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Setting Up a Home Studio

Lesson 6 of 11

Shooting Headshots (Trin)

John Cornicello

Setting Up a Home Studio

John Cornicello

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Lesson Info

6. Shooting Headshots (Trin)


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:12:01
2 Backdrops Duration:13:28
3 Lights and Modifiers Duration:17:29
4 Setting Up for Headshot Duration:24:00
5 Shooting Headshots (Troy) Duration:26:46
6 Shooting Headshots (Trin) Duration:34:18
7 Q&A Duration:17:06
8 Beauty Shoot with Trin Duration:38:39
9 Q&A Duration:16:02
10 Group Shots Duration:32:14
11 Final Q&A Duration:29:06

Lesson Info

Shooting Headshots (Trin)

Hey train come on out here ready for training I'm not quite ready to talk about I'm going to move another later but you can come out here and say hi to the internet world some of them may know you already for some previous classes so welcome and thanks for joining us here is you could see it's just a light make up one of your um you can talk into here so the yeah yeah so um give me two more minutes to move two lights around here um how do you want to do that? Okay I can move around yeah yeah definitely all right cool. So let's see what was the name of the holder for the camera on the tripod the ball the ball is on our kiss was uh p zero is the model name and we do have your gear list is on our website correct you gave that I did give I don't remember if that was on there because as I said, I just got that had kind of recently but I don't remember if that was in there so a question from kira uh is way just talked a little bit about makeup for the model for train do you ever hire a makeu...

