A Guide to Male Model Headshots for male models

Aspiring male model? want the perfect headshot? Here’s the top 5 things to keep in mind.

1. Pick your professional

Finding the right photographer can be like finding a needle in the haystack.

So, when you look, don’t look around lightly, really get down to the nitty gritty – ask, ask, ask

You want to make sure you find someone right for you, that clashes well with your personality. You should always ask where can I find more about this person? If the photographer has a small portfolio, it can be an indication that they’ve not been in the industry for long.

There’s a real difference between someone who is an “Instagram” photographer and someone who does this for a living. Can you imagine paying someone £100 and getting photos you could’ve taken yourself with a filter? A real photographer provides value even after the shoot, since the photos are reusable. 

So, how should you pick your professional. You should look for the following:

·       How many years they’ve got in the industry?

·       What their style is like?

·       Can you see their portfolio?

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2. Outdoors or Studio?

Truth be told, there is no straightforward answer to this – there is both pros and cons to both. In my opinion your portfolio is better off being versatile to show you’re equipped to handle many situations which is likely to happen in this career.

Studio photographs are good as they offer great control over lighting, and a controlled backdrop. These can lead to polished, magazine styled headshots. Sometimes these can come across as too polished, this is where a outdoor shoot can give you a different perspective.

Taking headshots outdoor let’s you play with the natural light, get your inner Bear Grills out. The advantage is you’re able to get a real and natural look.

If you’re pining for a very outdoorsy brand, then having more outdoor photoshoots would be beneficial. However, if you’re not completely sure it’s a good idea to mix it up

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3. To smile or not to smile?

The official stance of many photographers is to mix it up – this gives you diversity when you’re hunting for modelling jobs because people see you can represent their brands in different ways.

Generally, this also depends on you. Some models prefer to have a portfolio of serious headshots as it represents who they’re. Sometimes, this is because of the various companies they’ve worked for. Typically if you’re working with a masculine looking brand i.e. Dolce and Gobanna, Calvin Klein etc.

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4. Clothing  

This can’t be stressed enough, clothing can be the difference of what makes or breaks a photograph, no really! Imagine someone wearing a speedo in a photograph, or jeans from the 70s. If you were Mr Klein you wouldn’t be hiring someone with such a disastrous fashion sense either!

So what should you wear?

Casual wear is always a good shout. For example: Denim – Wearing casual denim jeans, white t-shirt and a denim jacket.

The other opposite is smart wear, nothing beats a good suit, seriously! Have you see anyone ever look bad in a well fitted suit?

If you’re really struggling with clothing, we’d advise to hire a stylist; stylists may be expensive but they make a huge difference in photographs.

5. Where to look?

If you’re staring at a ceiling it’s safe to say it’s not a headshot. A clean, nice headshot should always be aligned well with the camera, with your eyes squinting a little.

You should also make sure to get a good night’s sleep before the shoot so you don’t get eye-bags – that stuff really makes the photographers life more difficult as it makes it harder to edit the photo.

Finally don’t stress too much about this, if you’re worried you’re looking in the wrong direction, a good photographer will always guide you where to look.


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