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Thread: A friend of mine has asked me to do headshots for her, Ive never done those any tips?

  1. #1
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    A friend of mine asked me to do headshots for her, I've never done those, any tips?

    I've never done portraiture, but I figured it can't help to try it out. My resources are pretty limited though, anyone got some tips or tricks?

    Here's what I have got to work with.
    Canon T3i w/grip
    Kit 18-55mm
    Kit 55-250mm
    Canon 50mm 1.4 (I'm assuming this will be my best choice)
    Canon 100mm Macro
    Tokina 11-16mm

    Speedlite 320EX
    Lightweight Dolica tripod (can't recall the model, but it's lightweight and cheap with a ball head)

    Thank you all in advance.
    Last edited by DavidWare; 02-03-2013 at 05:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: A friend of mine has asked me to do head shots..

    Peter hurley did a show for b&H on head shots. I'd start there and see where that takes ya.
    Words get in the way of what I meant to say.

  3. #3
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    The 100mm Macro should be a nice focal length, and sharp wide open, or barely stopped down to get you nicely blurred backgrounds. It will also work at a smaller aperture, like f/8, f/11, f/16 if you want background details sharp too.

    Bounce your flash, preferably from above and to a side. Perhaps even behind you and to a side. Wherever you'd like the light to appear to be coming from. With a single speedlight and bouncing your light, even across a large room and raising your ISO, you can get some awesome shots.

    There are many free portrait lessons available from Adorama TV, like recent "Light like a portrait master without spending a fortune". B&H's Youtube channel also has great info, like the recent direction of light talk.

    edit: Oh, nearly forgot the second bit of sage advice from the direction of light talk. You need a bit of black foam, or posterboard, from a craft store, and some hair elastics. If you're bouncing the flash a bit forwards and to the side, some of the light would come straight from the flash at your subject. Block this using the foam/posterboard, held in place onto your flash using the hair elastics. This way the only light hitting your subject is from the bounce, and it also avoids blinding your model.
    Last edited by DavidEccleston; 02-02-2013 at 07:49 PM.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, I'll check those out!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jayson's Avatar
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    Depending on your available space, the macro would be a great portrait lens but it will be a tight head shot. That is especially true if using it on your T3i. If your limited on space, I would use the 50mm f/1.4 and stop it down to f/4 or f/5.6. You should be fine with either of those two lens combinations. I would bounce your flash as others have suggested or position your subject by a large window that doesn't have direct sunlight. That usually produces pretty soft light. Go to your local craft store and buy some white foam core and use it as a reflector (or anything you have that is big and white). You could even have her hold it underneath. You wouldn't even need to use flash if you have something like that. See this video by . She uses natural light for almost all of her photos. This one has a big window camera left and a big white reflector type thing camera right. It's a little risque for head shots, but you get the idea about using natural light and using a reflector. A google search for indoor natural light portraits will yield a bunch or tutorials also.

    Good luck and don't forget to post your results, we'd love to see them.

    Jayson

  6. #6
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    Another good video, thank you! And I will be sure to post pictures of the result when I actually do it, she is quite lovely.

  7. #7
    Senior Member MrGreenBug's Avatar
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    Lots of good tips. Looking forward for the photos.

    If you'll be shooting indoors, play some funky music or anything that your friend enjoys hearing. This can help lighten up the mood, uplift their spirit, or even get hyped for the session.

    Hope this helps.
    Cheers!
    --
    AnGelo Chiu (MrGreenBug in Flickr), Blog: http://mrgreenbug.blogspot.com

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