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The Portrait Photographer’s Guide:

Pro Tips and Insights

Lights, Refinement, Expression! The Triumphant Trio of a Stellar Headshots

by | Actor Headshots, Headshot Tips, Personal Branding and Business Headshots

It all starts with a cheeky grin or a pensive gaze, or the slightest raise of an eyebrow. It’s that magical moment when the camera captures not just a face, but a story, a personality, a moment. This is the realm of the professional headshot photographer, a world where light, detail, and expression unite to create a compelling portrait. So, what makes a good headshot? Well, it’s not all about the brand of the camera or the backdrop, but a mixture of expression, lighting, and attention to detail. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage (I recommend a hot cup of French roast, oui oui) and let’s delve into the headshot recipe for success!

Getting Lit… Properly

In the headshot photography realm, lighting isn’t just about ensuring you can see your subject; it’s an art form that can elicit a range of moods and emphasizes the individual’s features in the best possible way. A professional headshot photographer uses light to paint a portrait, carefully selecting soft, gentle illuminations for an inviting, friendly vibe, or employing bold contrasts for a bit of drama. The secret ingredient here is that the eyes should always be well-lit, captivating the viewer’s attention, and the ears should never outshine the face. Unless you’re going for the Dumbo look, that’s never a good idea.

It’s All in the Details

Traditional business headshot of a gentleman from phoenix, Arizona, with a well-trimmed beard and polished background, captured by Marie FeutrierAs a French person would say, the ‘je ne sais quoi’ of professional headshots lies in the minutiae. The way a tie sits perfectly centered, the hair flawlessly styled without a strand out of place, jewelry sitting just right, and the clothes ironed to perfection are paramount for a polished look. After all, a creased shirt or skewed tie might as well scream, “I ironed my clothes with a rock!” And we don’t want that, do we?

Say Cheese, Or Don’t!

And now, to the pièce de résistance – expression. The perfect expression in an actor’s headshot isn’t about donning the cheesiest of smiles; it’s about capturing the authentic emotion that makes a casting director sit up and take notice. So when you’re choosing your headshot photographer, seek one who’s not a mere click-master but a director, an ally, a person who helps you channel your inner emotions into a powerful still image. And no, you don’t need to channel your inner Gollum, just be yourself!

Dreamy green-themed portrait of a lady from Chandler, Arizona, posed with one arm on a table and her head resting on her hand, photographed by Marie FeutrieIn essence, the path to phenomenal professional business photos or winning acting headshots is a winding one, lined with well-placed lighting, meticulous attention to detail, and the raw power of genuine expression. Remember, the best headshots aren’t just pictures; they’re a visual resume, a window to your professional soul, captured one frame at a time.

And if you happen to be in Phoenix and are looking for a headshot photographer with a knack for capturing your uniqueness (and a charming French accent), look no further! Because at Headshots by Marie, we don’t just take photos, we capture stories.



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Meet The Author

High school senior girl with a bob haircut, wearing a light purple and gold dress, posing with her hand on her chest at Marie Feutrier's professional portrait studio in Gilbert, AZ, for her glamor senior photo.
 Marie Feutrier, a French transplant in Gilbert, AZ, masterfully captures personalities through her lens. With an accent as charming as her photos, she doesn’t just take your picture, she tells your story, one click at a time.

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