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Tethered Photography for Headshots

SRK Headshot Day

Tethered Photography enables David Funk to pick his photos and review his look during his headshot session.

One of the hardest parts for a subject during a photo session is knowing how they look in their headshot. At SRK Headshot Day, we link the camera to a computer so that the photos are immediately available for viewing. Known as tethered photography, this technique makes it easier for the photographer and subject to figure out what is and isn’t working and to dial in the best poses and moods. Working together as a team reviewing the photos in real time makes for a collaborative and satisfying headshot session.

During a photo session, I ask clients to move their head and give me smiles that they are not used to giving. One technique I call the turtle moves their head toward the camera without moving their shoulders. This creates a more engaged feel, like someone is listening to you. It also helps reduce double-chins if they exist. It feels uncomfortable the first time someone does it because the subject thinks there is no way this looks works. But after they see it on the screen, they know it looks good and are more comfortable doing the turtle the next time. Some people even decide they will do it every time they have their photograph taken in the future.

David Funk – Exhibitions Coordinator at SF Moma – pulls off the perfect turtle pose for his headshot.

Tethered photography gives the client the ability to flag photos they like during the session so they are easier to find later when they select their choices for retouching. After 10 or 15 photos, I stop and we review what we see. We pick the photos we like and talk about what we will do better for the next set.

Tethered Photography Makes Picking Photos Easier

When using the tether, we adjust hair or makeup during the session. Makeup looks much different under the lights than in real time, so the client works with our makeup artist to dial it in to their preference. We always start with a test shot at the beginning of the session and have our makeup artist check it on the screen. Any shine or makeup is adjusted. Clients often think the makeup might look a little heavier than they are used to. When they see it on the screen, they are more at ease. Or we adjust to their preference. Stray hairs are tamed. We catch a necklace hanging slightly off center. We tweak all these things so we get them right during the session instead of fixing them later in Photoshop.

Makeup artist Andrea Ortega Costigan checks the photo result on the computer during a tethered photography headshot session with tech executive Ebba Blitz at SRK Headshot Day.

Wardrobe is seen more clearly on the screen as well. A blouse or shirt that they thought might work is changed if it doesn’t end up working on the screen. If a shirt is too light for the white background, it is obvious when you get to look at it on the laptop. A client sees how a large pattern might be distracting in the final image.

Customers leave feeling they have had a successful session and experience no anxiety over whether the photos worked or not. They also feel like it was a partnership. We make sure we are creating the photo that will work for them during the session. We know this is the case because we get glowing reviews sometimes before the client even has their proofs.

If you want to be sure of a successful headshot session, book your headshot with us and we will be glad to make sure you have the interactive headshot experience you deserve using tethered photography.

Ebba Blitz of Alertsec in the photo that resulted from her tethered photography session at SRK Headshot Day

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