Today I had the privilege of shooting new headshots for New Media Campaigns, an awesome web design company in Carrboro with whom I recently started an internship. I wanted to show these headshots for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t have any headshots on my website anywhere, so this is an opportunity to show some. Secondly, I wanted to show these because they took me about twenty minutes total to shoot, process, and post on the NMC website.
The big point I want to make is that these were all shot with nice, diffuse natural light through a window, with a single camera and a single lens. If I’d really wanted to get fancy I could have used a reflector to camera right for a little fill on the non-window side, but these came out okay. I shot these in the office, in front of a white wall, and focused on getting the most genuine expressions from people.
Some people are comfortable in front of the camera and it’s easy to get good photos of genuine expression. For others, you have to employ a little trickery and get them in between more forced expressions. Look for smiling eyes, look for relaxed poses. Talk to them, direct them, have them move around. If you’re paying attention and fast on the shutter, you’ll be able to catch the right moment.
Pay attention to the details–watch how the light falls, where your catchlights are… make sure there aren’t too many flyaways. If you do the bulk of your work in-camera, then processing is a simple matter of batch processing some light levels adjustments (and in this case converting to black and white).
Most importantly, don’t get caught up in the minutiae of technical detail–as I said, these were all shot with natural light. If you choose to use strobes, that’s fine (I often do), but don’t miss the good stuff because you’re fiddling with light placement and aperture settings. The technical details are important, but if you’re shooting headshots for real, you should already have that stuff down.
Thanks to the NMC team for modeling for me!