Shoot: Commercial Headshot


Commercial and Iconic Headshots


Lesson Info

Shoot: Commercial Headshot

First of all, lou, do you want to introduce your system? This is the lovely nicole ryan wonderful son nicole will be helping us out today along with some of the students. So we are very excited and we do have a wonderful special model today that I would like tio bring on and introduce ray. Come on out. Thank you, roo. Welcome. Thanks for inviting me to do this. You're welcome. It's gonna be fun, so I will just leave you ladies to do it. Do you think before she steps out, I want to talk to you just a little bit about how this all happened, right? Um I think that you're just an amazing speaker and I think the world is yours in front of the cameras. Well, as on the other side of it. And you know, I believe that our use its fleeting and you must embark on your dreams. So I've inspired her to be more than what she even sees herself asked so everybody needs a headshot and everybody needs inspiration right now we all so I'm here to try toby, that teo your helping hand in that. But you see mor...

e of what I see in you on your radiant personality so that's what I felt you know, when I said that to her, I mean, how are you not always easy thing to walk up to somebody and say those kinds of games but to me she's just a warm, wonderful person so to get that to come on and from the camera is to me that really the best thing we could do for each other as artist truly so I'm inspiring you guys to shoot one another and shoot until you see enough of each other to you find something really amazing that comes out of you if it's for the guys that sexy or fits for you want to be younger, sexy woman, whatever it is you're look, your goal is if it's a business portrait, try a lot of those things and if you shoot someone you know to start with doesn't bring comfort so you already can say some people tell me it's the opposite they're intimidated to shoot like their partner or something like that, but I think if you can keep shooting with him till you find something amazing thing you both win, so you're looking for that connection both personal professional, the eye connection and a great photograph. So I'm going to put these little apple boxes here because we have high windows with a cloudy day we're dealing with normal things that everybody would deal with the sense not out you know what? We have a different feeling here if we had son, would it not it would be warmer and glowing and that sort of environment so what we're going to do is chant work with that challenge I've got my s o set up at eight hundred and I'm going to be shooting almost at five six so I'm close to where I want to be I usually don't go over twelve fifty and accepting that theater saying I wanted to show you the extreme of what you can get away with and things like that so I'm gonna have laurey stand on the same boxes because we're about the same height I want my camera to be looking right into her eyes because the image needs to look like we're looking right at her to meet eighty five gives me that so let's go ahead and have you jump up when I do any shoot I'm not searching for my location searching for the light, tweaking the reflectors, tweaking anything while the subject is standing there I have all that down beforehand I plan everything in advance plug it in make sure it works then I put the person there so I'm looking directly at her eye which is a good scale from me we we did the test shot on tobin and he had to like squat down well if I were going to shoot tobin and supposed to her I would have him stand on the ground flat out which you straight in sometimes I see people but I start everyone outstanding so I can get movement in their body so what I'd like to dio is just talk to you a little bit about the light I'm going to use and I'm just going to roll through it so you can hear me speak so fluid conversation asking for what you want I'm going to talk about the head itself and how to move the head how to get laughter out of people and they're going to talk about mature subjects have challenging figures around here to deal with and we all have that you know trying to make everybody look great so you're not spending two hours retouching certain parts of their body to make everything great there's really simple quick things you can do to make people look awesome um so why don't you go ahead and position your body a little bit to the side and she's got on heels which is fine but and I always say be careful and I'll be the first one to fall off the stool watch but I always say careful and I want her to be in a position so she can move toward me like this because I'm trying to get her to reach out to me with her eyes and her body I used this analogy with my posing class when we meet people the first time the first thing you do is connect to their eyes even when you're on a date, the first thing you do is go well look at that person you know you look at their eyes like their hair wow and when you meet them you lane toward them and when you engage your head comes out if you watched she and I talking from across the room and you didn't know us, what would we be doing leaning into each other just a little? So I believe the photograph has to come off the page like that if her photograph is goingto in audition and she's going to be in all these a competition with all these other people if they're leaning against the wall with their arms crossed and she's joining out like this her pictures going toe jump off the page, jump off the death jump off the table, jump off the computer screen toward the subject that makes sense toward who's going to book her so as we get her in a comfortable place and she's safe to move, we're going to bring up our reflector so my first point of working and open shade this is the easy one this is like the girl I told you about I opened the garage door and there she is and here's our pet cake pan let me just quickly show you this entire thing was seven dollars and fifty cents but I mean, look how great this is and if it gets wet or you drive off and forget it after you've done fourteen shots and you don't have to be sad about it so when you move the light I mean you have to be subtle with it drop your chin down into that so what we've done there is when we look at her here she looks really pretty but there's no life in her eyes so by just simply putting this shiny board in the shade suddenly we have light so what I wanted to achieve with this look for the right was that all american face so I picked a really beautiful soft color to flatter