headshots/portrait CC please


TPF Noob!
Apr 2, 2013
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I recently took up photography a couple months ago. My salon recently asked me to do "creative headshots" for our website. I did it for free as I have never done anything like that,so they had low expectations. 70 people in less then a week. Here are a few I took, and a couple more creative a little creative. . I do have trouble with over exposing. Any thoughts would be great. I only have picasa to edit, as my husband wont let me spend more money until Im making money, especially after the cost of the camera,(understandibly).

1. A 1.8 ISO 100 1/6
2.A 3.2 ISO 100 1/13
3. 3.2 100 1/5


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These look good. The crop on the last is dreadful though. Don't beat yourself up too much about the Picasa thing I only have Picasa as well. The biggest down side to that is you won't be able to process RAW images and ideally you will be shooting RAW. But budget providing it will come with time.
You can get free software online if you don't want to pay for Photoshop (or whatever you're looking at). GIMP is popular. It doesn't read my RAW files, so I also have another one (also free download) - "Faststone" which allows conversion of the files to something GIMP can work with (and also has editing tools as well).
You're breaking the rules of composition, these are important, not because they're rules but because they work. You need to do your homework and THIS is a great place to start. ;)
In 1 and 3 you have the ladies looking towards the edge of the photo with blank space behind them, if you are going to do landscape orientation portraits this is the opposite to what works best. Better yet, use portrait orientation for portraits, there's a reason it's called portrait orientation. ;)

I know you said that you were asked to be creative but don't use the word to excuse stuff that doesn't do your skills any favours.

In general I'd say that, for someone who has been doing photography for 2 months and has limited software, these are excellent and show great potential. Lighting is pretty good, expressions are good (eye contact like in #2 works better and establishes a connection with the viewer). I'm not going to go into picky details too much, get the composition right and then we (me and loads of others) can get into that.

Software: Look on Ebay for a used copy of the Photoshop Elements 8 disc, I just looked and there are a couple listed at $10 for bids. I use Elements 8 and it does some useful stuff, I can't afford the big guns version either.

Welcome to the forum! :D
the crop is "interesting" i know, but on a website where the photos will be small pics 1x1 1/2, it kind of works, the size above no, also when i have tried to crop it takes something away from the face, i cant pinpoint it but i think it takes away from the eyes. if anyone wants to edit crop to what they think is best that would be awesome.. im back and forth. thanks for the tips, i know i need to shoot in RAW, this was the first week i have touched an editing program....
Context is all important. What sort of salon and what is the intended use of these images?

Well spotted, John. If they're for a hair salon that puts a whole different perspective on them.
Context is all important. What sort of salon and what is the intended use of these images?

Well spotted, John. If they're for a hair salon that puts a whole different perspective on them.

They are for a hair salon. When I showed them the options they liked 1, and 3 better then 2, even though in my eyes, #2 was what I thought they would like. I will do my research on portrait orientation. Thank you for the helpful tips and honesty.
They're too dark and cropped for a hair salon. You want to show the hair, surely? I mean it's largely about "you too can look hot" but the hair's gotta figure.
are these customers or employees?
Being for a hair salon explains a lot. Amolitor (above) is right but you were closer to the mark than I originally thought. You have potential to be good (IMHO), I look forward to seeing more of your work on here. If you can take honest (sometimes harsh) critique this forum is is a great place to submit your work for C&C and learn from your mistakes. :whip:

I've been hanging around here about 2 years now and most of what I've learned I owe to the ladies and gentlemen on this forum. :D
You're getting great feedback. The hair is getting lost against the black backdrop. The models are nice, but aren't you trying to "sell" hairstyle?

Go to images.google.com and type in "hairstyle photos". You'll get thousands of examples. Notice specifically the backgrounds and the lighting. Hair is shiny and you can play the light reflections off hair. Studios will specifically use "hair lights" (high and behind the models) so that the light will bounce off the hair toward the camera and give a great shine or glow to it.

You're cropping in too tight to see the hair. Follow the composition rules.

You may be getting images that are slightly overexposed due to all the blackness in the background. Meter off the model's skin for a more accurate exposure.
Two words: HAIR LIGHT! As mentioned, the hair is lost against the background. To do good hair photos you need a minimum of a three light setup. A key, a fill for the face and and at least one for the hair. Calculate the key for the hair, NOT the face. Bring the face where it needs to be with the fill, but try to keep it say, 1/3 stop darker than normal so it doesn't draw too much from the hair. I've always liked the look of a sort of high-key look; that is, bright, white background, virtually shadowless (for all expect very light haired people that is) and even then, it can work.
I like them, they're good but the composition on 1 & 3 bothers me. If your model is looking right then place her on the right of the picture. This will give her somewhere to look to. Like was mentioned above, rule of thirds needs to be kept in mind.

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