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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 27 Jan 2015 (Tuesday) 07:54
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Corporate Headshots - White Background - HELP!

 
hjheathcote
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Post edited over 4 years ago by hjheathcote.
     
Jan 27, 2015 07:54 |  #1

Hi All

When in times of need - I always turn to this forum as people always seem to know what they are on about - unlike other forums out there!

I need to shoot 50 or so headshots - I am primarily a wedding photographer so this comes as something different and challenging.

I have two speedlights (softboxes, umbrellas etc), one reflector and a 3m x 3m background (white). The background doesnt have to be pure white, but I have been asked to just shoot in a relaxed style - clean and crisp.

The attached photo would be perfect - http://novakphotos.com …tos_Amanda_head​shot-2.jpg (external link)

Can anyone offer any help? I simply cant afford to get a load of studio lights.

All the best

Heff.


5D MK II | 6D | 17-40mm L | 70-200mm 2.8 IS II L | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 A | 85mm f/1.8

  
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rebelsimon
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Post edited over 4 years ago by rebelsimon.
     
Jan 27, 2015 08:43 |  #2

Speed light on a short stand directly behind subject, pointed at the background (if you find the need to light the background). Have the background as far back from subject as you've got room for.

Second speed light in a soft box or umbrella and feather light, put your reflector opposite your key light. You can experiment with your key light placement, from clamshell (above camera with reflector below) to side lighting. Using a reflector instead of a second speed light for fill will make it easier to achieve the right ratio. Also gives you the ability to light the background and gain some separation.

Careful that the backgrounds not too hot if your subject is close to the background, it's easy to get too much light coming back at your subject. A little looks great, but too much and you'll really lose contrast quickly. If it doesn't need to be blown out, just get it close.

Get a safe setup that you're comfortable with, and then forget about it. Focus all your attention on getting good expression. YouTube "all about the jaw" and "all about the squinch"

Good luck!


Toronto area photographer http://www.SimonMellic​kPhotography.com (external link)
Cameras:5Diii (x2), 70D
Lenses:Rokinon 14mm f2.8, Voightlander 20mm f3.5, Canon 24-70 f2.8ii, Tamron 35mm f1.8 VC, Canon 50mm STM, Tamron 90mm 2.8 VC, Canon 135mm f2
Lights: AD600, AD200 (x2), V850 (x4)

  
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rebelsimon
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Jan 27, 2015 08:56 as a reply to  @ rebelsimon's post |  #3

Oh, while you're practicing, make sure to throw eye glasses in the mix. Your lighting has to be off-axis enough to avoid glare.

Not sure what your timeline is for the 50 headshots, but my rule of thumb is to keep my speed lights at 1/4 power (MAYBE 1/2 power) or lower to avoid over-heating them. ISO is your friend when working with speed lights.


Toronto area photographer http://www.SimonMellic​kPhotography.com (external link)
Cameras:5Diii (x2), 70D
Lenses:Rokinon 14mm f2.8, Voightlander 20mm f3.5, Canon 24-70 f2.8ii, Tamron 35mm f1.8 VC, Canon 50mm STM, Tamron 90mm 2.8 VC, Canon 135mm f2
Lights: AD600, AD200 (x2), V850 (x4)

  
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CAPhotog
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Jan 27, 2015 09:06 |  #4

You can do this with two speedlights and a reflector. I would use seamless paper instead of muslin to minimize editing and give you a choice of colors. You didn't specify your exact gear but I assume you have a set of wireless triggers as well. Two medium soft boxes or two 45" bounced umbrellas. One as key over camera, one as fill. There's no rim or background light. My preference would be two softlighters for round catchlights but that's not necessary as in the sample.




  
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CAPhotog
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Jan 27, 2015 09:13 as a reply to  @ CAPhotog's post |  #5

Vignette is added in post.




  
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hjheathcote
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Jan 27, 2015 09:40 |  #6

That is really helpful - thanks so much guys.

RebelSimon - Your profile pic - how was that achieved? May I ask?

Once again, really grateful for your time.


5D MK II | 6D | 17-40mm L | 70-200mm 2.8 IS II L | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 A | 85mm f/1.8

  
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rebelsimon
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Jan 27, 2015 10:45 as a reply to  @ hjheathcote's post |  #7

Large parabolic umbrella with a strobe, above and behind the camera. Super easy, but you need a strobe, and it will glare with glasses.


