why can’t headshots be fun?



Well, that used to be my response to the idea of shooting

boring/corporate/traditional/evenly lit/no different than any other blahhhhhhhh…


But here lately, my perception of headshots has changed quite a bit.

First let me back up and say ‘commercial’ work did not used to be my thing.  For those who aren’t sure what that means- it doesn’t mean I’m shooting pictures for a commercial, but rather taking pictures for other businesses (typically). That can take a variety of forms… it means the band pictures I took for a local rock-worship group, it means the joplin-IS-cool pictures I’ve been doing for the joplin convention & visitors’ bureau, it means the photographs I’ve taken for magazine features- and sometimes, yes, it means headshots.

Headshots are something I have to accept, because now commercial kind of IS one of my things.

Again, I used to say ‘oh that’s just not my thing’. But I think it was really that I just didn’t know how to reconcile the idea of headshots- typically dreaded by subjects and generally boring- with my philosophy for style. As in, there should be some. I began to think about it differently when I did these shots for a friend/client that just got his real estate license and needed some pictures for his new business cards: 

Thought they turned out pretty classy. Nothing terribly innovative, but it’s not boring either… plus, he’s a handsome devil, right?

Then when my graphic designer friend Austin- a very talented fella with an amazing eye for whats’ modern and what’s cool- asked if  I’d do some not-so-traditional headshots for local ministry organization CIY (christ in youth) I got excited, especially when he gave me some ideas on the ‘look’ they wanted for these. 

Austin’s idea was something along the lines of ‘let’s NOT take boring, standard headshots! Let’s take cool ones instead!’

‘oh. huh. yeah. well sure. why not? Yeah!

flippin’ YEAH!!’

As a result of that input from Austin, experience in general, and always trying to figure out how to be different and fun in all that I shoot, we ended up with the following batch of pictures; a nice blend of goofy and serious that the subjects had fun taking and I think everyone can have fun looking at. Not that these are anything terribly innovative either…but it’s new for me and makes me feel a whole lot better about business staff pictures/headshots.

Sorry for the rambles. Have to spill my photographic guts sometimes. 🙂

oh yeah. we did group shots too…

we had a great idea to crowd everyone on one corner of the couch and have it look like it’s tipping over (requiring a couple of guys to lift the other end). It didn’t really work out…  [cameo by Jordan Howerton Band’s own Matt Johnson]

don’t give up. we did this instead.

yep. we took serious ones too.

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