LA Headshot Photographer Vanie Poyey blogs…
This is a blog I like to bring back from the archives every once in a while only because as the title suggests, headshot trends change and well, so does this blog and my images!
Before digital, there was film, the mystery of black and white, and a whole lot of freedom. Those were the days when I didn’t have to accommodate the demands of internet directories, forcing headshot photographers to frame tighter, taking away the ability to use the subject’s body as a means to communicate. Those were the days when a 3/4 image was perfectly acceptable because there was no such thing as a thumbnail that made the head too small. Ah those were the days. And of course there was black and white which made everyone’s skin look perfect and added an element of mystery that simply isn’t there with color. Back then none of my male clients needed to hire a makeup artist!
2003/2004 was when digital reproduction machines made color headshots financially accessible to actors. Prior to that, labs had to use a printed 8×10 photo to make a large 8×10 negative which they then used to reproduce the image from. Because color reproductions from those negatives involved a more elaborate process, it was too expensive to reproduce, so headshots were in black and white. Digital machines changed headshot trends forever by introducing affordable color.
Shortly after the color headshot was introduced, directories the likes of which include Casting Networks and LA Casting were born. These directories brought with them the end of 3/4 images that incorporated the body and environment because headshots were essentially reduced to online thumbnails that casting directors can look through quickly and efficiently. It took a while for photographers to shift gears but we soon realized that if we wanted our images to pop online and to be effective for actors, we had to essentially shoot traditional portraits. As long as the internet is here to stay, this trend is also here to stay.
Current Headshots need to be photographed so that casting directors perusing these sites can clearly see your face before deciding to move on or to click on your thumbnail. With digital cameras being able to shoot upwards of 22 megapixels including HD film, every little detail on the face is visible. This means that not only do men need makeup as well as women, but photographers need to work with talented makeup artists with the skills to apply makeup generously while still making you look natural.
Below I have current samples of headshots labeled with corresponding marketing looks as well as some samples going all the way back to black & white!
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Below are some examples of 3/4 images I shot back in 2000 with black and white film, yes film!!
Below are some of the images I produced starting in 2004. As you can see, compared to today, there was a whole lot of body and background!