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How to Take a Good Headshot for a Modeling Portfolio

Learn how to take a good headshot for your modeling portfolio from model scout Trudi Tapscott in this Howcast video.


Hi. I'm Trudi Tapscott, and I think that every model in the business needs a good head shot. In fashion, we don't really differentiate the photographer, whether it's a head shot photographer or not. They kind of do everything, and so they're kind of doing fashion shoots and they're doing head shots. You don't necessarily always go specifically to a photo shoot just to get a head shot. But if you don't ever have a good head shot out of your tests, then you could very easily be just going for a test because you need a good head shot.

Obviously, lighting has a lot to do with it, but that also has to do with every kind of photography. You want to have good lighting. But you need to be able to see you. So, let's say you did a picture for a project for a photographer and they were trying out some new lighting, or they were doing a collaborative effort with a makeup artist who wanted to do some really odd, crazy makeup. That shot, even if it's a shot of your face, is not going to be a good head shot for you, because you could have green eye shadow and it could be crazy makeup that doesn't necessarily work for you.

So, the head shot photographer, or the person who's trying to help you get a head shot, is going to have really good light, it's going to a relaxed atmosphere. And if you're a beginner, you need somebody who's going to help you get to that magical moment place where it's captured, where there's something going on in the picture, where it's not just a blank expression. It has to be real smiling. If you're smiling, you have to smile with your eyes. Whatever you're doing in your facial, you have to sell something in a moment. And so the photographer is very important in doing that because you're not moving much, and you're not doing much. That's the part where modeling is acting, and it's very internal. And so how you're feeling and what you're doing is coming out through your eyes.

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