Taking natural head shots is not easy, but it’s totally worth it! They are much more authentic and engaging than posed photographs.
Many photographers start out taking pictures of people with their camera settings all tuned up, then later add in some softboxes or reflectors to “enhance” the photos. These types of enhancements can look very staged and plasticized, even if you don’t actually use any lights!
By now, most people have seen at least one YouTube video that features beautiful nature portraits
or what many call “natural photoshoots.” While these may sound like they would be difficult to pull off, they are really only challenging when done properly.
It takes practice. A lot of practice. Luckily, there are lots of resources available online and through workshops and classes. Take your time to learn the basics and build from there!
The key thing about natural photography is creating an interesting subject matter and capturing just the right amount of intimacy. You want your subjects to feel relaxed and comfortable, so ask them questions, listen to music they enjoy, and overall just make them feel good.
A few additional tips — let light control
you! Use neutral backgrounds and mix lighting modes (ambient, direct, etc.) to create beautifully exposed images.
Lighting is different
When shooting with natural light
, you have to be aware of how your lighting is going to look. You will need to experiment with various sources and types of lights to find one that works for you.
Photographers who use natural light usually create
very interesting pictures. They are careful about where they position their model so that the shadows match the shape of the body or add some emphasis to the pose.
The sun can easily overpower a photograph, especially if there is not enough coverage. People often start using tungsten bulbs as source lights instead
of strong sunlight. These work better in creating softer, more balanced light.
Feel more comfortable
When you take natural headshot photos
, your photographer will usually ask
if you feel relaxed enough
while they are taking pictures of you.
They may suggest doing something different with your hair or wearing certain clothes
to make you feel more confident. This can be helpful because some people feel more nervous when it comes to having their photo taken, even if everything else is fine.
It’s totally normal to feel self-conscious at times, but being more conscious about how you look in photographs can help fix that. By practicing ahead of time, you’ll know what to do.
The background isn’t as important
A natural headshot is great because of what you don’t see. You don’t see the background, or the shadows, for example.
You also don’t see any kind of product in their mouth, nor do they have anything hanging from their neck. There are no signs that they just stepped out of a yoga class
or took a shower right before shooting.
These things all add to the overall picture of the person being photographed. They disappear into the frame, creating an appealing look.
But more importantly than appearance, there is something about a natural headshot that says “real human.” It creates a feeling of trustworthiness, which is very attractive. People will give you credit for your level of professionalism even if you’re not at the stage where you can take formal pictures
It’s like when people say they could tell someone
was well-educated by how they dress and groom themselves. You want to seem like you care enough about yourself to make sure you look nice, and that takes effort.
You look more authentic
A natural headshot is different from a posed photograph
because it captures your true self, without you having to do anything other than be yourself.
With a natural headshot, your facial expression, body language and eye contact are all considered when taking the picture. These things can influence how you feel about your image, as well as what you include in the photo.
Natural headshots also give you the chance to connect with who you are as a person, which is an important part of creating personal images
It’s difficult to fake being yourself!
When shooting with a camera, there’s always that one person who looks totally out of place while trying to appear casual and confident. This sometimes happens even
if they don’t think they’re doing anything weird or strange.
A natural headshot doesn’t require anyone else
to fit into their own unique style, so people tend to lose focus on just themselves. This can make it harder to identify with the image.
Overall, it's very difficult to create your own image unless you already have strong self-expression skills. When you put aside your fears of not looking good, these opportunities arise for you to showcase your personality.
You can show many different expressions
When it comes to natural head shots, you get to choose how you want your subject to look. Your friend or family member does not have to feel obligated to smile for you as they would if a professional photographer made
them do so.
Some areas of the face that are great to include in a natural looking photo
are: forehead, eyebrows, eyes, nose, mouth (lips are especially important!), and overall appearance and expression.
You can also ask your loved one to wear clothing that is easy to edit out or remove later like
a t-shirt with no neck line or a black shirt with very little texture.
Editorial style photoshoots sometimes use light sources such as flashes or solar panels which are helpful in creating more interesting photos but only if used correctly.
You can show many different postures
When it comes to natural head shots, you can choose from several different positions
. You do not have to pose with your mouth closed or look directly into the camera!
You are allowed to put some props in front of you or behind you to create more depth in the photograph. This adds appeal because there is something interesting in the background or foreground that makes it stand out.
Props such as pillows, bags, or other things that you normally would not place close to yourself can be used in a natural setting photo. These types of pictures usually gain attention due
to their rich decorations and textures.
There are even times when people will use their hands or body as additional props. For example, someone could hold
a glass up so that they can see their hand reflected within the liquid or they could lean back onto
a bed or couch to add soft focus and depth to the picture.
These types of photographs make an audience feel connected to the person being photographed. It creates an intimate feeling which is important for self-exposure photos where you are looking at yourself.
You can show many different things in your home
When it comes to shooting pictures of yourself, there are two main types
of headshot styles. One is known as a natural look or casual pose. This type of photograph is typically done with the subject looking into the camera and doing something they usually do – eating, talking, thinking about something.
The other option is a posed photograph. In this case, the photographer will ask the person to do something more formal like holding
up a product or sitting with their legs under control.
Some people feel that natural photos make
you seem less professional
because they think you did not put effort into the picture.
You can do it when you have time
A natural headshot is great because you get to pick your settings and timing of photograph
. You gain this by doing it yourself, there’s no one telling
you what pose or expression to use or how long to hold it.
Natural headshots are usually done
at home, in front of a mirror, with only items that you pre-prepare. This way, you know everything is going to be okay, and you will be able to relax and focus completely on being beautiful.
There are many ways to take a natural headshot. You can find lots of creative ways to do it. Doing it ourselves naturally brings us back
to our own beauty.
We should all strive to appreciate our own beauty so we can inspire other people to do the same.