Should I Practice?
This is a good question that many internalize and eventually try to do in front of their bathroom mirror while their cat watches in embarrassment (you know who you are)…
YES!!! Practice makes perfect, but not in front of a mirror.
“How the heck do I practice then?”
My best answer to this is usually craigslist. Everyone and their mum have a camera nowadays and want to shoot like a Vogue super photog. Unfortunately, not everyone can or wants to put in the big bucks to invest in their photography hobby (and eventual business?). These are the ones you want to use.
Go onto craigslist or www.modelmayhem.com and search your area for “free headshots” or “model needed for test shoot”, anything within those terms should get you someone who would like anyone in front of their camera (I know because many moons ago I did the same for practice). NEVER EVER EVER pay them, though. Remember, you are practicing so that your investment in the real deal pays off. You never know, you could get a shot from the practice that is useable!
Here is why I recommend this. Number one, you will get to see how awkward a photo shoot can get. What I mean is that you are putting together two first-timers and the product will be inexperienced awkwardness. This is good. You will realize as soon as you book a session that a pro photog (hopefully) will put you at ease right from the get go. Number two, you are going to be able to see a general idea of how you photograph up close and personal for a headshot. Many of us are detached from our bodies (as Peter Hurley lectures about). A lot of times you can think you have the biggest smile on your face when in reality you suffer from resting bitch face syndrome or RBFS (it’s okay I do). Number three, you will most definitely appreciate the time, experience and passion your future pro photographer brings to the table… okay that’s just a personal opinion, but still.
Now get out and practice!!