Peter Hurley’s Google+ Keynote: How To Take The Perfect Headshot
If you are a regular reader of Fstoppers then you know how many times I’ve said this, “Peter Hurley has changed the way I photograph people more than anyone else”. During his Google+ Conference Keynote Presentation, Peter explains why it is the photographer’s job to make every person look amazing while they are in front of their camera. Photographers cannot rely on a model’s good looks, perfectly crafted lighting, their own technical prowess, or old fashioned luck to produce a great portrait. Instead, great photographers use psychology and interaction to bring the best out of their subjects.
It’s amazing how often I’m reminded how much my rapport with a client makes for great images. As photographers I think we second guess ourselves too often. We often spend a lot of time tweaking lighting, second guessing our own talent, hoping for better natural light, regretting the wardrobe change we just requested, or on other minute details that do not necessarily produce inspiring and captivating imagery. We fail to notice the actual vibe a person is giving the lens of our camera. What I love about Peter Hurley is he is a constant reminder that what you are saying and expressing to your clients verbally is what is actually making your work unique and interesting.
As I watched this video, I was reminded to acknowledge the feeling of anxiety that everyone brings with them to a shoot. We need to tackle it, redirect it, and overcome it. Photographers cannot settle for mediocre photographs that have their names stamped on them. We should not leave the expressions on our models’ faces up to chance or luck. By sharpening our directing skills, we can continue to master our craft and ultimately create images that are stronger and more interesting.