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Using a phone for headshot photography vs. professional photography

WATCH THIS EPISODE OF MWAH TV

In this episode of Mwah TV I’m sharing some tips and recommendations on the debate of Using a phone for headshot photography vs. professional photography.

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THE PRO PERSPECTIVE

If you have always wondered what a Pro Photographer really thinks about using a phone to catch a headshot compared to using a pro-level camera to shoot a headshot, then this is the episode for you. 

Maybe you had a shot planned and the current situation with COVID-19 has you all 6’s and 7’s?

Fear not, let me help you out remotely.

This is a bit of a classic debate. I’ve summed it up into 6 helpful points for you today. So let’s go!

NUMBER 1 – QUALITY

Obviously quality is at the forefront of everyone’s minds when they think about making do with a selfie or a phone photo over working with a professional.

For right now, you can create large enough images with a smartphone but it will have limitations that relate to quality and size.

It’s not a good idea to use phone photography in high-resolution scenarios like for print, or complex post-editing.

If you need something to use online though, just make sure you are taking a shot using the right kind of light that will not compromise your overall quality of the shot.

NUMBER 2 – THE JACK OF ALL TRADES IS THE MASTER OF NONE

Prompting & developing a shoot-flow that fills you with confidence is something that a professional photographer learns after they migrate from a student to a real pro.

PROPER PHOTOGRAPHER CRAIC

Knowing how to speak to people in the right way to get the best out of them is a skill that really does take years to develop. It’s this bit that can take a home-based DIY shoot on a phone into a full-scale argument within seconds. 

AVOID WORLD WAR 3

So, if you are planning on asking someone to help you out with some phone DIY Photography make a real point of asking them to be gentle with their words and to really think about encouraging you.  You should also make a point of going into this unusual dynamic with an open mind and a thicker-than-normal skin.

Orchestrating a team of people on your behalf is again another skill that only some professional photographers develop and hone over years of learning and making mistakes. I’m guessing that your style department or hair and make-up artist may be delegated to some of your fellow self-isolation family members.  Give everyone a clear job, try to make it fun, and go into it with an open mind. A good reward like a nice dinner or treat at the end is probably wise too.

PRO TIMING & ANGLES

When to press the button, and when to move the camera angle is again a well-honed skill that we professionals learn to master over years and years. A couple of rules to experiment with when shooting with a phone. Experiment with lower than normal angles to see how it makes you look. Avoid overhead extreme angles like this.

It’s been done to death and you will not be impressing anyone.

Especially me!

CROPPING & POSITION

Try to get it out of the selfie close up crop that you have been pre-conditioned to take. Play with scale, play with backgrounds.

Think about poses that convey the mood that you want your business to be perceived in. What do you bring to the world?

Relaxation? Then think about showing relaxed.

Determination and focus? Then channel these thoughts as you pose for the camera phone.

LIGHTING WITH PRECISE NARRATIVE

Honing light to deliver narration within the final photo is something we pros are always striving to deliver through our work. This is something that you can also begin exploring with your phone photography for your business to look better online.

GET YOUR COMPASS OUT

A great way to begin with this is to make a note of which direction your house faces. This will give you a rough idea of where the sun rises and sets and therefore which rooms will be light or shady and at what time.

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

My house faces 303 degrees NWW. This means that my back garden and the rooms at the back of my house are really bright in the morning and then I get a sunset light into all of the rooms at the front of my house when the sunsets.

IF YOU DONT HAVE THIS ON YOUR PHONE YET

You can get a free compass app for your phone to find out how natural light works around your home.

THEN READ YOUR NATURAL LIGHT

You can also get a range of local free weather app’s to see what time sunrise and sunset is going to be. I tend to use a couple for weather predictions and then take an average reading. But for sunrise and sunset times, they should all be the same.

BBC WEATHER APP

MET OFFICE APP

SPACE

Thinking about space in a crop is key to creating photographs of yourself that are more useable on your social media posts and even on your website if you are in a bit of a photography bind right now.

To get what I mean…

Take a photo one pace away from the phone, shoot it.

Then take 3 paces and shoot it.

Then 10 and then 20 or more if you are in an open space and more than 2 meters away from anyone you are not already self-isolating with right now.

EDITING

I edit all of my phone photography with a series of different aps.

I go from Lightroom

Then to Facetune 2

This is something I go into a lot of detail on doing the right way in my free #LoveYaSelfie Challenge. You can find out exactly what my process is by signing up to take part in it yourself.

TAKE THE FREE 5-DAY #LOVEYASELFIE CHALLENGE

IF YOU ENJOYED LEARNING ABOUT THIS

Then you are going to want to take a look at this episode which is all about my headshots Do’s and headshots don’ts.

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