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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 02 Oct 2013 (Wednesday) 14:03
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Need critique and advice on office headshots - client not happy

 
PhilF
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Oct 03, 2013 09:17 |  #16

Aside from the lighting aspect (which is also subjective - you get to use your own signature portrait lighting). Learn about posing people. Especially older and big subjects, they want to look good. They don't want to see hanging bits underneath their chin. Their are certain poses that hide that as well as lighting. I shoot portraits 5 times a week ... 30 people a day.... and that's what I get. "Make me look good." "Can you make me look younger." "Can you hide this and that." Learn all how to do it and you'll get returning clients.


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DC ­ Fan
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Oct 03, 2013 10:01 as a reply to  @ PhilF's post |  #17

One simple and useful technique is to use umbrellas in pairs, one to each side of the camera position. This offers a clean, balanced and smooth wash of light.

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The twin-umbrella technique also doesn't require much room and the positions of the umbrellas aren't critical.



  
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Wrench
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Oct 03, 2013 10:56 |  #18

DC Fan- Are both lights set to the same power? Shoot through or bounce?


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Silkysolutions
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Oct 03, 2013 11:51 |  #19

Don't beat yourself up too much about it. We all make mistake in life, as long as we learn from them then we can move forward. It experience that you've from this shoot, so there are some positives.


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gonzogolf
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Oct 03, 2013 12:40 |  #20

Silkysolutions wrote in post #16343402 (external link)
Don't beat yourself up too much about it. We all make mistake in life, as long as we learn from them then we can move forward. It experience that you've from this shoot, so there are some positives.

I disagree. Beat yourself up a little for reaching beyond your proven ability in front of a client on the fly. In the future dont take a job that havent already practiced and proven you can repeat on demand. Not that you cant reach for a shot that goes beyond your comfort zone on occasion, but stay within your competency for the bulk of the shoot.




  
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thedcmule2
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Oct 03, 2013 12:45 |  #21

Why should he beat himself when the client changed the circumstances without prior notice?




  
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gonzogolf
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Oct 03, 2013 12:49 |  #22

thedcmule2 wrote in post #16343497 (external link)
Why should he beat himself when the client changed the circumstances without prior notice?

If you are acting as a pro and you deliver the shots he did then you deserve to do a bit of self flagellation. The failure here was with his knowlege, not the gear, and that comes back to him reaching beyond his ability. It would have been better to decline than shoot and deliver bad results.




  
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DunnoWhen
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Oct 03, 2013 12:55 |  #23

thedcmule2 wrote in post #16343497 (external link)
Why should he beat himself when the client changed the circumstances without prior notice?

With more experience the change of circumstances would not have been a problem

So, in so far as he accepted a commission for which he was ill prepared, irrespective of the location, then yes, he should "beat himself up".

That said, OP you might consider the purchase of a light meter (Sekonic 358) which, once familiar with, would help you to be more accurate, speed up your set ups and, probably, make you look more professional in the eyes of clients ( :-) ).


My wisdom is learned from the experience of others.
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girvan
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Oct 03, 2013 13:20 |  #24

As others have said I agree the there are over exposed a bit and also you are missing that true connection with them. I am not only a big fan of the Peter Hurley methods, but had some guidance from him and the connection is really where it's at. Check out Peter's Art of the Headshot dvd and it'll change the way you think about the headshot, and general portraiture.

You don't need to be hard on yourself though, as long as you learn from every session you are doing it right. Getting better every time. If I look back at my first headshots, they are very bad, but learned from them.

Now I don't use a crazy expensive lights like Peter does but I do use separate lighting for the subject, and background.

here are a couple examples of my work..

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_8X_0674 (external link) by dcgirvan (external link), on Flickr

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shoot with canon gear and some lights. my blog is at www.lightgangsta.com (external link)

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DC ­ Fan
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Oct 03, 2013 13:49 |  #25

Wrench wrote in post #16343289 (external link)
DC Fan- Are both lights set to the same power? Shoot through or bounce?


Same power, same height, same distance. Light's bounced off the inside of the mbrellas.




  
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Nonnit
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Oct 03, 2013 14:26 as a reply to  @ DC Fan's post |  #26

Here is some good info on corporate headshots:

http://theslantedlens.​com …rtraits-lighting-article/ (external link)


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dmward
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Oct 03, 2013 22:39 |  #27

This is an example to reinforce the concept that it pays to know the basic "rules" when approaching a job.
Adapting or breaking the rules is fine, providing you understand what they are and why they were promulgated in the first place.

Standard portrait lighting is:
Main 45* off lens axis and 45* above subject.
Fill light on lens axis and just above the camera
Ratio between the two 1:1 for women maybe 1:2 or 1:3 for men.
Hair light above and down opposite the main light.
Background light as appropriate behind subject to create a vignette on background.

Posing:
Men may be lit with broad or short lighting, depending on facial characteristics.
Women, generally short lighting to add slimming shadows on face.

Camera;
Lens focal length at least 1.5 times the frame diagonal (85mm for 35mm film, 150mm for 2 1/4 sqr.)
Lens axis should be at subject eye level or a bit higher.

Subject expression:
Pleasant and confident. (Peter H. does a great job describing how he goes about getting this type expression when shooting head shots.)

The following was shot during a headshot workshop. Main and fill. Two additional light on background.


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dbeugel
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Oct 04, 2013 17:37 as a reply to  @ dmward's post |  #28

One aspect that struck me before the lighting was the composition. The chests and shoulders seem to dominate these shots. Giving the look of a huge broad body and little head!


I own a DSLR, some lenses and some lights.

  
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dmward
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Oct 04, 2013 22:51 |  #29

That is caused by a combination of too short a focal length lens, too low a camera angle, body too square to the camera and finally the flat lighting.


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CAPhotog
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Oct 05, 2013 12:44 |  #30

Three suggestions before lighting strategy:

1. Subject needs more distance from background. You want any shadows to fall out of frame. Think about it in terms of managing the light fall off (flash output) and angle of your key light too. Granted you used a door, but that was a limitation in choosing a blank flat background square to the camera as opposed to creating a neutral background by lighting for depth.

2. Camera height should be higher as others mention. If you think you were at eye level, look at the nose in your shots and notice you were shooting slightly upward. Start by holding the camera (focal plane) parallel to your subject, don't tilt the camera up, but raise your height and tilt the camera slightly downward. Your examples exaggerate the problem because the height is inconsistent and lack the uniformity desired. To keep it uniform, you need to be the same distance from each subject and adjust camera height each time. (When you change camera angle by tilting, you create the illusion of respective height for each person. Typically not good unless you want to make a short person seem taller). A tripod is best for keeping the same distance while adjusting height quickly.

3. No one has mentioned it, but I think your monitor is not adequate or calibrated well. If it was calibrated you would see the exposure and color issues with more confidence. Especially for portraits, color, brightness, contrast, saturation, tint are important to see accurately. Otherwise it becomes a guessing game and very difficult if not impossible to deliver portraits to clients. You can't control what monitor the client views images on, so yours needs to be standardized and accurate. A wide-gamut IPS monitor is best. You can calibrate other types of monitors, but will still have issues seeing details of highlights and shadows.




  
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Need critique and advice on office headshots - client not happy
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