The Corporate Headshot

Being a corporate photographer who specializes in location work, I often have to shoot a lot of  corporate "headshots". Many of the companies I shoot for have the need for a simple "corporate headshot" used for media and other uses.  I was asked to shoot this portrait in Denver to match an existing style shot by another photographer in another city.  Being able to reverse engineer the existing photo is key to successfully executing this assignment.

I was provided a jpeg of the existing example, I converted that to a pdf and loaded it into my iPod Touch as a reference I could refer to on location. I use an App called GoodReaderUSB, this is a free APP at the Apple Store.  As a side note, when I travel, I convert all of my contact emails, reservations and anything else regarding a particular trip into pdf's and just carry them on my iPod.

Even thow I might want to choose a different lighting style, it is my job as a professional to supply my client with what they need.  Being able to read or reverse engineer a simple photo provide by a client is key.

I am not showing the sample photo in this post as I do not permission to do so, trust me that the photo shown here is almost exactly a duplicate of the one provide to me as a reference.

I want to show you the entire set up to create a corporate headshot such as this.  I used two light to create this shot. The key light is a single Niikon SB-800 in a FourSquare and the background light is a single Nikon SB-800 with a 40* Grid.  My ISO was set to 200, the key light set at 1/32 power and the background power set to 1/64th power. I also used a 42 inch 5 in 1 reflector to provide some bounce on the shadow side of the face.

I was given a medium sized conference room to accomplish this task. I used two SB-800 strobes, the key light was a FourSquare Softbox and the background light was fitted with a 40 degree grid for the glow on the gray seamless.

I was shooting at ISO 200 and my selected aperture was f/2.8.  With these settings, the power on my key light was set to 1/32th and the background light at 1/64th.

Each of these strobes were powered using my Quantum Turbo SC, not really necessary with particular set-up, just my normal thing.

You will also notice that I'm using a reflector to bounce some light back into the shadow side of my subjects face.

Notice in the photo at the left that the FourSquare is positioned well in front of my subject, this is know as feathering the light.  Using the box in this manner, the subject receives the softest portion of the light and the reflector grabs more of the key light for a more effective bounce.

Positioned behind the subject is a small Bogen Nano stand with a gridded SB-800.  The strobe is quite close to the seamless and therefore, the power was set very low.

I put up a couple of other production photos for your reference for this shoot.



I also wanted to mention that I'll be teaching in Vienna and London later this summer, for more information follow the this LINK