There are different types of headshots, so the best thing when looking for a professional photographer, is to let them know how you want your headshot used. Spend some time with your photographer so they understand you and the very best way to illustrate your features and illuminate your strong points.
Your acting headshot is a small window into your personality and your passions in life. It is truthful in its representation of you and your eyes should be in absolute focus. There should be no question this is a photo of you so there should be very little or no retouching of wrinkles, or reduction of excess weight. Makeup is natural and minimal and lighting should define your features. This photo is taken from the waist or mid chest, NOT closely cropped, with no distracting elements in the background. Casting directors see thousands of headshots in a month, thus yours must stand out. Your best feature should be amplified in the photo.
An actor's headshot is the personal calling card for you and is designed to get your face in front of the casting manager.
This photo should reflect the type of modeling you want to do. It can be face and shoulders, or full body. A woman's complexion is usually smoothed and a man's skin can be either minimally softened (to remove blemishes) or rugged. Lighting should be again be indicative of the type of modeling you are targeting for work. Dramatic lighting is more powerful on a man but can also be used for a woman in high fashion shots. Preferred modeling lighting is soft and even. Makeup should be well blended and shimmer finishes should be avoided for the eyes. Lips should not be shiny.
A modeling headshot is to present your artistic features to an art director in order to amplify their vision. (It is NOT a glamour shot)
This term is applied to the photo of you that is used for business purposes. It could promote your personal business or be a representation of you on your company's directory. This is the writer's picture on a book jacket or the small thumbnail on a realtor's business card. It is your LinkedIn profile photo or the friendly face that accompanies your resume. It shows you are friendly, approachable, promotable, hireable, and nice. It is taken with either a neutral background for a formal photo, or in surroundings (called an environmental shot) for more casual or familiar purposes. NEVER single yourself out of family picture for this image as it will look like you just don't care.
Whatever your headshot needs, call me! I know the industry, I know your needs. This is the one area of photography where you'll need a professional! (908) 229-1694.