The market is becoming ever more defined into niche pockets and I personally have seen this ring true more than ever across photography both private and commercial. While there are many shops looking to “do-it-all” from wedding photography to real estate those that are excelling the most are finding their niche and mastering it.
There are many advantages for a business to specialize in a particular niche but what does this mean for the client/consumer?
In short, it usually means an overall better product for the consumer. Why is this? The main reason is focus and experience. There is a reason why we go to a ear, nose, and throat doctor when we have an ear infection versus a podiatrist. Both are medically trained, both are completely competent but one sees this type of problem day in and day out and is more readily equipped to get the best results the fastest.
It is no different with photography and the visual arts. The skills and even the equipment for wedding photography differ a bit from landscape photography as differs from commercial headshot photography. A great wedding photographer has the expertise necessary to document your wedding day with their own creative flair in the best way possible. On the other hand a headshot photographer should be able light, recognize and capitalize on your best angles, and most importantly direct you into looking your best.
The main mistake I see when folks are looking to update their headshot is choosing someone who does not specialize in it. A photographer who shoots real estate primarily looking to do headshots on the side is not going to have the same level of proficiency as someone doing it constantly. This can mean the difference between you looking less than your best versus you looking the best you can look. For something that everyone online, etc will see why would you even take a chance on the former? To exemplify, this may mean the difference between these two examples:
Which would you be most confident showing to your peers? Now I know that the clothes are completely different(our subject here does not just work in business so he needed multiple looks), however, the most important thing to note is the positioning and the expression between these two.
The first one is definitely not showing him at his best. Many general photographers will simply look at the first shot, observe the light looks good, subject is in focus, declare it a successful headshot and call it a day. Unfortunately, he looks like a deer in headlights, the chin is far from defined and the overall expression is just completely blank.
In contrast, look at the poise in the expression on the latter, the confidence in the eyes, the better positioning for a stronger jawline, and most importantly how he is now engaging the camera/viewer. Anyone specializing in headshots should not and will not stop at the first example. It is their job to direct and work with you to pull the confident expression and angle that works for your body and face. For this session I was his mirror here and I guided him from the former to the latter as we continued the shoot.
To sum things up, I strongly recommend that those looking to update their headshot hire someone who is a pro that specializes in this service. The difference will be very clear in the end product.