Actor Headshot From Today's Shoot

Started Apr 15, 2013 | Photos
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A.J. Grossman III Contributing Member • Posts: 607
Actor Headshot From Today's Shoot

Here is a sample headshot from a shoot today with a local actor.  Done in my studio with a beauty dish, diffusion sock, and white reflector panels to her left and on the floor.  Comments always welcome.

Lawrence Keeney
Lawrence Keeney Veteran Member • Posts: 6,711
Re: Actor Headshot From Today's Shoot

Nice shot. I like the pose and the lighting, but was wondering if the reflector on the floor is adding anything to this lighting in this shot.

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h317 Regular Member • Posts: 259
Re: Actor Headshot From Today's Shoot

Nice shot.

I am just learning and have a question. From the catch lights in her eyes, I think the beauty dish was placed on the subject's left high (not too high) position. You said you placed a reflector panel on her left side on the floor. Just wondering why you chose to place the reflector AND the main light on the same side. Or maybe I was wrong guessing the light positiion?

A.J. Grossman III OP Contributing Member • Posts: 607
Re: Actor Headshot From Today's Shoot

h317 wrote:

Nice shot.

I am just learning and have a question. From the catch lights in her eyes, I think the beauty dish was placed on the subject's left high (not too high) position. You said you placed a reflector panel on her left side on the floor. Just wondering why you chose to place the reflector AND the main light on the same side. Or maybe I was wrong guessing the light positiion?

I probably was not clear enough in my description.

The main/key light is slightly above her eye level and to her left.  There were two white reflector panels used.  One was a large, self-standing panel immediately to her right and just out of the frame. In other words, it was quite close to her.  The second was on the floor to capture any light that wanted to bounce off of the natural wood floor.  The reflector on the floor did not do much at all, and I simply wanted to capture any light that wanted to bounce off of the floor.

Shooting someone with glasses offers some challenges due to the reflections that can appear on the glasses.  I am not one who believes in removing the glass from the glasses, so I manipulate the lighting arrangement to accommodate for the glass.  In this case, I wanted to clearly see her eyes, so I placed the main/key light in a place where the facial modeling was good and the glass did not pick up any reflections from the light modifier.

White reflectors bounce light all over the place, and I like to work with them for that reason.  I like working with reflector panels because they give me incredible control over the quality and amount of bounced light.

I hope this additional information helps.

h317 Regular Member • Posts: 259
Re: Actor Headshot From Today's Shoot

Thanks. That make sense. Again, I like the picture very much.

Lawrence Keeney
Lawrence Keeney Veteran Member • Posts: 6,711
Re: Actor Headshot From Today's Shoot

You did a great job with the glasses. I know how difficult this is.

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Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,124
The eyes are the mirrors of the soul...
1

A.J. Grossman III wrote:

h317 wrote:

Nice shot.

I am just learning and have a question. From the catch lights in her eyes, I think the beauty dish was placed on the subject's left high (not too high) position. You said you placed a reflector panel on her left side on the floor. Just wondering why you chose to place the reflector AND the main light on the same side. Or maybe I was wrong guessing the light positiion?

I probably was not clear enough in my description.

The main/key light is slightly above her eye level and to her left.  There were two white reflector panels used.  One was a large, self-standing panel immediately to her right and just out of the frame. In other words, it was quite close to her.  The second was on the floor to capture any light that wanted to bounce off of the natural wood floor.  The reflector on the floor did not do much at all, and I simply wanted to capture any light that wanted to bounce off of the floor.

Shooting someone with glasses offers some challenges due to the reflections that can appear on the glasses.  I am not one who believes in removing the glass from the glasses, so I manipulate the lighting arrangement to accommodate for the glass.

I am one who believes strongly in removing the lenses from glasses worn by nearsighted people such as your subject.

The eye is the window of the soul -- Hiram Powers

The light of the body is the eye... -- Matthew 6:22 (KJV) (ellipses mine)

The eyes are very near the top of the list for what sells an actor. Negative lenses make the eyes look smaller, and that has connotations including emotional detachment, hostility, obsessiveness, stupidity, and narrow-mindedness. Nothing positive in Western culture.

I'm guessing she's about a -2 diopter. Take her lenses out, shoot her again, and watch the face open up.

Positive lenses make them look larger. I keep some stylish +2 and +3 glasses around for just such use. Large eyes connote attentiveness, emotional range and expressiveness, intelligence, they're made of win.

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mbloof
mbloof Senior Member • Posts: 1,376
Re: Actor Headshot From Today's Shoot

Nice shot.

So called 'broadside' or long lighting is an easy go-to for folks with glasses.

While not lighting related, if I were allowed to nitpick I'd airbrush two of her teeth (her right front and smaller one next to it) as they appear to have lipstick or lipstick reflection on them.

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Kleeks13
Kleeks13 Regular Member • Posts: 313
Re: The eyes are the mirrors of the soul...

Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

I am one who believes strongly in removing the lenses from glasses worn by nearsighted people such as your subject.

The eye is the window of the soul -- Hiram Powers

The light of the body is the eye... -- Matthew 6:22 (KJV) (ellipses mine)

The eyes are very near the top of the list for what sells an actor. Negative lenses make the eyes look smaller, and that has connotations including emotional detachment, hostility, obsessiveness, stupidity, and narrow-mindedness. Nothing positive in Western culture.

I'm guessing she's about a -2 diopter. Take her lenses out, shoot her again, and watch the face open up.

Positive lenses make them look larger. I keep some stylish +2 and +3 glasses around for just such use. Large eyes connote attentiveness, emotional range and expressiveness, intelligence, they're made of win.

"I am one who believes strongly in removing the lenses from glasses worn by nearsighted people such as your subject."

Joseph:  interesting input. Removing the lenses....do you do this for both actors and just regular people who wear glasses?

The reason I ask, is that I'll be photographing some Navajo Code Talkers this weekend.  Two thirds of them wear glasses.  I've shot them before and I've spent quite a bit of time working with the glare of the glasses.  I ask them to take them off, so I have some back-up shots in case I have a big glare issue, yet I have a great pose.  However, without the glasses, the guys squint, have indents in their eye sockets and skin from wearing glasses for years.  ...and although the eye is the window of the soul, they look weird without them.  Many can't hear well, so telling them to "not squint"  is difficult.  Plus try saying that in Navajo. LOL

BTW...why did you even bother shooting this actor with glasses?  Isn't that a prop that is dependent on the script?  and something that will be added as needed?

....also agree with lightening the teeth...the eyes are the window of the soul, but i come from a dentist family. LOL....and white or light teeth is "thing" with me.

Kleeks

Jorge Lacomba
Jorge Lacomba Regular Member • Posts: 162
Re: Actor Headshot From Today's Shoot

Like the framing and composition a lot, congratulations and thanks for sharing.

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JLC.

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