p artist for your clients and how do you prepare your clients for a shoot to have a dressing room in here? I do sometimes yeah I do sometimes work with him model we do have a spare bedroom and I said the kids are gone, so we have a room that could be used as a dressing room. That's being used is the green room today for preparing, um, I could set up a light in a mirror in there. We've also had makeup people set up in the kitchen where the control folks are today, so I'm gonna walk out of the room, but I'll keep talking to you. I'm gonna great gram another late. This is what happens when you're in a home studio. So, um sandra brad six hundred is asking what you would do differently if this was a business shot in in what way? I think in terms of, uh perhaps the lighting set up, the lighting is probably going to be pretty similar. Let's get this on here. Yeah, they're wearing and they made goto amore formal collar or something like that and for business shots is it generally always, um, a white seamless? I like working on white and gray, but, uh, it doesn't have to be, uh sometimes for model shot. We may go to some other colors in the background, okay could either be by using different color seamless, you know, seamless comes in many colors or we can go teo using gels on it so tell us what you're doing right now. Right now, I'm setting up to strip lights with fluorescent lights and people been asking about using fluorescent lights. Um, he opened the front of this one here so you can actually see the light. So it's a zoo, a pretty big bulb. Uh, one hundred fifty watt fluorescent light. And these here are, um, photo flex star lights. I believe in the the model name on this, uh, and I put into these two strip boxes could I just kind of like this late for a beauty shot. Uh, beauty head shot a female actress. So I turn this one on and I got to get power over to this one here during a regular shot. I wouldn't be switching out the lights like this normally if I had different clients in we have some time between them, so I'd have things stage. So you get to watch all the well that's the sausage being made us train said yes, so I have a scene that some people want to see. So it's grating, please. Uh, we're gonna get these set up and I'm making sort of this is v inverted v triangle here going to bring the camera in on now we're going continuous light so I could turn off my radio transmitter I'm just gonna take it off to show that we're not using that on I'm probably going to go to a little higher I s o maybe two hundred now andi that's fine exposure here ready for one and that's way off so let's see, that exposure was eightieth at four five I'm goingto go wide open on uh uh this get your focus on what am I doing? Hundred that f four so here's one of the issues of fluorescent lights they're nowhere near as bright as the as the strobes you saw the strobes and a similar distance were at f ate and I saw one hundred here I'm open upto f four and going two hundred I can even go even upto s o eight hundred for this uh see what? What happens when I do that and now now it's gone a little bright so I could come back a little bit I can go toe a little higher shutter speed I'm goingto one sixtieth and train you're looking great in there there you go um so I can come in now even closer work this tripod in here on won't you turn your face a little more towards the light but eyes back to me that's great now give me your sophisticated look and that's it yeah so we got her left there and we're just going to wouldn't think we can do with this there's a camera over there. One thing we can do with the continuous lights, though, is a chute and more rapidly. When we're working with the strobes, you have to wait for them to recycle at the low power it's only about a second to two second recycle, but but here I can, you know, just stay on this and just catch a little bit, yeah, she's got this is what's great about working with an actor, you know? And you can actually turn around in this light and face straight on for one, I'm just going to change the the focus over here. So this way, this kind of flat so you could get her in different directions, decide what side of the face looks better and just move around in there a little bit, kick your knees out this way, ok on lean into me a little bit, get the I and focus look, I missed to focus on that one I'm gonna back up just a hair so we can keep working like this. You see them coming up on the screen there so that's one of the benefits of working with the hot lights of continuous lights is that we can kind of do a rapid succession and you don't have the lights flashing in someone's eyes. The not flat that train's not miked up so she's saying she really likes working in this corporal light where it's not flashing at her all the time. Um let's see, I'll watch keep your knees facing that we turn your your face really into the light so your shoulders to kind of go in one direction you're kind of looking over and eyes back to me that's great. Bring your chin to arm a little bit that's it uh, so I was saying to try before we've gone for things turtle of chin out and down and get focus going face toward me just a little more because you got the hair coming across your eyes there that's great, your collar's kind of sticking up so you could just fold it down a little bit or play with the collar uh, so this here's where I want to say ok, let me just come off the tripod but you crossed eyes there we go uh, but we have to watch out here off the tripod again. I made I s o eight hundred here and I'm getting on this one sixtieth of a second if I wanted to go, a little cleaner can go down to four hundred and then down to an eightieth of a second, but then I have to worry about uh camera shake that's why I'd probably go back to the tripod and gotta watch out for those blanks uh so what's your sultry look that it is on and so we get the great smile afterwards so I'm going to lock that down to the tripod here it's just a little sturdier and go back to the horizontal format here. Yeah that's great. Hold that, please and just eyes to me for a second but read from there um cm doing odd crops here I don't feel that we have to always do the portrait version of a head shot and I don't mind coming in closer and maybe cutting off a little bit of top of your head and beautiful and we have this nice catch lights in the eye it's almost to catch light something focus right there and what can I say to make her laugh again? Just anything what's for lunch today? Yeah it's almost getting to that point. So, um so that's a basic beauty light here and we can add another light underneath with a reflector um another homemade piece here this is three pieces of foam core or gator board with aluminum foil tape to it and we can just have you pull this here and she what difference that it's that has a little more sparkle and fills in from the bottom and let's see what the difference is and that's how I'm gonna get the eye and focus just told that and now drop it down so it's not lighting you on there's not a whole lot of change in here just a little subtle piece but if we're going with the beauty light that was more directly overhead this would kick in more light under the chin you can bring it up even a little closer to you here you'll have to hold the very edges uh, you know, if I had a little more time to set up, I'd probably set up some stands or something to hold this but but where it works this way too and, you know, put the model to work once in a while go for their focus there and you're looking great chin up just a hair too much turn your face