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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Head Shot Help

Updated at the bottom:

Without behaving like my old middle school students and responding that every picture is ugly and I should dye the grey in my hair already (I'm not going to) and stop squinting (I'm trying), if you had to pick one of the pictures below to use as a head shot, which one would you choose? With the exception of the sleeve issue in Choice 5 (what the hell was happening with my shirt?), I couldn't figure out which one said: hey, I'm Mel. I think I am tripped up by seeing myself with make-up*.

Please only vote for one...

Choice One:


Choice Two:


Choice Three:


Choice Four:


Choice Five:


*I can play with the contrast/lighting in the top three.

Update:

I just wanted to give people a sense of the fixed sleeve. I did this in two minutes so it's a bit sloppy, but here's the gist of the new picture. I realized that I can't crop it because I need the picture to remain a certain size.

Choice Six (which is Choice Five fixed):

The amusing side note of this story is that the reason the top three pictures are taken from that angle is that Josh was running out the door to work, but I had a television appearance early this morning so I had on this full face of make-up when I walked in as he was walking out. I asked him if he'd take the picture because I needed it this week and I hate wearing make-up (I washed it off the moment he left). He was wearing a suit, so he was trying to take the picture without kneeling down and getting dirty. And I didn't want to stand. So it left us in weird angle land. Though with the best smile on those shots.

118 comments:

jenn said...

I really like #4. Your right that sleeve is odd in #5.

LJ said...

i also vote for #4, very etheral beauty

sky girl said...

I like #4 the best too.

Jaz said...

I like #1 the best, its youthful :)

Anonymous said...

I like 5 best, but I'd crop it to remove the odd sleeve effect.

Melanie said...

#4 is the best. Very pretty and also conveys "yes, that's right, I know what i'm talking about."

babyinterrupted said...

I like #1 - you look happy and approachable, which is how I think of you. :)

White Picket Fences said...

I vote for number 4 ...seems most "personable" to me for some reason.

noswimmers said...

I vote for #1 as well. You look beautiful in all of them. :)

Melissa said...

I like 5& 1. Your smile seems warm and genuine :)

Sunny said...

I agree with anon... #5 if you can crop the sleeve, otherwise #1. I like your big smile. :)

Bluebird said...

I like #4 best too! If not, then I say #3.

Looking good, either way!

Eileen said...

I vote for number 1. I like the way the natural light lights up your face. Beautiful!

Maggie said...

#1. It looks natural.

projectkjetil said...

5... even with the sleeve

then 2

They're all really good, though. Very approachable and warm.

Tash said...

#1.

And dayum, you're pretty.

Mrs. Spit said...

5, with a crop to remove the sleeve thing

Danifred said...

I'm partial to choice 3 :)

kate said...

Choice 5 (aside from the sleeve thing, which I may not have noticed had you not told us about it!).

The first three are that odd headshot angle that looks like- I don't know, like an unnatural headshot angle. It's the one that you see on every third book jacket, with the (usually female) author looking upward into the camera. It probably looks normal to everyone else, but my photo-happy-eye keys into that pose for some reason, and now I see it everywhere. Of course, my bizarre reaction is NO reason to not use any of those shots, it just happens to be what I noticed most about them. In 4 or 5, you just look like a contented, happy Mel.

Hillary said...

I love your big, natural smile in #1!

Kim said...

I'd choose one of the top 2, which seem to have the natural smiles and the nicest lighting. I also like the close-up without background distraction.
I love silver streaks in hair... if I had gorgeous ones like that I'd keep them.

VA Blondie said...

I also really like #4. That one drew me the most, for some reason.

Heidi said...

I like five the bestest!! The sleeve can be fixed :)

Jeanette said...

My vote is #1.

Vee said...

I vote #2 you look the most natural in it. I think you look a bit startled in #4 however if you do decide to go with #5 I can photoshop a sleeve in for you ;)

Ms. C said...

I like #1 the best, no question. It is warm and natural.
However, there seems to be a little yellow flower popping out the top of your head. I'm sure you could photoshop that out, though.

Jendeis said...

1 or 5 (with the bottom cropped). Friendly and happy.

nancy said...

I like number 1 because of your bright smile!

Mer said...

Choice #1. They are all lovely, but warmth seems to emanate from choice #1.

Nikke said...

I like #4.

decemberbaby said...

#1. Definitely.

Pundelina said...

In 5 you look happy and chillaxed.

I agree about the weird angle in 1, 2 & 3 and I think 4's not happy enough.

Shelby said...

I like #1 best. You seem most friendly and approachable and completely happy in this one.

Anjali said...

My vote is for #1. You look very naturally happy. And you look like you.

Kim said...

