Head Position for Headshots
Now here is the key to head shots. There are lots and lots of ways to do this, but I wanna iron this into the three main head positions and what they mean, okay? You have to identify the two shoulders when you're shooting with the body off center. There's the far shoulder and then there's the camera shoulder, and tilting the head to one or the other creates a completely different feel of the image without changing anything else about it. So, this is tilted to the far shoulder. This is gonna be more assertive, more dominant. It's gonna be potentially more aggressive. It could also be more insightful, more interested. Do you understand what I mean? So, let's look at the next one. Typically this would be what you would call a masculine head position, because this is what you would do with men more than women, but it works for women quite well, as you can see. Here we go, straight up. When the head is straight up and down. You don't have to have head tilt in the image. But, I would encoura...
ge you that, with the right person, it can change the feel of an image. Straight up and down is a very no nonsense-- I'm here to have my head shot done, nice to see ya, sort of way of looking at it. Camera shoulder. You see the big change? When you shift your head to the camera shoulder, it's open, it's friendly. It's available, approachable. Typically, this is what is used largely as a feminine pose. I've seen it work for men as well, but by and large, when you're shooting people, if you photograph a man and you do this with his head, you're going to make him look less manly, okay? That's just the way it is. Let me get a great example. Sheldon, come on up. Come on. Right here, okay. You don't need a microphone. We don't need you to talk. I just wanna use your head. So, watch this. All right, Sheldon. I want you to turn your body this way. I want you to point your toe at me. Good. Just put those thumbs in your pockets right there. Good, you with me? Now watch this, we're gonna do this together. This is the far shoulder from your angle of view, right? So, let's go ahead and tilt your head a little bit that way, and go like this (blows air out of mouth). Okay, now if that's your angle of view, that's all right, right? Now, go like this. Hey girl. (crowd laughing) See what I'm sayin'? It becomes-- It's a lot more open. Thanks man, you're all set. It's a totally different feeling, and all you did was move the head. So, let's practice this real quick, too. There are three axes upon which the human head can move. Probably more for some people, but three basic, all right? I've created infallible hand gestures to help people do that. As long as you view it in conjunction with mirroring their movement. So, I give people this speech in a session when they come into the studio. I go, okay, I'm gonna put you in the exact position I need, and then the only fine tuning I'm gonna do is I'm gonna probably have to move your head just to get the right angle. There are three ways you can move your head, and here they are. Do 'em with me real quick. You can move your head like this. Good. You can move your head like this. Good. And you can move your head like this. Good. See? That's it. One, two three. So, now if I want your head in a position, I go okay guys, tilt your head this way. Bring your chin down a little bit, and turn your head just like that, boom. Everybody did it exactly right on the first try. Three axes, three hand gestures. One, two, and three. And that's it. Now, you can get somebody's head in to the right-- Anybody can do it the first time. All you gotta do is display confidence, use the hand gestures, make up your own if you want, and do it with them. It's really, really easy. When you realize how body mechanics work, it becomes less and less mysterious how to get people the way you look. Get the head the closest thing to the camera, and then understand what you're seeing with the position of the head, all right? If somebody has a little more weight on them and you bring that chin down too much, you're gonna make that double chin more pronounced. Or, maybe if they don't have one, you'll make it even look like they do, all right? So, if you want somebody to have that-- You lift their chin, and you lean 'em into you so it stretches 'em out a little bit. There's really not a lot of mystery to it. There are a few key things to do to make people look really, really good.