Los Angeles Headshots vs. Senior Pictures

LA Headshots vs. Senior Portraits

My best friend & one of the best photographers on the planet, Amanda Max & I share a site that specializes in HS Senior Portraits.  We offer headshots for actors year round, but during the summer, our focus is Senior Pictures.  It’s interesting because an outside observer may think Senior Pics & Headshots were pretty similar.  But, there are a ton of differences that keep up on our toes & keep the shoots fun & exciting.  Below, we’ll cover 1 main aspects of Senior Pictures & Headshots – and how they’re different.

Headshots what to wear

Even when shooting a “character shot” actors should try to keep the wardrobe as simple as possible while still getting across the “type” they’re going for.  “Girl Next Door” might be shot in a simple yellow halter style top.  The same top would be distracting (and wouldn’t work as well) if it had a turquoise trim.  When you look at the simple yellow top shot, you notice the actors eyes, smile, shoulders, collarbone….all the things that go into making a gorgeous “Girl Next Door” type shot.  BUT, when you look at the yellow w/ turquoise trim shot, you probably notice the turquoise trim first….

Another example:  When shooting “Dad”, a gray tee with a medium blue “Gap” style cotton button up layered over works great.  The blue is a friendly color & the Gap shirt has a soft feel that complements a simple gray tee.  He looks like someone who could pick up a baby & cuddle it.  Aw….Dad!  But, let’s say the actor chose a Blue “Gap” style button up with a stripe in it.  Stripes are popular & they look great in person.  But, in a picture, the first thing you probably notice is the stripe.

In our EXAMPLE HEADSHOT below, you’ll notice actor Katrina Law is wearing some embellishment on her jacket.  This is a great example of how to sort of break the rules, while still adhering to the principle.  Her jacket has texture & some embroidered design, but it blends in pretty closely to the main color of the jacket.  This is a great way to have the best of both worlds if you feel like simple, solid colors are too plain jane for your style.


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Senior Pictures what to wear

For the classic Senior Portrait, it’s probably advisable to keep the clothing simple as well.  However, we’re going to shoot a lot more than just a simple headshot portrait of our seniors.  This is a pivotal moment in their life & we want to capture ALL the sides of their personality & style.  Once we’ve gotten a great classic portrait, we’re free to play with prints, accessories, jewelry, you name it!  The reason it’s not a problem is that these pictures aren’t for casting directors.  They’re for albums & facebook & Wall Art for the home.  They should be interesting & feel more like a piece of art than a practical casting photo.  Also, we’ll be shooting 3 quarter shots as well as FULL length, and keeping the wardrobe too simple can end up looking boring & under styled.

In the EXAMPLE PIC below, the simple silver headband & ballet flats totally complete the look.  The blue & white lace floral fabric gives texture & color to the picture – – – this kind of image would look beautiful printed onto Fine Art Canvas & hung in the home.


So, that’s it for now!  More thoughts on Senior Pics…and LOTS more thoughts on Headshots for Actors to come….


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