Once upon a time, only actors and executives thought about headshots. Now we all do.
Your Facebook profile photo? Your Twitter avatar? Your LinkedIn photo? They're all headshots. The context might have changed a bit, but many of the old rules still apply:
Rule #1. There’s a huge difference between a great headshot and a lousy one.
Rule #2. Get a great one.
My new headshot was taken by Peter Hurley, a world famous headshot photographer, at an incredible workshop this past weekend. Just weeks after I moved to the Chicago area, Peter happened to be in town offering an intensive weekend course for photographers. My wife volunteered to hold down the fort and watch the kids, and I got 20 hours to study with Peter.
The workshop included great lectures and plenty of time both behind and in front of the camera. Being in front of the camera — actually sitting there getting my own picture taken — was illuminating. Literally. It was blinding due to Peter’s intense lighting. But his true gift isn’t his fancy equipment. It’s his ability to pull rich expressions from anyone who steps in front of his camera.
Peter describes himself as “90% therapist, 10% photographer.” Watching him work, it’s easy to see how the dynamic between subject and photographer makes all the difference. The human element in his work is incredible. No matter where technology takes us, I don’t believe a computer will ever be able to product expressions with the authenticity that a talented photographer brings every day to his craft.
I learned so much at the workshop, and I’m already putting new techniques and tricks to use in my own sessions. Drop me a note and let’s get to work on a new headshot for your social media presence. Everyone can benefit from a bit of profile therapy.
PS - Here's a quick tip for your next selfie — Check out Peter's video on the Squinch. Now, take that photo!