I say #5 but if you are really bothered by the sleeve thing then #1. The grey should most definitely stay.

heyLyss09 said...

I vote #1. It's the most genuine smile and looks the most like you're having fun.

N said...

I may be the only one, but I like #2 for a head shot. It's friendly, but looks really smart and informed.

Meghan said...

I like 1 the best. I think the smile is the most 'you' if that makes any sense.

Stacie said...

I like number 2 the best, but they are all beautiful! :-)

runrunlisa said...

Knowing you IRL I think #1 is most "Mel"- you look beautiful in all but I think you look friendliest and most natural in #1!

Amanda said...

#4 or #5, I really prefer the looking straight on shots to the looking up ones.

Mad Hatter said...

I vote for #5 - there's a nice sparkle in your eyes!

Lorza said...

I LOVE NUMBER 1!!! That just catches 'you'. I think it shows your happy, playful nature. I think jacket pictures should just be about what looks good, but what gives you a glimpse into the author's personality.

You look relaxed and happy. :)

Queenie. . . said...

I vote one or five-your smile looks natural in those, and you look happy. The others look a little forced to me.

bbrsbaby said...

#4 definitely looks the most natural!!

Elizabeth said...

I like #4 the best, even if it looks a little more serious than the also-popular #1. I think you look authorly in 4 :-)

KLTTX said...

I like number 4 with number 1 my second favorite.

~Jess said...

I like 5 particularly if you can crop out the "sleeve-issue".

areyoukiddingme said...

I like the pose of #5 (I am also not a fan of the downward camera angle) and the smile in #1. But really, they're all great - I just get the idea that #1 is more you.

PaleMother said...

Hi Mel,

The angle of the top three bothers me a bit ... with the photographer looking down on you. Looking up shortens your face a bit.

The smile in #1 shows your spirit and reminds me of the Mel I "know" from reading you for so long. But I think the bottom two are more flattering. #4 has the best color. Five is also good ... the expression is natural and pretty --just crop it as others suggested. # 5 a little washed out (on my screen) compared to #4.

Cheers.

PS my word verification sounds Yiddish ... "verchig" :)

The Steadfast Warrior said...

Okay, my photographer's opinion is that I love #5 but if you can't photoshop the sleeve (clone tool works wonders), then go with #4. I love your smile in #1, but kate hit the nail on the head with the first three. It's simply that your eyes fall so low in the photo, they should fall on the invisible line that divides the upper two-thirds of the photo. Our eyes are naturally drawn to specific areas in a photo when faces are present. Okay, composition lecture over...

Rebecca said...

Definitely #1

Bean said...

I keep changing my mind, but I think I have to go with 5.

Delenn said...

I like number 4. Or number 1. But, I really like number 4. I agree with you--be proud of that grey! :-)

Jodi said...

I vote #2.

Io said...

I like #1 - you're smiling with your eyes!

meandbaby said...

#1 without a doubt. It's the most natural. You look beautiful!

Mrs. Gamgee said...

I like #3 and my Beloved likes #4.

Nicole said...

#1 is totally the best...your smile is the most spontaneous/natural.

And you are beautiful!

c by the sea said...

i like #5 the best. it shouldn't be too hard to photoshop in purple on your arm to make the sleeves match. if you can't do that, then #1

Katie said...

#5 definitely! Crop or photoshop the shirt. :)

Lyrehca said...

#1.

jill said...

I like 5 best but with the smile from 4 ;) Seriously though, if you can crop, my choice is #5. If you can't crop, my choice is #4.

Jamie said...

I like #4 :)

Suzy said...

My vote is for #1

cowboyboot lady said...

I like #6 and then #1!

Tara said...

#1 is my favorite. You have a fantastic, fun, genuine smile.

Flying Monkeys said...

#1, your smile is amazing. It makes me want to sit and chat.

Lavender Luz said...

#6.

I love you all!

Cassandra said...

#1 has the best smile, but the from-above vantage is weird.

I vote for #5 if you're going for friendly, #4 if sultry.

FET Accompli said...

I vote for #1 - a very natural, lovely smile :-)

Another Dreamer said...

I am voting for #3 :)

A.M.S. said...

I like #1 because you look like you're really smiling. The other close-ups have that "I've been smiling for a camera for too long" look.

I also really like #5. It's a really good angle, you look relaxed and happy in it.

Shannon votes for #5 as well. :)

VintageMommy said...

Number One gets my vote b/c it captures your warmth and friendliness; the others look more posed.

Lisa said...

You look great in all, but I would choose #1, hands down.

Foster Mama said...

I like #1 best.

Mugsy said...

I'm late in the voting, but I guess I have to say #6!

sassy said...

Definitely four, in my humble opinion!

battynurse said...

