actors portraits

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by omalley, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. omalley

    omalley TPF Noob!

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    Here are some photos of an actor friend for possible use as headshots. He's a very serious person so we didn't want the usual smiling commercial look. Please let me know what you think. This is my first experiment using color portrait film, any advice appreciated.

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  2. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    This is based on wanting a headshot, not artistic merit. Headshots tend to be about following industry trends than art. And what little I know about them.

    First, I think vertical would be prefered. The crop is a bit tight to the top of his head. From the rectangular highlight, it looks like you might have used a flash attached with a cord and held off to the side. The light is a bit harsh. It's a lot better than on-camera flash, but for an actors headshot, I think more diffuse light would be better accepted by the intended audiance.

    The slouch is noticable even in the first one. For a straight on shot, his posture is going to be important. His hair is also blending into the background.

    It's good to be different, but when dealing with this industry, you have to be different while being the same. Sounds stupid, I know. You might be able to stretch with one thing, but if you do too many things different from the standard, you tend to get rejected out of hand.

    I'm not being critical as far as artistic merits go. I like the second image and think it's a great portrait of him. I'm also no expert. This is just what my exposure has been. I'd look at lots and lots of headshots and try to find a way to make yours look similar while still fitting his style.
     
  3. omalley

    omalley TPF Noob!

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    Wow. Thanks for taking so much time to reply. By the light is a bit harsh, do you mean that his head looks too thin/unhealthy? Or just that the key/fill ratio is bad? I used two china balls stacked on top of each other, which is the most diffuse light source I have available to me. In your opinion, might a softbox or umbrella have been a better choice? I suppose I could invest in an umbrella.
    I was afraid about the slouch.
    Thanks for your advice.
    Edit: I know your assessment of the headshot market is correct, in other words that I should stick with something more commercially acceptable. I'm hoping that I can do something a little more weird and still get away with it, but, I guess only time will tell.
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I really like that top one. :thumbup: You might could get away with that, as opposed to a more traditional headshot. I agree the lighting is just a touch bright, but I don't find it harsh at all. The light is even and there are no hot spots. I would agree just some diffused lighting will give it some softness that it lacks here.

    He looks intense, but still relaxed, too. Very nice portraits, and he should be pleased with them, whether you can use them for his portfolio or not. In his industry, the folks who view these things are certainly used to "the serious type". :D Good luck with it!
     
  5. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I guess harsh will mean different things to everyone. That was just the first word that popped in my mind. Being more descriptive, for me, it's a bit too bright and flat. There doesn't seem to be much modeling, and what is there drops to very dark. I'm not sure how close you had the lights, but this is what I usually associate with having the light too close to the subject. You don't need to have much diffuse light with guys, so I'm thinking that it's probably the "too-close" look that's bothering me.
     

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