Boy…I was SO tempted to go with a different title for this post, but I decided to keep it G-rated 😀
Head shots are one of the most challenging types of photos to do because the attention to detail is critical. If you get it right, it’s a close-up not only of the subject’s face, but also a glimpse into their soul. I don’t do one on every shoot, even though I do try to capture at least a few shots that I can play with. Eh…it doesn’t always work out. But I’ll keep trying, shooting those tight photographs and working on my technique. I want to be able to offer at least one to every person I photograph. Stay tuned as I work on realising that dream.
I also kinda fudge on what a true head shot is. Generally speaking, it should just be the face and possibly shoulders. But I extend that to include the upper body – basically, chest up.
That’s what I did with this photo of my friend, Fox. He has beautiful eyes and I wanted to show them off, but it just didn’t seem to work with a tight head shot. So, I extended the cropping to allow me to include an overlay that I think helps create a mood that reflects more about him.
This photo of my cherished, Tylar, is actually a re-work. I wasn’t happy with the original, so when I started playing around with overlays, this was one of the first pictures I experimented with. It’s still not perfect, but it not only shows Tylar’s beauty, it gave me an opportunity to express my love for my dear friend.
I’ve used myself as a guinea pig for head shots more than anyone else, because if I fail, I am not disappointing anyone who is expecting a usable finished product. I shoot photos of myself for a variety of reasons: sometimes to relax, sometimes because I want to test a new prop or pose, and sometimes just because I get the itch to try out new techniques and I want new material to work with.
One of my favourite effects is called Orton. It gives a dreamy, romantic mood to a photograph. It doesn’t work with every shot, but when it does, I’m overjoyed. I think in this photo, it worked. I love the warmth and softness it conveys.
I’ll be revisiting this topic as I improve my technique. I’d love to hear what you think about head shots – either shooting them, having one taken of you and even if you think I’ve succeeded.
Or not. 😉