Toss up between #1 and #6. I like them both though.

Mic said...

I like both choice #1 & #3

TeamWinks said...

#1 feels like a true smile to me. It's more warm and approachable. Beautiful as always Mel!

Meghan said...

I love the full smile in #1 and also the fixed #5. The angle in #2 and 3 is a little too odd (although you look really nice) and #4 looks more like an "author shot" as opposed to looking like the person I think of you as being. But they're all solid choices!

Julie said...

Egad, lady, you are CUTE. That is all.

Bea said...

What are you trying to say? From where I stand:

#1 - friendly and outgoing
#2 - friendly with a touch of wistfulness or sadness
#3 - drugged and perhaps a bit needy (no offense...)
#4 - reserved, perhaps a trifle indignant, unapproachable
#5 - relaxed and friendly, but not bubbly (I'd go with this one, personally, now it's fixed)

Whilst noting the fact that there's nothing wrong with trying to convey some of the above, I'd personally go for (in order of preference)

#5, #2 (it's for IF, right? you're allowed to look wistful, it might even be good), #1 and then out with #3 and #4 because both those would put me off if seen on a dust cover.

Bea

SS said...

1 looks very natural. 6 looks a ltitle mroe serious if you're going for that- I think you can't go wrong with either of htese two (and the others are actually good too!)-

Chelle said...

#5. I think that one looks really sweet.

Pundelina said...

Nice photoshopping Mel!

Definitely go with #6 (fixed 5).

Pie said...

I vote #6.

The Unproductive One said...

I vote 4, you look very 'natural' in 4 :-)

Brenna said...

Choice #6! Well done with the fixing of the sleeve. :)

Your Highness said...

Add me to #4!

kate said...

Yay for #6! Good job with the quick-fix there!

Care said...

#6 would be my choice, followed closely by #1.

nh said...

I like #6 - what am I saying I like them all, but #6 gets my vote.

Dee said...

#6, followed by #1.

IdleMindOfBeth said...

I can't pick just 1, because I'm difficult like that.

My fav is def #1. That's the Mel I picture sitting at my dining room table, chatting and drinking coffee in the morning after an evening of cocktails. (Is that creepy? Because really, its not meant to be. That's just the you - the smile - that I imagine seeing on my friend's face!)

If it's for more professional purposes, I like #6. Still friendly and very approachable, but the angle of the pic seems more professional.

And, I love them all! You're Gorgeous, Dahling! And I'm with you (at least so far) on not dyeing the gray!

Chickenpig said...

I liked 4 and 5.

Kacy said...

Definitely 5.

MAK-now said...

I'm all about #1 or #6 (fixed shirt)

Kristin said...

I love #1. What a gorgeous smile!

serenity said...

See now, I like #1 the best. That's YOU. (I mean, with makeup and all. But YOU.)

xxx

Kim said...

I like 5/6, then one.

Shelby said...

Ok, now I'm liking the retouched #5 best. It's definitely a nice angle and while the smile isn't as generous as #1, it's still endearing. Your eyes are gorgeous and you keep rocking that gray hair...I know I am!

Betty M said...

6 definitely.

Julia said...

#1-- that's the smile I think of when I think of Mel-the-Stirrup-Queen.

If not, then #5-- more stately, but still that Mel

Jenn said...

I like 6 the best!

Astrid said...

DEFINITELY 6. Believe me. There is no question. Two is also good, as a second choice.

You are BEAUTIFUL by the way!

Astrid said...

After reading more of the comments, I felt moved to add some explanation.

I agree with some of the commenters above that #1 is the cutest, most fun, most mel. And #4 is lovely - like a still from a movie. You do look like a goddess in that one...perhaps one in deep concentration. But for a head shot, let's be reasonable people, it's #6.

ok really done now.

Miss Tori said...

2 or 5. 5 especially if you can get the sleeve professionally airbrushed.

4's smile is off.

Meg said...

1!
You look the friendliest in that one

Geohde said...

I'm late to the vote, but 3. I think I'm inthe minority, though.

g

itsazooaroundhere said...

Oh, I just had to choose my own headshot for my website - it is SO hard! My favorite gut-reaction-wise is #1, because it looks the most natural and friendly. If you're worried that you need a more "professional" look, then I like #6.

Very pretty!!

Jess said...

Love 5/6!

calliope said...

I am so late- but #1 is my fave. You have the BEST smile!!! you look great in all.

Bionic Baby Mama said...

5!

Furrow said...

You probably don't want any more opinions, but #2 looks friendly and wise.

momofonefornow said...

I am late but I vote for #6. You look beautiful but still like it was a natural shot and not posed.

Coffeegrl said...

I'm way late, but I love #1 - this is exactly how I think of you!