I am not a person that likes to be in front of the camera. On the back side of the lens is where I feel I belong and if a camera comes out and is pointed my way I generally feel very uneasy and try to get out of the situation in the fastest way possible. That being said, I also understand the importance of having a good headshot for work purposes in the creative field. If you can’t present yourself in a favorable light will a client or potential employer think your work will be good? At the very least the photo of yourself should be good from a technical standpoint. It seems that a lot of my friends and colleagues in the creative industry lack having a good, up-to-date headshot on file to use whenever necessary.
This was a different situation for me. I didn’t feel I NEEDED a photo of myself, although I surely did. No, this was more of an effect of my growing my hair out, having a beard and looking into the mirror one day and seeing what looked like a madman. Nancy’s photos definitely did come about because she was in need of an updated image but also because she is like me and hates to be in front of the camera and it’s always nice to break her out of that comfort zone.
Hit the jump to read about the setup and see some the images we felt were best.
The lighting setup was actually pretty simple. I don’t normally shoot in controlled environments so I lack some of the “proper” gear that would normally help in this situation (example: umbrellas, soft boxes, paper rolls, gels). We had to make some good photos with what we had and that’s fine by me. It’s how I’ve always shot and it’s always worked out in the end.
I started by hanging a large piece of white cloth up on the wall behind us. After that I got to work on the lighting. I knew I wanted that background as bright white as possible so I set up a speedlight pointing at the cloth at about 50% power with no diffuser. I didn’t have it full-blast because I didn’t want light reflecting and leaking around the head & body causing all kinds of splashy interference with the other flash. The next light is for the face and it was set up slightly behind me and to camera-left at about 1/16 power with a diffuser attached. The diffuser combined with the lower power helped to create a nice, even light for the face. Nothing fancy, nothing spectacular but it all surely gets the job done. There is also an overhead light on and that was just two 40w soft white lightbulbs that illuminate the room. I used a Canon 7D with a 50mm lens and edit everything in Lightroom to achieve the look of the photos.
For myself, I wanted to capture some images that were a little nutty and showed more of my “at-home” personality. Nancy’s photos were more deliberate and are meant to be more on the professional side while still having some fun with it all.