Knowing Portrait Mode Doesn’t Make You a Professional Photographer

Let’s get this out of the way: yes, portrait mode is often the way to go when shooting headshots. Now you’re ready to let your buddy shoot you because you both know all you need to know about professionally shooting headshots for actors, influencers, corporate CEOs or their people.

Or not.

The truth is, even a well-shot smartphone photo by a talented amateur loses points for quality, authenticity, warmth, and storytelling potential. Consider…

Smartphone “snappers” don’t think in terms of quality. You know that weekend trip when you took a hundred digital photos of that attractive tree by the lake? You’ll keep the best one and eventually delete all the others — if you ever even look at that shot again.

Smartphone camera users aren’t used to thinking in terms of the quality of the shot because they’ll keep snapping until they accidentally get it right. It’s not like the old days when you only had 12 or 20 shots on a roll of film and couldn’t waste a snap.

You don’t spend for professional quality photo work. Hey, you’re not a pro. You never said you were. So you don’t pay a few thousand dollars for the most high-end camera on the market, and then deck it out with professional lenses and filters. No one would expect you to.

Back to that “you’re not a pro” thing. Even professional photographers who specialize in shooting flowers or baby animals or restaurant food deliciously positioned on a plate aren’t necessarily qualified to shoot human headshots. Not to overstate the obvious, but humans aren’t flowers.

Now imagine your headshot in the hands of someone who isn’t even the “wrong” type of photographer. Maybe you have a friend who’s never taken a professional shot in her life, but you trust her with your actor glossy or your “Meet our Staff” company website page because she has a real eye for composition. Good luck with that.

The simplicity of a phone camera is its drawback. Your camera is soooo easy to use. That’s its main appeal. Professional cameras are hard to understand. They’ve got all of those buttons and dials to adjust lighting, shooting speed, distance, focus, and whatnot.

But that complexity (in the right hands) is what gives life to your shot. It provides depth and softness of features, and (again, in the right hands) draws in the viewer.

Trust your professional Los Angeles headshots to a pro.

At The Headshot Truck, we understand a whole lot more about photography excellence than just the proper mode for the shot. We specialize in personal branding headshots for actors & business professionals.

We’re also a Los Angeles team who’ll come to you in our mobile photography studio, to get the shots in the setting that works best to tell the story you want to be told. Call us at 855-729-7465 to schedule a shoot at your location, at your convenience.

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