by Tony Taafe

Whether you're updating your business or corporate headshots, adding to your modeling portfolio, or getting your latest look for your acting headshots, one way to throw off the whole shot, is to not pay special attention to hair during the shoot.

This is a follow up to a post I wrote last week, called 6 Natural Makeup Tips For Headshots, and I was gong to include a 7th tip about hair. But hair is such a big deal in the headshots, that it warrants its own post.

With hair for headshots, I like it simple. But at the same time, I'm picky. I'm picky because hair is such a particular thing, and it's a big part of the photograph in headshots. Hair is really important to people, we can't underestimate how important.

We've all seen those headshots were a person's hair looks like a helmet. No sign of life going on. It's not a good look. Hair is personal, so we have to make sure we get it right. Getting it right is all about the small details. Messy hair is also one of the most difficult things to fix in editing, it can look over retouched really fast if i don't take care of it in camera. 

Good hair can make or break a headshots, and I'm all about making 'em!

So, there's a lot going on with hair, but here's just a few of the things that we do during your headshot session to make sure it's looking its best.

1, Go With What you Know

This is the only part that's completely on you. It's always best to show up to the shoot as you'd like it photographed and would typically have it on a good hair day. If we start off in a good place, then we're ahead of the curve.

Many moons ago, I had a client arrive for their shoot straight from the salon. The hair stylist, upon hearing that they were heading to a photoshoot afterwards, suggested a new look.

Cool, hey? Not this time. This person couldn't stand their new hair, and it was drastically different from her usual style. We did a few things that got her hair to a place that she liked it again, but we ended up having to reshoot 8 weeks later when it had grown out a little. 

The moral of the story? Beware over helpful hair stylists just before your headshot session!

2, Mind The Gap!

Hair is constantly on the move while we're shooting. Sometimes, the hair can fall in a way which creates a large gap through the strands. We'll see light, and the background coming through it. This isn't unusual, and happens quite a bit in the shoot, especially as we're going to be moving your head around to find the best angles. These large gaps, as well as looking untidy and distracting, can make your hair appear thinner, no matter how thick it actually is. So we watch out for that during the shoot to make sure we catch it before I press the shutter for the shot.

3, Hair Sprawl

If you've read my About Page on the site, you'll know that I'm lucky enough to be mentored and trained by world famous headshot photographer Peter Hurley. One of the very first things he taught me about headshots, is to watch out for hair sprawl. This is when longer hair is neither in front of, nor behind your shoulders. It's on there, sitting there, sprawled across your shoulders, messing everything up for our shot! Not only does it look messy, it can make your shoulders appear wider than they actually are, adding weight on to you. Like almost everything in this list, this is all on me, so I'll be watching out for this during the shoot. There's going to be times when your hair just naturally falls across your shoulders because I'm having you do head gymnastics for posing. But I'll make sure it's back in it's rightful place before we shoot. 

4, The Pony

Pony tails are great. I only usually do them with people who don't mind their hair in a pony or wear it that way on occasion. It gets the hair out of your face and allows me to get a beautiful wrap around of the light on your cheeks. I usually suggest trying your hair in a pony later on in the shoot to change things up a little. And every time, people are surprised at how different the shots look with hair off their face. 

5, Facial Hair

You wasn't expecting to see that in here, huh? Guys who have a bit of scruff, who sometimes also go clean shaven and let it grow back out, I always encourage to bring a razor and some shaving cream along to the shoot with you. I like to provide as much value as possible to you. One way of doing this is to show different versions of the same person. We can shoot first with your beard, and then when we've got some cool shots of that in the bag, you can go shave it off and we can shoot some more shots clean shaven. It'll be like a new you!

So there you have it. This is just few of the things we'll be doing during your session, so that you leave completely confident that you look your best!

Thanks for reading the post, guys. I really appreciate your time. 

If you'd like to find out more about me or my headshot sessions, click here

It'd be great to chat and see how I can help you up your headshot game!



Tony taafe