her eyes and I asked for her to bring me what she had we looked at the clothes and then I said, you know, it needs to be tiffany blue and she went out for a few minutes and found this and she texted issues I finally found it but I do as much of my homework in advance and communications I can so that when they get there I have a great choices otherwise you end up with a train wreck in a bag and nothing works and we've all taken that picture going really wish you hadn't put that color on so as a board is hearing watch the highlight come up her body and then her eyes air let heads in it you can come hold the way to here or here and that's about where it needs to be. And she can see that light is bright as she looks down at the board and I can definitely you can almost feel it right. Just be blinding, which is anyone just hold it steady. I put my fingers on each of the fold. So in the glamour shots, when I had the girl lying back on the bed and her hair was all pulled to the side, this the woman was here and the phil was here, so it really does magic, so all right, drop your chin down for me and pull it out this way and down with your shoulders a little bit. Hold on, bring your head around to be a little more awesome. So when you shoot commercial headshots cropping by the chest below, the just the very top of the head can be touched in second was probably a better cropping. All right? You want to pull the scram back so they're just lean it back so they can see some of the coloration of that. So I'm crop just about the top. The v neck is giving you the vanishing point that I showed you on my little illustration, so if you've got somebody really round in the shoulders or heavy in the chest, a v neck is a better choice than a flat neck crewneck round that curve around makes round this contrast in line or thin things down so turn a little more sideways for me when lane into the camera drop your chin down a little bit and laugh or make her earnings good just a little bit softer chin down low awesome beautiful and now the whole time I'm shooting I'm moving the focusing point around where she is possum right now turn around to the other side and I looked down at your feet make sure not stepping off the box you know would fall out now you put your hands on your hips softly and then same thing again can you reach up and just kind of pull your hair around the whole time I'm shooting too I'm pulling the hair out and making sure there's no holes in the hair that I'm going to have to retouch later if she changes clothes and make sure her eyebrows were still up s o in the beginning I used to keep a hand mirror close by and let them look but now I just kind of scan every everything before I should on I'll probably shoot twenty five pictures scroll through and I'm gonna get to the magic picture I showed that and then she might say what about this or what about that with the poster try some with my hands back what do you think about with my chin down? What about this angle sometimes people know what they're best angle as most people don't so you want to make sure you constantly mover the more you move the more you find out where that isthe you can scroll through it and see it alright beautiful one last little hair that's out of place there beautiful that's great what you're doing there awesome what you turn and look over your shoulder backwards toward me to head back that way push here off and as you do that drop the shoulder down like that push their head toward me a little bit beautiful awesome all right let's do the same thing now with your mouth closed but eyes twinkling kind of did you lean into the camera good, beautiful lift your chin up part your lips just to touch little little teacher hey you're doing a wonderful job good all right let's try a couple just a little softer nice and fresh when you let people take deborah on what their air of the mouth the tension will fall out of this part of the job and you lose all that texture ring when people are processing look, what about my hand? What about you could just hear them video playing inside their head and if you can get them to relax and come back in to you even if you have to do it every single time but you don't want to hyperventilate that you know it's all fresh every time spent in fifteen minutes, run through the shots so I'm just going to carry on with you for another few minutes here. Good, beautiful little laugh again. Good. Just a little softer. Good. Awesome. All right, now turn around towards me and just do one sort of in this sort of mode put your left hand up. So when you have hands by the face, this is the pretty side of the hand. This is the ugly side of the hand. I call this the butt of the hand and the reason why I did that is just like you use this. So most of the girls exercise and they have the little callouses. And then everybody's hands are red in the winter, so you've just made this up. If you put the hand here, that's, what you're going to be doing. And like I said, the twenty minute role in the rate touching you really want to kind of get the hand in the hair, pull us leave up so it covers up that part and then you just zoom right into making emotional shot instead of a well look at her hand and her finger nails touching here's pretty fingers should be lightly bit like this touching. If you get if you absolutely have to touch the face but I usually tuck it in the hair and I hide the hands so let's kind of work through some of that little bit so your left hand in your hair beautiful just barely touch and do the ha ha ha with the life not such a big smile just a little softer beautiful ticket and a little further good now put both hands around your neck and into your hair all those tight good laughing good good little softer close your mouth again and pull your chin out toward me beautiful good and bring your elbows around little symmetrical here good picture chin out a little bit and down forehead down good, good and then something in your mouth closed all right same thing now but hear beautiful tuck underneath all the way around and they're great and chin down and out brightened with the light more light beautiful chin down a little bit good good let the deep breath good beautiful awesome right let's relax for a bit so I've cropped all the way down to the point hair part but that's as close as you can get if you come down on the forehead you gotta come out to here on the bottom to make it symmetrically work in the agents mind then it becomes a beauty shot so here to here is acceptable if you remember, if you come on to the forehead, it has