Headshot tips, anyone?

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by niccig, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    So, this weekend I have my first opportunity to do headshots/model portfolio shots. This is my first time doing any modeling photography, and my first time working with anyone outside my family, so I'm not charging (it's just for the experience, and to build MY portfolio). Does anyone have some great tips for me? Such as, is there any gear I absolutely can't be without, and is there anything specific I should know about modeling work in particular? I'm really excited about this!

    My gear:
    Nikon D80 (I plan to use this one)
    Nikon F80 (backup)
    Nikkor 18 2.8D (probably won't use this, but it's available)
    Nikkor 50 1.8D (plan on using this one mainly)
    Nikkor 35-70 4-5.6D
    Sigma 100-300 4.5-6.7 (can't see myself using this one a lot on this shoot)
    SB-800
    I also plan on purchasing an umbrella & stand beforehand
    Back drop is usually attached to my wall in my "home studio" (spare bedroom)
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    So I assume you are going to use your flash (SB800) as your main light?...and you want to put it on a stand with an umbrella, that's good. But how are you going to fire the flash? And how will you meter for it?

    Then you have to consider the fill light. It could be a simple as just a white board (try foam core from a craft store).

    If you purchase anything to use on a 'job'...it's important that you practice and/or know how to use it before you get there. It won't look very professional if you are trying to figure it out while your model is waiting.

    For head shots, fill the frame and eliminate any distracting backgrounds. The 50mm lens should be OK...but you might consider using a longer focal length because it will probably be more flattering to your models.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    The D80 can 'command' it manually or through TTL with the pop up flash and than you can just bounce the light back with a reflector so you don't have as harsh of shadows.
     
  4. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    Ah yes, I should have added that I plan to use the D80 built-in flash in commander mode. My husband has agreed to a couple of practice shoots before I do the headshots. I haven't confirmed for this weekend yet (the person just said that she was available this weekend), so maybe I will try to schedule it for a couple weeks from now to give myself some time.
     
  5. Jazz

    Jazz TPF Noob!

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    niccig - What is the purpose of the headshots? Are they for an actor?

    One tip is to make sure there's something going on in their eyes. If they're not thinking of something, if their mind is blank, then it can really show in their eyes. So, you might want to have some adjectives (thoughts) ready to throw out, so they can have something to think about, and so it will show in their eyes. i.e. confidence, sensual, mischievous, cunning, stuff like that.

    Hope this helps
     
  6. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    That sounds like a good tip, jazz :) The shots are for a model, but I'm sure the same applies.
     

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