toward that way but I was back to me that's beautiful love that and so uh again that's just some foam core board and we come around here that we've a crumpled up aluminum foil and taped it down with some gaffer's tape so actually he's duct tape on this because it was silver and and fit in there and if we didn't need it as bright, we can use the other side that's just playing white um he can also be used as a fill card for other lighting system so it's just another piece of home made of gear here uh do we have some questions started to come in we could get ready to go they're about working with this lighting system here with the I'm gonna have my back to you you absolutely have questions john question from tapestry photo is when asking for the model's eyes till they look at us do we want them to look into the lens or just our direction for the best result with the I I want him into the lens I mean it's a personal choice I like having this strong connection with the person I want to see their eyes you know, I want to see the color you've got this great greenish color greenish gray in there now and I want that connection too you come to me um some people like people looking off but I often think too you know old high school portrait's where you just kind of looking off into the clouds in the distance and it doesn't really do anything for me you know I've got a great person here uh someone needs help here sorry about that right that's all right let's say keep asking some questions yes. Oh, but I like I like to think I connection how do you feel about photos of yourself? Do you have got to talk into this definitely for headshots, huh? Yeah, yeah and um the white background works for headshots for you you're an actor here in seattle that mean different markets have different styles of headshots, you know? Is there any suggestions you have for for people that are working with you? Um, I think in general, having a studio backdrop almost always looks better then the ones that are taking outside those. Yeah, well, what about a solid background or some pattern or something? Like, I think solid for for actors, you know, you don't want to distract from them for models or some other portrait's things weaken goto a model background or something like that. Tell them to wear something. They feel comfortable. Yeah. That's a comfort, you know, you want to be comfort something you want to be seen and I mean a really good head shot may lest you to three years. So you know, not not too trendy a style that's going to go out of style. I feel so close to this camera. So, uh, another question from, um, from kg photo. We turned a little bit earlier about, uh, question from katie photo. We talked about white balance a little bit earlier, but will you do a white balance a new white balance when you changed? Yes, yes again, normally you'd have it done before the model came in are the subject of the actor here. We're just kind of doing it all on separate god put in the great card and and get a starting point. But again, I made deviate from that to get a better skin tone. Look, uh, you said before, you know, there's a difference between accurate color and pleasing color uh, back. Your color isn't always what you want. And a lot of this stuff I may go to black and white what's the seattle market on headshots, color or black and white color. Now I think that most of the markets are going color. Yeah, yeah. And you have an eyelash on your nose. Probably show up in some of the photos. Uh, that's. I didn't see it from that there, but you know things to watch out for stray hairs across the face and turn and the like. So it's. Better to get him out. Yeah. Now I try not to do. Post processing is little a ce possible. Do wanna take more questions? You want to keep shooting? No. Let's. Let's, take a couple of questions and see if, see if people have some suggestions here, too. You know something you want to see here that would fluorescent lights, we can also add fluorescent and strove mixed together because they're about the same color temperature so we could like the background separately background wasn't going white enough I can throw a strobe into it I didn't notice I think they're kind of gray they're so but give me that stick to a more actually leads into the next room ronin photo if you like continuous lights over strobes I don't, um continuous lights agreed for video but they're warm I mean this is feeling warmer here than I was under the strobe light not is not bad as a tungsten light of tungsten thousand watt light, I'd be sweating profusely by now I'm standing here, but I have to goto hirai esos, I have to shoot more wide open and slower shutter speeds, which pushes me on to the tripod that I used the tripod with stroke, but I really don't don't need it a lot of times that may want to move around and beam or interactive with the model um tungsten lights kind of slow me down on that a little bit, but at the same time they speed me up and then I can shoot continue so as I'm talking with train here and she gives me some crazy look and then goes into this natural smile after that I can catch that better with these lights, huh? So there's just all these little tradeoffs a couple of questions from a blaine allen and jamie lynn both asked if you could say again is that those strips that you're using are they for space reasons or for the look or something else and why did you switch to the to the strip light I just I wanted to show a different look and I kind of like the strip light the shape of the catch lights it's his catch light we can maybe bring one up later and look at it I could also do it with with two big round lights but it's just a different look a different look in the eyes I just he's here were easiest for me to set up the the tungsten lights and I mean the fluorescent lights in that's another issue with the fluorescent lights they're not as easy to change a soft box if I wanted to change the box here I'd have to unscrew the bulb uh change to a different ring speed ring I'm gonna turn this off for a second again we can look in here you see the size of it so at the speed we're in can't come out over the the bow of the boat has to be taken out then switched another box screw the bobin so take some time so I wanted to work with the strip lights here we couldn't switch out to something else but we just don't have time right now in here and that's that's hot to the touch but I would probably put on a glove tone screw it now until it cools down a little bit but it just takes longer to set up and tear down these lights uh louisiana is wondering if you know in advance whether your goal will be color photos or black and whites would you use different lighting setups for each situation for the head shots I don't I want to change and used basically the same same light again we're shooting raw so not general today which in j pegs for speed but normally I'd shoot law and then do the conversions later um may talk to the person beforehand if there are black and white one change out the outfit color's a little bit more but there's still so much we can do in post there that's that's the one thing I do in post is the the black and white conversions uh but not much else and you mentioned the color change in the outfits what would you recommend differently for black and white versus colored? I don't know off the top of my head I would probably look at the outfits they have with him again I want to have some contrast red hair and the green here I think would would go and black and white, red and green often photograph somewhat similarly so we'd experiment with that