Toronto area photographer http://www.SimonMellic​kPhotography.com (external link)
Cameras:5Diii (x2), 70D
Lenses:Rokinon 14mm f2.8, Voightlander 20mm f3.5, Canon 24-70 f2.8ii, Tamron 35mm f1.8 VC, Canon 50mm STM, Tamron 90mm 2.8 VC, Canon 135mm f2
Lights: AD600, AD200 (x2), V850 (x4)

  
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nathancarter
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Post edited over 4 years ago by nathancarter. (3 edits in all)
     
Jan 27, 2015 11:11 |  #8

Simon nailed it with the first post: Light the background with one (probably bare) Speedlight directly behind the subject or on the floor behind the subject; light the subject with a second Speedlight with a big modifier, directly above the camera axis.

I wouldn't try to blow out the background to white unless the client specifically asked for that. However, well before the actual headshot session, practice lighting a blank wall in your home with a single bare Speedlight, and make sure you can get a pattern that you find agreeable. Remember that you can hide the background light/stand behind the subject.

You can have the subject hold a piece of foamcore at waist-level for a little fill. (I usually don't)

White seamless paper will look so much better than muslin. I suppose you could take an iron and ironing board, and freshly press your muslin on site.

Put plenty of distance between your background and your subject. Don't put them right against the wall like a mugshot.

If you can also put plenty of distance between the camera and the subject, and zoom in with a long focal length, you'll be able to get away with a smaller background (e.g. 53" wide paper roll, which is easily transported in a small sedan, instead of 107" paper which needs a wagon or van to transport).


If you look in this thread, I think post #7 is pretty close to what you're looking for. Just throw out the kicker light in the shoot-through umbrella to rear left, move the main light a little closer to camera axis instead of off to the right, and maybe add a piece of foamcore for fill.
https://photography-on-the.net …showthread.php?​p=17386151


http://www.avidchick.c​om (external link) for business stuff
http://www.facebook.co​m/VictorVoyeur (external link) for fun stuff

  
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Trvlr323
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Jan 27, 2015 11:21 |  #9

Seeing a how you have a white background and two strobes I would probably wouldn't bother lighting the background. The background is already white so you could use your ambient exposure to keep it white or drop it to light or even middle grey. Then you have an extra strobe to better model your subject's face with. As mentioned above, vignetting is easy to add in post.


Sometimes not taking a photograph can be as problematic as taking one. - Alex Webb

  
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scobols
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Jan 27, 2015 11:45 |  #10

I just did a session like this. I used studio strobes but you could use speedlites and umbrellas - the concept is the same. This was a TINY room and I was pretty much standing in the hallway - but hey, you make it work with what they give you :)

Setup

IMAGE: http://www.scottbolster.com/potn/ml01.jpg

Result 1
IMAGE: http://www.scottbolster.com/potn/ml02.jpg

Result 2
IMAGE: http://www.scottbolster.com/potn/ml03.jpg

www.scottbolster.com (external link)
facebook (external link)

  
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MakisM1
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Jan 27, 2015 12:18 |  #11

Here is a photo using the setup Rebelsimon described in post #2 (my son asked for a corporate portrait as he is graduating from University and needed one for his CV and personal sites):



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The major problem was space and background. I used a portion of a light yellow blank wall in the living room (had to take down a large photo of Mom).

Speedlight on a 32" reflective umbrella, 7 ft high, about 4 ft from the subject at 1/4 power, camera left at 45 degrees.

Reflector about 1 1/2 ft away from the subject camera right at 45 degrees, tilted about 30 degrees upward.

Subject 1 ft from the wall and a speedlight at 1/8 (or 1/16?) tilted slightly towards the wall to wash out the wall color.

Camera on tripod, about 10 ft, my 60D with the EF 70-200 MkII at 88mm. ISO 100, f4, 1/125.

There is some post-processing (most important elevate the shadows a bit to compensate for the lack of a third flash and whitewashing of the background, because I kept the background flash at low power to avoid light spilling back onto the subject)

Gerry
Canon 5D MkIII/Canon 60D/Canon EF-S 18-200/Canon EF 24-70L USM II/Canon EF 70-200L 2.8 USM II/Canon EF 50 f1.8 II/Σ 8-16/ 430 EXII
OS: Linux Ubuntu/PostProcessing: Darktable/Image Processing: GIMP

  
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douglala
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Jan 29, 2015 22:01 |  #12

I just volunteered myself to do headshots for my co-workers. This thread is priceless to me! Thanks to everyone that contributed! Just have a few purchases to make before setting up some practice sessions.....

bookmarking this page...




  
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Corporate Headshots - White Background - HELP!
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