Do your kids need headshots? Kids under five years old don't necessarily need professional headshots because they are so young that casting directors are just searching for pictures of them looking cute. They don't care if it's a professional shot or not.
But for kids between the ages of 5 and 12, they should definitely get professional headshots taken, although headshots for kids are different than headshots for adults.
Kid's headshots are much more commercial. They feature the child smiling and having a good time, usually with high key lighting. Every once in a while (more for older kids around ten to fifteen), you'll see a theatrical/legit style headshot. It really depends.
What makes shooting kids hard is because you have to be able to get their attention and keep them happy, while at the same time, being able to technically shoot a good looking headshot. Remember that headshots are not just pictures that look good. They need a level of confidence and professionalism in them to be able to truly look good. And a casting director who sees your child with a professional headshot is definitely going to notice that they are investing in their career. Or at least their parents are!
The question what makes a headshot good is much easier answered after determining what makes a professional headshot bad.
Headshots are an art form, and so it is difficult to give the artist standards to work with. Therefore, the following should only be taken as guidelines, not rules.
Too much light from below. Amateur photographers often light too harshly from below the subject because they think it looks good. The problem is that shadows define facial features, and if there is too much light, the photo will look unnatural and you won't be able to clearly see the headshot client's details on their face.
Bad makeup jobs. Bad makeup is worse than no makeup. Remember that Headshots much not look very glamourous because the actor typically won't look that made up on a particular day. The more natural, the better.
Jewelry and items on the face and head. If the client wears sunglasses or jewelry, they will be viewed as distractions and won't work for the headshot. Remember that you can't have anything in the shot except for clothes and face.
Too much shadow on the face. In addition to having too much light on the subjects face, you can also not have enough. Remember that if there are too many shadows, a casting director might think you were trying to hide something on the actors face. Therefore, you should only have enough shadows to sculpt the face, no more.
Blurry and technically not proficient photos. If a photo is blurry or too dark, it is unusable as a headshot. Remember that your technical details must be perfect if you want a truly professional headshot.
Bad framing. Bad framing can really take away from a headshot. If you give the client too much headroom or not enough and you chop off some of their head, it's not going to fly. Learn proper framing techniques and you'll be set!
Not enough body showing. If you are cropped too closely in towards the head, the shot won't be useable because a casting director wants to get some sense of your body type too. I always suggest shooting a bit wider than what you plan to use later so that you can crop in. Then if you decide you actually want a wider shot later, it's no problem!
Strange angles. Don't be too experimental in how you shoot the Headshots. The camera can be tilted slightly, buy not too much. The client shouldn't be shot from an extremely high or low angle because those angles tend to make the client look thinner or fatter than normal, and can really take away from the photo. Actors should look in their headshot just like they look in reality.
These are just a few of the many things that can make Headshots no good. Remember, if you avoid all of these problems, you'll be on your way to getting great Headshots all the time!
What is correct photoshopping and what is incorrect photoshopping of Headshots? Truthfully, you don't want to overphotoshop a headshot, especially an actor headshot. Remember that the goal of a Headshot is to show you how you really look but without distracting elements. Therefore, it is best to only take out the distracting elements, while leaving everything else mostly the same.
The four main things to worry about when it comes to photoshopping images are:
Bags under the eyes. Bags can easily be covered by makeup in a film or play, so there is no reason to keep them in a headshot. Having or not having bags under the eyes doesn't make a difference in the expression and character, so you should remove them.
Distracting facial marks.remove pimples and other facial distractions that will make the client happy. Remember that certain facial features can't be covered by makeup, and others give the person more character. Leave those.
Skin shine. Remove shininess from the skin of he clients your are shooting. Try to do this during the shoot by bringing powder or a napkin to keep the face dry. If you have to remove it in photoshop, it's fairly easy to do, and definitely should be done.
Teeth whitening. Don't whiten teeth so much that they look fake. But remember that instant teeth whiteners make it easy to fix someone's teeth right before a film shoot, therefore you can definitely whiten someone's teeth so that they look more attractive.
Brighten the eyes. Use the dodge tool in photoshop to whiten up the teeth of the headshot client just a bit. Doing this will make them stand out a bit from a lot of the other Headshots. Remember that a headhot is all in the eyes. Just don't brighten the eyes so much that the photo looks fake!
Hey I'm Martin, and my goal is to help you reach yours. I love writing content about career advancement, marketing strategies, productivity, and much more.