Melissa is one of the most amazing models I have ever worked with; not just for her outward beauty, but also (and mainly) for her inward beauty. Friendly, outgoing, confident and always ALWAYS positive, whenever we work with her, I'm left with great shots and a big smile on my face.
Modeling headshot photography has become such a rare beast, that a model simply having proper headshots in their portfolios puts them so far ahead in the modeling world that success surely follows. While technically very simple, headshots are the most critical shots a model can have in his or her portfolio and as I've said many times, they're what lands job after job. Melissa puts such effort into her modeling career that she's always stuck out in my mind as someone who will go very far in modeling!
Something to consider – there are more paid modeling jobs than there are qualified models and if you've ever been on the fence as far as whether or not to hire a photographer for headshots or go the "free" route, we cast for models on a frequent basis for catalog and advertising work and I spend on average of ten seconds looking at a model's portfolio – if there are no headshots, I move on to the next portfolio; if there are good headshots, I submit them to my client for final approval as they are almost always the ones with the deciding factor and no client will take a model with no professional headshots seriously.
Little known tip: There are unwritten rules on how much retouching can be performed on headshots; too much is either an instant 'no' or requires a face to face meeting to determine what a model actually looks like, but by using good makeup that matches skin tones well (thank you Sarah once more for the beautiful makeup!!) and nice lighting, it cuts back on at least 50% of retouching work.
Photographers' tip: Here's a trick if you want 'soft skin' without too much Photoshop – I stuck with my usual big 22" beauty dish with diffuser and a 30" reflector for fill lighting and then stuck on a neutral density filter so that I could shoot at an even wider aperture for additional 'softening', which through her hair out of focus enough to make it appear even softer and added a sharp 'pop' to her eyes.
Sarah did a very basic look with makeup; I've never been big on 'loud' makeup unless there's a theme involved, especially for headshots. She started with a matte foundation that was finished with a matte powder that was thick enough to prevent shiny hotspots on camera even under powerful lighting, but thin enough that skin's natural 'glow' came through just enough.
For headshots, I prefer the Cosmo look – nude gloss, nothing too crazy with the hair and a very neutral eye makeup to allow the eyes' natural hues to come through nicely. The result is clean and fresh looking and acceptable to any agent or agency!
I'm really looking forward to Melissa's next shoot – I decided that I'd like to do a couple more casual looks outdoors, where I think that the golden sun best accentuates her natural skin tone, and then promote the heck out of her to all of my clients
Enjoy the shots – I decided to throw in a few from our last shoot back in 2010 because I loved them so much!