Distractions are everywhere. There is no way to avoid them and they can easily sneak up on you. Whether we are getting distracted from work related activities or personal ventures, distractions are usually not warranted. It happens to the best of us.
You may be wondering, why am I talking about distractions in your day to day life on my headshot business website? Well it’s because these distractions show up in everything we do as human beings, including our photos. Even while writing these articles for my site, I have stopped and started many many times.
Along with distractions, human beings have a very short attention span and it seems to be getting shorter and shorter as time goes on, there is nothing we can do about that, except cater to it.
Obviously we will want the lighting, crop, and expression to be top notch to grab peoples attention. Headshots tend to show up pretty small online so that is why this is extra important. Since we know people also have such short attention spans we have to make sure that all of the elements of our headshots are on point. We want people to be inthralled by our headshot and just can’t stop looking at it. That is creating a headshot people will remember, and remember it when we need them to the most!
So finally, lets talk about some of those distractions we can minimize in our headshots:
You look amazing the way you are!
If you cake the makeup on your face too much, it can easily become distracting (not to mention more work later on to fix). I also want you to think about how these photos are going to end up being used. If you don’t wear a whole lot of makeup day to day but in your headshot you used every type of makeup you have at your disposal, it ruins the reason for having a great headshot. We want it to look like you on a day to day basis so people can have a sense of what you will look like when they meet you.
There is also no need to follow makeup trends that are happening today, they will be gone eventually and we want your headshot to be timeless. I touch on all of my makeup tips and tricks in my article “Hair and Makeup, Whats up with that?”
Anyway, all and all keeping the makeup simple and natural in tones and colors can easily keep it from becoming distracting.
I understand wanting to wear different types of jewelry for your headshot. Hey, you might even wear it on a day to day basis, so why not? I get that and I think there is some common ground here. You may say, well this jewelry completes this outfit and to that I would say great, lets wear it! There is a time when it may become distracting though. If we have a very simple top and then a giant necklace, the viewers eyes my become distracted by the necklace when they should be focused on your face etc. When it comes to headshots, less is more, usually.
I touch on all of my “what to wear for my headshot session” tips in another article on my site as well. Check that out for all of my jewelry and other clothing related thoughts!
Backgrounds play a huge part in either distracting the viewer or not. Busy backgrounds can become easily distracting. This is why I like to keep it super simple and only use solid color backgrounds. I even take it a step further and like to keep it to neutral colors and not over stimulate the viewer with bright saturated tones.
Headshot photographer Joe considers a headshot as selling you, the subject to the world. You are the product. Could you imagine if a company like Levi’s was trying to sell a pair of jeans and in the background of all of the photos they placed a giant busy pattern or worse another companies product?? It would be crazy to do that. After all, they want the focus to be on the jeans and the jeans only! Anything that doesn’t help sell their product they aren’t interested in, and rightfully so. This is why I want to keep the focus off of the background and on the foreground, you!
There used to be a trend (unfortunately, I still see it used sometimes) where people would get their headshot taken against a brick wall. Why a brick wall? Probably because it was the easiest background to find. What this did was create a busy background with lines and dirt around the image. We don’t need that. Brick walls give the look of the photo an unprofessional feel and generally look unpolished by today’s standards.
We want the focus to be on you, and you only. No distractions!