Professional Headshots Capture a Multi-Faceted Musician

Christopher Michael is a musician who lives in Philadelphia but has family roots here in Indiana. His father, Benjamin Dean, introduced us when Christopher needed professional headshots that would reflect the multiple sides of his music career.

As a Christian heavy metal musician, Christopher needed images that would show the more gritty side of his music, as well as his role in the business of entertainment. He suggested a large, old church that he usedto attend and therefore had a connection to. The building is made out of stone with wooden doors, which lent itself to the heavy metal vibe we were going for. Since we used the outside of the church, nature was the light source, and I set up shots based on the natural shadows from the sun and the building. I also used one soft box of my own to make sure I had light coming from exactly where I needed it.

Christopher brought different outfits to suit the different looks. For the performance side, he wore a fun purple shirt and light up shoes that we made sure got into the shots. For the business side, he wore a white button down shirt with blue jeans.

Even though Christopher is a musician and used to being in front of a camera and a crowd, I still felt that in order to get authentic images I needed to get him relaxed. Conversation usually sets my subjects at ease, and since I used to work with his father at ExactTarget, we were easily able to connect. I asked him about family, his memories of the church, music, etc. Being truly interested in the people I work with and listening to their stories evokes relaxed smiles, allowing their personalities to shine through.

Some of these images were outside my wheelhouse in terms of professional headshots, where I am usually focused on a more conservative vibe. I gave his role as a musician a lot of thought before the shoot. I tried various angles, such as shooting down low with a wide-angle lens to make him look larger than life with the big church behind him. I wanted to go a bit bombastic with the style to reflect his heavy metal music. Then I did some editing in Photoshop, playing with exposure and shadows to give the images a dramatic look.

Christopher shared his thoughts about the photoshoot with me:

“Paul is a friend of my father’s and he introduced us. I did not really have any set expectations going into the shoot, but it ended up turning out much better than I could have imagined. The quality of the images and the experience of taking the pictures were really nice. The shoot was very simple and relaxed and I enjoyed working with Paul. I plan to use the images on my LinkedIn profile, as well as on the website I plan to launch soon once I finalize my EP.”

Because I focus my professional headshot work on capturing the personalities of my clients, each experience and set of images is different. If you are looking to update your portraits to show your authentic self, contact me here.