Head Shot Experiment #1

Head shots, how hard can they be? I mean, you just get someone to stand in front of your camera, act natural, smile, and presto bango you’ve got a gorgeous head shot.

Well… not even close.

As my love of photography grows, so too does my interest in trying new photographic challenges. And, as I wrote in a post yesterday, I have come to realize that I love photographing people more than anything else.

So, before settling down to work this morning I had a little fun with a co-worker and pleaded with him to be my first head shot guinea pig. I had a camera, a flash, and a dark corner of our office to work with. Simple! Well, that was until he stood there and said, “so, what do I do?” Gulp, I says.

Luckily we are good friends and we’re not shy to say or do anything around each other so this first test was pretty fun. I’ve learned sooooo much from Robert Harrington and David Hobby, and I figured it was finally time to put all that theory into practice.

My setup was simple – a single flash set at half power with a shoot-through umbrella, ISO 200, f/5.6, and two pieces of white paper taped together to act as a small bounce reflector.

I’ve gotten my starting point and figured I’d tweak from there. So, “let’s take a test shot, just stand there and act natural.” Ka-pow…

ME: “Perfect! But what the hell are you doing?”

HIM: “I want you to get a shot of my watch.”

ME: “Oh, well stop it and lets take another.”

After all, I want to see how the light falls on his face. Ka-pow goes the shutter again…

We’re now both cracking up and doing a bunch of ridiculous poses. But, I think that little exercise was able to relax both of us. Because the next one we got was money… at least that’s what I think… for my first effort. This is almost straight out of camera, it just has a smidgen of  a touch-up in Lightroom.

What do you guys think? I’d love to get some constructive criticism and learn from any of your experiences. I can’t quite decide if it’s a tad hot on his left side or not. He’s definitely not blown out, but your comments are most welcome.


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