two crop to the champ. Most of the time you're going to come to this level, so if you have somebody says they want like a more three quarter shot, that means cropping at the waist line or at above the fleshy point on the knee. If I'm going to shoot her there, I would step off the box because the lower I get with amore of her body showing the thinner and taller and stronger she's going to become so let's turn you a little more to the side that way, and I try to turn everything I'm directing around in my head so that I'm speaking to her. But your eyes say your left hand on your head instead of showing this once they start to get confused and distracted and often toe, what is she saying? So I just do it in a way so that they kind of lose that whole worry and they trust me to guide them through it. So was we got one hand here on the help once, bring hand by by your hair here and not such a big smile let's, be a little more elegant this time have your fingers together a little bit great, you're going to drop the reflector down a little lower. Beautiful awesome player left harm around under this album here like that beautiful little less squeezing on the shoulders push your shoulders down and make a long neck before head toward me and down beautiful awesome a little bit of laugh ha ha ha! Awesome leader shoulders down in your neck long beautiful awesome so I pulled back to the wrist and I said, you know, I think it's better cropped in tight so I raised up to the elbow so I crop everything in the camera try to leave myself a little bit of room because you never know where it's going to end up being published so still loading up shots of me just say being a photographer usually on the other side of the lens being in front of the lens is a totally different ball game and you learn so much and just the fact that you're talking the entire time like even if it's just like just the whole line like every pitch you can feel a lot better yeah I'm on the ground is I dropped my angle I drop the lens level mohr of mohr of her body I get into the lower my atlantis is if I were shooting fashion I would be all the way sitting on the ground to make her look longer, taller and stronger, stronger and this lynch choice has no distortion I feel like I'm standing right there looking at the image is talking to her it doesn't look like there have been removed by shooting too wide of the lens and there's this distortion going on so what I'd like to do now it's turned this around so what I'm going to do you guys have to scrims there one is silver and one is white so I used the silver scream is the background and now what we're going to do is I'm going tio turn it around have you get on these box and I'm gonna take these so we're gonna mix so I call this my wall of light do you remember when I gave you the demonstration early on with the woman and all of the different kinds of lighting and which one was the prettiest? This was what I used to light her so you come you can come all the way to this actually we need to move came in all boxes we're gonna bring you a lot closer to make okay so this light actually doing something or we could bring it how about this? You come this way you stay well come teo alright your eyes look great in this like e t for stand right here so I usually it's just easier light at the back, light it to france every catalog on the beach, every advertising campaign and natural like model son at the back senate my back my client says I want a blue sky where's the sun my back because it's shining on that if you're in open shade it's a whole other thing you come always touch my back until he says not with camera slide this way way alright great all right you want to pop in with that underneath so no matter what so this is the opposite really of what we just did and I'm literally shooting right over it so let's turn you on an angle and let's try a couple we're not smiling so what you think now like sultry face leave your shoulders down the first place we showed tension is what I'm very nervous my whole career scanning on it you really wantto push down the net elongate the neck I mean, you could do that easily photoshopped as well but on the set with the nut with the whole spine is relaxed shoulders down guess what does to the face because you're conscious of it and then suddenly you're projecting good energy because you feel better just that little change so you can't see what you're doing there. All right? So pushed down and forward. All right, so so your meter reading you're going to have to take this kind of close up beautiful hold on a little dark on that I believe you can't see what I'm doing back there I'm going to go up to a thousand on my eyes so is it because a little dark meat back up from here to a little bit all right let's try one more thing can you hold that about there and I'll shoot over your arm like that great alright turn a little bit to aside and just kind of an interesting face now not a smile so much very beautiful lift your chin up great awesome it's still a little dark beautiful just very serious now beautiful awesome alright let's try from underneath beautiful come all the way go to the edge of the apple don't fall no falling great trucker chin down into the light and more little more little more not your whole body just your gym good look more like here there that's great where likes your smile let it totally go all right awesome beautiful hold it so quiet do you seriously think I'm serious again? Let your eyes relax take a deep breath beautiful awesome might have blinked that's pretty there too and a little bit lower beautiful right so clean with a little adjustment that would be nice uh smoothed out can you scroll back through some of the ones from before just so we can see them for me which particular do you want to see? I just wanted to kind of roll through a comparison so we're still finding the light there and I think toward the and we're a little bit following the very end there keep going we're getting there now if we could just get your face in tow interesting and soft okay bring hands maybe back to here again we're gonna have to find your life you want to stand on an apple box awesome come back toward me that that's great you guys come all the way up to me if you can beautiful awesome good hold it one moment beautiful good we like your face a little more good anyway I should've practice my blue steel did you that laugh I had like make it okay and just one comment everyone out there yes laura is wearing a mic right now but normally obviously lou would not have that we just have it on her so