I’m just working through the headshot photography session taken with Stephen in the Barnfield Crescent (Exeter) headshot photography studio yesterday. It was a really enjoyable conversation as we worked, to be honest I would have happily have turned the lights off and just sat down and listened to Stephen talk, I hadn’t realise that Eric Clapton had bought Cordings of Piccadilly

Lighting Options for Portraits

I generally like to offer more than a single lighting look in a headshot session and the photography here was shot with two lighting setups; side-lit with a medium Bowens wafer; and then some front-lit shots with the Bowens Softlite a medium beauty dish with a complex diffuser. Both shots had a bit of additional lighting but pretty simple set-ups really.

The sideline shot used a reasonably large Wafer softbox and give reasonably soft lighting but adds contrast across the face, shadows were lifted on the unlit side with a silver reflector and there was a small strip softbox on the opposing side; I was trying not to get the overly backlit shot though.

We moved on to the Bowens Softlite beauty dish placed on axis above the sitter. I do like the sculptured look of the Softlite, it’s designed to offer a more complex look than softboxes and the mono conversion shown here is based on a Softlite exposure.

Mono Headshots

Many clients ask for black and white versions of their images but most cameras shoot in colour so some sort of conversion needs to be done (yes I did consider the little Leica Monochrom). There are a number of ways to achieve a mono conversion but to my eyes they don’t always work well and often the so-called the specialist Lightroom plugins can give very poor results. It’s useful to have in mind if a mono is needed and whether the setup will actually convert well as the photography is being undertaken. Yes, one can just press the BW button but to do the job properly more needs to happen (I think).