The other day I took some headshots outside in the courtyard of the building, taking advantage of the perfect weather: about 67 degrees and overcast with perfectly diffused sunlight for a natural light portrait. That night I was going through the “negatives” (I never know what to call .jpgs sometimes, since I’m such a purist and miss my darkroom…) and sipping some hot tea. I got chilly, turned the heat on in the studio, then had a kind of Hemingway moment of sad reflection.
I thought about how the leaves are changing and the days are getting shorter and chillier, and it won’t be long before it’s too cold to take headshots outside. Well, to be fair, there are some brave souls willing to snap some photos outside in the winter- and I am looking forward to getting some great snowy portraits this year. It’s the finger de-thawing after outdoor winter shoots that turn me off to snow-themed headshots I guess.
One thing I try not to do is “date” the headshots in any way– you shouldn’t be able to tell what year it was when your headshots were taken (no fad fashions or haircuts in them), unless you’re going to update your headshots every year or so to match the times. Seasonal headshots are okay- meaning you can tell that it’s spring because of flowers in the background or winter because of snow on the ground… as long as it doesn’t look like a Christmas card with a bright red sweater. Everything needs to be subtle and in the background so it’s not the first thing you notice in the photo. If the first thing someone notices is “oh, what a nice photo of an autumn day,” and not “hey, that’s a headshot of Geoff,” then you’ve got a problem.