The Mood of a Portrait or Headshot
With respect to mood, I want to share a few examples from my last headshot session. Same subject, same day. But so much difference in mood. Notice how an array of different elements come together to establish a certain feel. The composition, the cropping, the hair, accessories, background, the expression, all play a little role in the larger whole of the image. For example, notice how, in the first shot, the complementary color scheme of the purple shirt, and the yellow hue of the stage left background, work together to create a kind of lively, fun feel. These things might seem like pretentious little nuances but it’s the often overlooked stuff like this you pay a photographer for. A good photographer knows the affect of complimentary colors. A good photographer knows the feel a circle suggests as opposed to a square. And a good photographer knows how to leverage these things. A good photographer knows how to take these things in to account and pre visualize a particular result. A skill that often comes with experience.
There’s a fine line between a portrait and a headshot—in some respects, there’s no real line at all. Of course the idea of a headshot suggests a certain use, and with that, particular criteria often needs to be satisfied in order to please the norm. But both have the same intention—communication. We communicate what we hope to communicate by purposefully designing and manipulating the various elements within the frame. So, if you’re after a new portrait or headshot, think about what you want to say and try and pass this along to your photographer.