Headshots

HEADSHOTS : Carly

I was very lucky to get the opportunity to take Carly Mercedes Dyer’s headshots. She is working in theatre and musical and performed in many a musical here in the West End and abroad. Shows include Dreamgirls, Hair, Rock of Ages, Dirty Dancing etc. and just recently she has been performing in West End Story in Salzburg in my home country Austria!

I don’t believe some people are more photogenic than others. Everybody can look great in a photograph, it just depends on the perspective, the angle and most importantly the expression. As a photographer my job is to find this and help with my directions.

It can be more or less challenging to find this sweet spot.

According to Peter Hurley "about 2% of the population are genetically gifted individuals who are ambifacial. You can shoot them on either side of their face and they have the same level of attractiveness." Carly is in my opinion one of the few people who are ambifacial, so we got some great headshots from various angles.

Apart from clothing changes we also changed her hair at some point. I really like these shots too and I can imagine Carly as an action star there :)

Apart from being really easy to shoot Carly was also so much fun to work with! Thanks!

HEADSHOTS : Arthur

It was great having Arthur round for a headshot session. He is one of the few people who photograph really well straight on.

This is one of my favourite headshots I took so far. I like the simplicity of the white background and his black turtleneck top, so his look and eyes are even more captivating.

The viewer can’t not look right into his eyes!

Throughout the shoot we kept it very simple and worked on different expressions and subtle differences.

As an experiment we also shot with a grey t-shirt on a white background and a white t-shirt on a grey background.

They do have a different vibe, but I have to say that with Arthur I do prefer the white background.

Even though it is on the grey background I love the following shot of Arthur, where I was able to capture a genuine natural laugh :)

It’s interesting to see how different the first and the last photo are. At the end of the day, expression is everything!!

HEADSHOTS : Stuntman & Acrobat Conor

Headshot session with Stuntman and Acrobat (and in his own words “Performing Monkey”) Conor Kenny.  Conor is a great and fun guy, so make sure to check out his website and Youtube channel.

Colours are very important and I usually stay away from red tops in headshots, as they can distract from the subject. Clothes should rather supplement the look.

Here with Conor I shot him in his red t-shirt anyway, just to see how it works.

I knew I can adjust the colours slightly in post processing. In this case I just decreased the t-shirts saturation and changed the hue of the grey background a bit to make the overall look more cohesive. 

In my opinion the headshot with the red t-shirt really works in this case.

In contrast to this we also took headshots with a blue top, which rather complements Conor’s eye colour. There I was happy with the cooler hue of the grey background and didn’t have to change it.

As you can see in the last picture Conor was very, very excited about his new headshots :)

HEADSHOTS : Actor Philip

Philip came to me to get some more characterful headshots and that’s exactly what I am really passionate about. I don’t like headshots where the subjects have a blank expression on their face. I see many cases where actors have a range of headshots, with quite a blank expression and the only difference between the shots are the outfit or the background. It is not the actors’ fault, I think it is the photographer’s job to consult and direct them.

As I said it often before, a headshot is all about the expression!

His agent asked for some more “smiley” headshots. The tricky bit is that it has to be genuine, otherwise the headshot will be a cliché “say cheese” snapshot.

To get some character headshots we actually shot so many fun expressions, e.g. “surprised”, “smug”, “perplexed”, “miserable”, “blue steel” or “inquisitive” to name just a few.

Here is just one of them:

It was a great exercise for both of us, for Philip as an actor and me as a photographer!