When I first began as a headshot photographer here in Pittsburgh, I had no idea what a great need there was for realtor headshots. If you tink about it, it makes sense. You can’t drive down the road and not see a billboard for some real estate company and that advertisements often times displays a realtor’s headshot.
The headshot above was commissioned by Applebox Studios, a Pittsburgh Marketing and Advertising Agency, with the end client being Northwood Realty Services. The primary use for the headshots was to be for Local magazine advertising in publications such as Whirl and Pittsburgh Magazine. Our makeup artist was Reema Anbari.
Headshot Focus and Depth-of-Field
As you can probably guess, the negative space above and beside the subject is there for advertising headlines and body copy. By using selective focus for the headshot, we were able to keep the background of the photo “soft” enough so that the type would stand out and not be lost in the confusion and detail of the background elements. The limited depth of field also gave us the added benefit of directing the viewer’s attention to the subject’s face.
Thie photo was taken with a Nikon D800, capibilityusing a Nikon 85mm F1.4 lens, shot wide open.
Headshot Wardrobe for a Realtor
For this shoot, the wardrobe selection was left up to the individual. Each Realtor seems to have their own style and that comes through in the clothing they select. Most women select black, but this woman chose a nice bright color which I think says something about her personality.
Selecting a Headshot Background
Headshot backgrounds need to be appropriate and nondistracting. In this case, you can make out a wooden fence in the background which gives the impression that the headshot was taken in someone’s yard. This makes the background appropriate. We chose not to include the front of any houses because the lighting at the time of the shoot was way too harsh and that caused too many areas of white and dark extremes. These extremes would create problems when it came time to overprint the types in the ads. A headshot photographer always needs to keep the final use of the photo in mind. That use will help guide the decisions throughout the photo shoot.
Since our subject decided to wear such a bright colored top, we selected a background that both complemented and contrasted with what she wore. The pink contrasted nicely with the green of most the trees yet did not compete with the one red tree behind her. I think the background works great here…
Just a couple of years ago, I would have been forced to use only fill light to photograph this woman. Now, with some new equipment and technology, I’m able to use strobe lighting to balance the light falling on the subject with the light hitting the background. The new technology is called “high-speed sync” and it allows the camera to shoot at a higher shutter speed that normal, while using flash. This is a bit technical and I’ll probably do a post just on this subject sometime in the future…
The Expression of the Realtor
Realtors need to be friendly, warm and approachable for their headshots. Even though we know this going in, my technique of getting a range of expressions still paid off here. The idea is to shoot a sequence of expressions from serious to “over the top” joyous. That technique paid off here. This woman had a beautiful smile but tended to squint when the smile was too big. Ty shooting a variety and progression of expressions, we were able to select the best smile before the squint go to be too bad.
We always do a little retouching no matter how great the subject looks and this woman certainly didn’t need much. Some headshot photographers make the mistake of getting too carried away with retouching. Especially for commercial headshots, it’s important to leave the subject looking real and not plastic. We usually lessen any blemishes, smile lines around the eyes and brighten up the teeth a little. On occasions, brightening the eyes make the subject of the headshot look a little better too.
Do you need a Realtor Headshot?
So here was a bit of info on how this realtor headshot was created. Granted, this photo was not the typical headshot, a lot more involved, but it will give you an idea of the time and thought that goes into making a beautiful photo that a reality company can use for marketing and advertising purposes.
If you are a realtor and you need a headshot for marketing or social media purposes, I’d love to be the photographer you choose. If you’re interested in talking to me about taking your headshot, please give me a call at 412-232-4444 or send me an email and we’ll make it happen!