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Can Headshots Be Black and White?

This is a question that comes up on some occasions – can headshots be black and white? Some might argue it depends on what it’s for. For example, some might say actor headshots can be black and white but corporate headshots should not be. Some might also argue that model headshots can be black and white. The quick answer is, of course headshots can be black and white but, not as the primary ones you use – and that’s regardless of what they are for.

Your main headshots should be in color. This is for many obvious reasons I’ll go ahead and state anyway. Whether you’re an actor, business executive, model, etc., the purpose of a headshot is to show an accurate representation of you. The last time I checked, the world operates in full color. So, a black and white headshot is not an accurate representation of you.

Black and White Actor Headshot

A Black and White Headshot is a Classic and Looks Good, Like this One. But, It’s an Outdated Process and Inaccurate Representation of You.

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Can Headshots Be Selfies

Okay, right to the point… Never ever, if you’re serious about your career. There is no such thing as a professional selfie. But there is such thing as a professional headshot. There are many reasons to steer clear of the tempting ease of just using your iPhone or Android phone.

It’s Not Even a Fair Fight

One might argue that there is no benchmark for what a professional headshot should look like, in terms of quality. But, you can look at a headshot from a professional photographer that used one of the best DSLRs available and tell. Just compare it to a selfie and you’ll easily tell the difference. So, when you put your selfie out there to be compared with truly professional headshots, you’ve failed to meet that benchmark and to be judged by it.

A smartphone camera is simply not up to the task of producing professional-quality photos or video. This is because, for professional careers, full frame DSLRs (and full frame mirrorless cameras nowadays) have been defined as the benchmark of quality for headshots. No smartphone camera comes close to meeting that benchmark. Don’t let the fancy advertisements fool you.

Why Camera Phones Are Inferior

Let’s imagine the below image represents an overlay of two rooms. The black room is clearly much larger than the white room. This is the approximate size of a full frame image sensor of a professional-grade DSLR camera – the black one – compared with the size of the image sensor on the latest iPhone XR – the white one.

Full-Frame to iPhone XR sensor size compare

While Not to Actual Scale, This is An Approximation of How Small the iPhone XR Sensor is Compared With a Full Frame DSLR or Mirrorless Sensor

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Studio Lighting vs. Natural Light, the Vacation Camera, and More

Studio Lighting vs. Natural Light

It’s an old argument amongst photographers. Which is better, studio lighting or natural light? To me, the strengths and advantages of studio lighting are easily noticeable. However, both have their place and there are occasions when natural light might be preferred. But, in most cases, studio lighting will just make photos pop much more. Or, at least it provides you more control to make it happen. Continue reading

TLC Thoughts: Hard Drive Failures and Adobe and Profoto Issues

Hard Drive Fails

An Fstoppers post reminded me today how paranoid I am about data loss despite – knock on wood – never having it happen to me. Well, I don’t think I’m paranoid but, every time I tell someone of my setup I’m told I might be.
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Time for TLC Thoughts: You Get What You Pay For; Victimless; and Why?

Price Can Be A Quality Indicator

You get what you pay for. PetaPixel posted a story about a wedding photography disaster. To summarize, a couple in the UK hired a wedding photographer, supposedly after checking out his work, and the pictures turned out to be really bad, in their opinion. Continue reading

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