Headshot Howto

This is a portrait from back in January, depicting one of my oldest friends. We’ve known each other for 20 years now and I forced him to sit for a few portraits. He lived with me for a few months while he needed a place to crash. He’d just come back from the getting his hair cut and he looked really fresh with his hair styled and a black shirt. I figured it was perfect setup for a good headshot-style portrait.

Now, this is an example of how a photo can look a lot more involved than it actually is. When he put these photos up on Faceplus and Googlebook (or whatever) he got a lot of comments about how professional they looked. Well, the reality is that he’s sitting on a stool in front of a fairly narrow piece of my living-room wall. I’ve shot him with my manual-focus 105/2.5 which was on a tripod. Lighting was a single Nikon SB-700 (and the ambient light normal to my living-room) which I held with my left hand since I didn’t have a stand or anything. There’s no light-modification, no umbrella or anything. Just me trying to hold it at a decent angle and triggering the camera with a wireless remote. If you look closely you can see he’s a little purple around his eyes, that’s a mild allergic reaction to my cat; I tried to edit it out but it just didn’t look good so I left it in.

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