HEADSHOTS - DO I HAVE A "GOOD" SIDE?
by Tony Taafe
So, we're talking about the face.
...and the short answer to this is yes. But this is far from a short answer question.
This is a sensitive subject for some people, and in day to day life, the best side of your face doesn't matter very much at all. People don't generally tend to stare at your face in day to day life for more than a millisecond. But your headshot? People will look at it. So as a headshot photographer, I think it's important, in my job description even, to know your best side, and be aware that it exists.
The chances are that you will already know what your best angle is.
Consciously or subconsciously. Consciously, you'll probably turn your face slightly to one side every time somebody get's their cell phone out for a group picture on a night out. Subconsciously, you'll probably part your hair on your "good" side. Most people subconsciously part their hair on their good side, to open up that side of the face.
Do you do that without realizing it?
There's no "good" and "bad side".
It's important that we don't confuse having a "good" side, with also having a "bad" side. Let's call it a "better" side. Because this shouldn't turn into a conversation about how good looking somebody is. It's simply about what your best angle is. I'm quite confident that there's not a single person on earth who has a perfectly symmetrical face. I'd say even Leonardo DiCaprio is stronger on his right side. Or is it his left? I dunno, that guy comes pretty close to be fair.
We all have our best angles.
Even those people held up as perfect on our tv screens. Ariana Grande? Beautiful lady. But good luck finding a recent photograph of her on her right side. Her left side is her best angle, so she'll tend to pose with her left side towards the camera during photoshoots. That's completely normal, and good on her for figuring it out. For some, their best angle is straight on, their left or right might be absolutely fine, but their best angle is straight on, it doesn't mean that they're symmetrical, but it's their best angle. You don't even need to have the conversation about what your best angle is with your photographer, but it's important that you and your photographer are both comfortable enough about the subject to not just ignore it and end up photographing an angle that isn't your best one.
So what's your best side?
Well for most people, it's their left. It's not a big difference though. It works out around 60% of people have better angles on their left side. For me personally, it's my left side. So when I take my own headshot, i'll shadow my right side up, so you get my best angle in brighter light.
You can get away with shadowing up on men because it can bring out our masculine features, for women you have to turn them a little, shadowing can look harsh.
This isn't a vanity thing, although wait until my little brother reads this and see's that i'm talking about enhancing my best side. It's just about presenting yourself in the best way you, and especially your headshot photographer, knows how to.
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!