now, lets plan the shoot so that we obtain that objective.  This is something the client should be thinking with as well.  You don’t want “just a picture” because if that is what you use to market yourself, you will lose clients, not gain new ones.  I’ve seen this happen over and over.

End rant.  This photo is a headshot with Cody Woldt.  He and I first worked together many years back on a shoot for a smaller fashion designer.  We have from time to time ended up working together and I haven’t been able to help notice how much he has “matured” in the sense of gaining a real presence in front of the camera, one that commands attention.  We decided some new head shots were needed to show this.

This is the first from this shoot I am posting.

Denver photographer

Headshot of model Cody Woldt, copyright Mark Stout


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