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The thought that renowned headshot photographer Peter Hurley puts into creating a basic headshot, isn't very basic. As a former model turned professional photographer, Hurley knows what it's like to be in front of the camera and behind it. He's used his experience to perfect his trade and has been kind enough to share his insights with us via a seminar hosted at B&H and this one is certainly a standout. Even at two hours long, the seminar is entertaining and very informative:
Hurley is capable of keeping things upbeat and moving along. If you're interested in improving you're headshots, watch the video in full. There's countless bits of information dispersed throughout that can help you progress as a photographer.
Some things to remember when photographing headshots:
- Keep it simple - The only thing in the photograph should be the subjects head. Shoot only one person at a time. If you're not shooting against a solid color background, throw the background of focus so the eye is naturally drawn to the head.
- Cropping is crucial - Crop selectively, it's better to crop out the top of the head than crop out the neck and shoulders, much like in the photo below.
- The rule of thirds - Always keep the eyes above the center line.
- Give Direction! - It's your responsibility as a photographer to make sure your photographs look the best the possibly can. This often means directing your subjects so that they are in a flattering pose.
- Lighting setup – Hurley uses Kino Flo florescent lighting on the subject and 2 Alien Bee's to light the background. He then throws in a kicker light highlights. He recommends using a square setup for women and banking lights 2-4ft on either side when photographing men.
Ideal lighting setup for professional headshot photography.
One last essential piece of information the Hurley said during the seminar can be said of any style of photographer. To quote him:
"A professional is at his best regardless."