Lessons in What Not to Do: Mrs. Idaho Headshots



Beauty pageants?  Last week I had the opportunity to take headshots for Mrs. Canyon County to compete in the Mrs. Idaho pageant.  She needed headshots to submit for the contestant pamphlets, pageant brochures and other media.  I’ve never done specific headshots before and had a lot to learn.  What is a headshot?  Is it just your head?  Head and neck?  Head, neck and shoulders?  Straight on, side or from behind?  Black and white?  Touched or unedited?  And that’s just the tip of the ice burg.


I met up with Molly around eleven in the morning and snapped off a few inside.  Yeah… not good.  I was seriously doubting whether or not I could pull this one off.  Studio lighting indoors is a must – at least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.


Outside and in my comfort zone, we found some open shade to work with.  Molly had a lovely celery green sweater on and perfect retro-glam hair that worked well with the evergreen tree I used as a background.  My reflector became her new best friend, it was a love-hate relationship adding just a touch of light underneath her chin and cheekbones to chase away those unflattering shadows.  Lesson learned:  Don’t blind your subject in pursuit of shadows.


Since theses photos are specific in nature, I let Molly glimpse the camera LCD to make sure that we were headed in the right direction.  Some angles and lines that we thought would work well didn’t and some of the “let’s just give this a  try” (as I contort myself into an odd example) poses gained the best reviews.  Lesson learned; it’s okay to be a poser – sometimes.  Find what flatters and don’t be afraid to twist and tweak it until you get what you want.


With any luck, she’ll be the next Mrs. Idaho


(The last two shots are the ones she chose to send to the director.) 



A Outdoor Set 1_3wm



A Outdoor Set 3_15wm



A Outdoor Set 4_7wm 


A Outdoor Set 6_3wm


A Outdoor Set 1_5wm


A Outdoor Set 6_13wm


  1. Connie said...

    The first 2 photos are sweet, honey. I like them the best. The ones she picked look "s*xy"! She is adorable but "sweetness" might be something she'd want to convey to the judges. Beautiful photos though. I need you over here!!!!!

  2. Stacey said...

    Those all look FABULOUS!!! But I love the last two, they are awesome!! Good job Lady. I still say you are the best!