October 5, 2010

Rules of Headshots that Rule

My son's headshots are perfect.  No matter the light, pose, his mood or what he had for lunch.  He is two.  It's all downhill from here.


  • Use narrow light open loop pattern
  • Most people (all?) benefit from soft light - use sources of large visible size, e.g. diffusion panel.  Softbox offers a good control over light spill.  Shoot-through umbrella is highly portable and is fast to setup.


  • Square shoulders are a no-no.
  • Be aware of feminine and masculine neck bent.  Then make a conscious decision on which to use.
  • No white above or below iris.
  • In a two-thirds side view only one ear should be visible.

Some Sources

The Zeltsman Approach to Traditional Classic Portraiture
Jessica Pettyjohn's Headshots101