that you guys can hear her as they're shooting so you can hear my awesome jokes so in this case what I would probably do with these images has taken man de saturate I'm just a little bit because of the darkness of everything lose some of the warmth just a tiny bit um out of all of the ones we did the first segment of thes is the best to me if it was a little bit brighter and here the light quality have just a little bit of a different feel to it. So does anybody have any questions about what I've done here so far one quick question way have from folks one really quick can you talk about the lens here using yes I'm using this eighty five millimeter one too and I'm just really experienced the beauty of it because we were right against this background and I was shooting at three point five and the background was blurry so that's one cool thing that you can have you distracted backgrounds and things like that just fragmented background so if you want it also can keep the focus on whatever you want the attention on which is the eyes when we shoot it five six we are kind of seeing what you think you see when you look at somebody naturally focused on their eyes and a little bit of a blur happens we're not used to thinking about that but it's what we're used to sing and I think that's one of the beautiful sides of using this lands is it kind of feels like you're looking at someone focused on them out of your own eyes heeling over into the fifty and you get a little more depth of field then you probably need teo and that can be cool if you're shooting a hair ad we're trying to do detail shot for cosmetic or something like that you want all of that crispy sharpness the longer the lens the more softening effect you can have on someone's face in the case of your faith, your round we don't wantto we're not worried about slimming down. If you've a long, narrow face, we want to pull out your longer lens to actually correct that and make that softer, so you want to be careful at seventy year twenty four two one o five or seventy to twenty four to seventy shooting at fifty forty just because you can take the head shot doesn't mean you should, and this is to me, it's, much forgiving lands and it's really worse the price you pay for it, too. May I have a rule of thumb? If it's expensive and I go out, I have to use it every day that's the pay off, otherwise I can't justify, you know, owning it so that's, the way I feel about if I pull it out all the time and I love it and I'm probably going to use it. So another lens that I've had some funny fun with is the tilt shifts lenses. I don't know if you guys have tried anything like that with head shots or your linds babies wealthy and, you know working with your depth of failed and making depth, two failed choices happened by tilting the camera lens. I want to give that a try if you're shooting other things and you have access to the tilt shift lands where you want to try one lens proto grows great later, borrow things for a short time, a rented for a short time and try something to get some cool effects, because sometimes you'll get if you shoot a lot of headshots for you, get the point where you want to make some really unique things happen and there'll be a chance to pull that out. Is everything good? I had a question about the head shot on the left there where you said you could shoot to the top of the head? Yes, and it would be okay. What happens when they making eight by ten out of that? Well, that crop off their head if they need that, I usually crop from the bottom it's a little easier to take if you get shutter happy, start shooting a lot of pictures and you end up and you've clocked crop to close the only place you can choose two crops from the bottom, but your sensor size in the proportion to an eight by ten or not quite the same it's a little bit longer. On the long side so you want to think about that if you can and not get too close I'm so used to cropping it right in the camera because that's expected of me but when I shoot magazine covers and things like that, I usually have a template and it's crazy to think that a head shot on the magazine cover it might be shot from the hip up but they have to put all the things around it so they need that space if they don't have it, they're going to make it but it's better if I give it to him in the process in the beginning so try your best to consume, consume it for print purposes in the camera and just always leave a little space at the bottom if you can because even in all of those you could crop up a little bit from the bottom and now you can also shoot. I haven't focused on this yet, but you can't shoot horizontal because people are making their own websites and for the first time you can have a headshot that's a horizontal and make it into a slider for their web page. You could talk to them about things like that because it shows that you're thinking about how they might be able to use the photograph they might not print it any other format that an eight by ten vertical which is like predicated from history from the agencies and whatnot. But in magazines and web sites were used to looking at that upright, vertical. But it's. Ok, in the midst, if you see something interesting, like I was drawn to the windows, be a great place for her to put her logo on her information. And that part of the photograph and it's already set for her.

Class Description

Ready to add a new, lucrative dimension to your photography business? Join creativeLIVE instructor Lou Freeman to learn everything you need to know to take controlled, candid, and commercial portraits and headshots.

The skills you learn throughout this workshop can be applied to iconic portraits, pageant and glamour shots, headshots and other commercial photos, and beyond. You’ll learn about the industry standards for each type of portrait, including how to work professionally with a wide variety of clients. Lou will guide you through determining the unique goal of each shoot and developing a plan for giving clients the results they want. As Lou takes portraits live in-studio, she’ll share foolproof lighting and posing strategies. You’ll also build strategies for marketing and pitching to clients.

By the end of this course, you’ll have the artistic skills to take classic, iconic portraits and the marketing skills to attract clients who’ll drive your business.


Kent Youngblood

Really enjoyed the class and thought Lou did a great job explaining her process with headshots. I've used her headshot approach with natural light on numerous occasions and came up with stunning shots.