a little bit I may bring it into would have post processing doing and try adjusting the the green levels of separately in the black and white and the reds to see how we can separate the hair so comes from experimenting a question from diego ma trudged sorry, but could you attempt more of a low key look with such a restricted space? Yeah, I mean for loki I mean, we goto a dark background probably one one light maybe back to the side a little bit for loki means the overall tones or dark but they're still gonna be highlights in there so I would um maybe you could even explain what loki is for folks who might not know loki loki versus hi kee hi. This is pretty much a hike he set up we have a white background light skin, a lot of full on lights from the front overy flat look, uh loki would tend to be be dark skin tones would go darker and there may be just the highlights from the strip lights of work. Well, for that or gritted lights, but just can't you have a narrow beam on them? Uh, so the background stark the overall look of the this photo stark it's not under exposed uh some people think loki you just underexposed and it's it's not it's, loki, loki, you're you're basing things off the highlights in the image making the highlights pop away from, you know, uh, works they make the eyes really pop. I'm thinking of some sports commercial sports drinks, commercials where you may see, you know, someone in a football outfit and really dark shadows throughout and maybe just the the eyes really lit or this narrow just sidelights on catching the side of the face when the front of the face goes dark. So the answer is, but, yeah, I think we could do it in here by changing out to a darker background and maybe moving lights back around to the side more great. Judy bee photography is wanting it. Would you change your lighting set up during a shoot if you thought things weren't working out? Okay, yeah, yeah, um got to find a diplomatic way of doing it because it's general, if it's my fault or the models walter mailed out like that the way the model's hair is maybe when I saw the previous time, they've changed the part or something the other side. So I you know, I may have lit from here for the party here, and you came in with you. Your hair completely different on me when I switch it out so we'll just we'll take a few shots as it is and when we will go on and on and this is looking great and here and I would get this great idea let's try this a little different give me five minutes to change this out I mean I'm not going to sit here go that look just doesn't work you know let's try something different so it's all about the diplomacy of it I'm sure we can we can change anything with that session go on but it's just you know everything should be positive though that looks great I think we've got that let's get this idea for something even better let's give me five minutes. Excellent question from digital zen who is jeremy in athens, georgia. Oh, by the way we love it when you put where you're from when we ask your questions so that's awesome. Thanks. Jeremy uh do you ever notice a hot spot problem with the compact fluorescent light bulb uh so close to the front of the diffuser of the strip or the soft box? Yeah, I know exactly what he's talking about because here that the bulb is right here touching the front of this this box and then it falls off but it I mean this here what thehe serious silver on this one and it kind of balances light around I'm not noticing a hot spot on the model, but but it is something to be concerned with. This is a slightly different strip bucks here different manufacturer this one is a little deeper and I was able to put a diffuser screen, innit? And you see the diffuser screen has uh uh no paid section here that keeps the light from doing a hot spot. Uh this here is, uh westcott box with the strobe it's easier because the stroke had doesn't stick out us for here. You see, we have the same ball being here as in the other one and it it does come out to the front of the box. I think the compact fluorescents they are great if you're in a situation where you're going to be doing a mixture of video and stills use the same lights for each that's a money saving but for stills alone I don't like going up to eight hundred so shutter speeds but it does give me a chance and I do want to shoot wide open where you'd just want the eyelashes and the eyeball and focus I can do that here I can put on a fast lines that could goto no one ate or faster lines and get that, but I find portrait ce I want a little depth of field even at f eight or eleven when I'm in that close you know the depth of fields probably from the eyes to just in front of the ears uh if I'm not back up it's gonna get more definite field is less magnification but I I'd really need to go down teo to wait or faster I'm I'm happy enough for five six even eleven on some portrait ce especially if there's more than one person in this shot with different levels you know every once in a while I do it outdoors thing and I'll start shooting get out for one or whitened all we have for the people in the grouper and focus you know so it's you know that four is not there for everything thank you aman ito is wondering if you use grids on modifiers and what is the difference is with or without in a small space well in a small space the grids uh I think assume people know where the grids orbit let me go grab one here's one of the pitfalls of a small space couldn't trying I'll be right down just rebel now the closet here this is a grid for a beauty dish um just bringing this up now because it's large and easy to show right now you can probably see me through the grid and as we turned the grid so it just cuts off and it would do the same thing to the light so it makes the light more directional in a straight on I'm hitting the camera if I turn the light a little bit it's not going to hit the camera so that gives me a little more control in the studio so I do use them sometimes on a beauty dish or if I'm going to do a fill light straight onto a face when we do the shot after lunch with trend I'll do a head with a grid on it to see what that does cool we always have a time or question but do you want to move on still uh let's see where we are at a time off on our schedule here for did you want to try that shot with um setting up yes you will lead the strobe like to mix him with this yeah so I'm gonna come back through here how you doing having fun you know temperature's okay in here and all that stuff okay, so uh I'm just gonna turn this light on see what happens here so here I'm going to go back to mixing a strobe so I am going plug in a radio trigger and the batteries just about dead on this one song that change batteries while we're talking here what kind of trigger is that? Uh this is, uh pocket wizard um I just a brand that I've used for a long time I mean there there others we mentioned before the cyber sings from I think that from paul buff and ellen chrome sky ports I mean so there are many on the market to choose from you don't have to use the same equipment I do you know it's like like cameras you know people ask what kind of camera can I get in the theater sir is most more likely driven by ego sum was going to say use the same cameras I do because you know it validates their choice of that camera but I say you know go to the camera store try them all out see what one fits better in your hand you know canon nikon sony pentax there's there's not gonna be a super a lot of difference between them and operation but one may feel the grip may work better for your hand the size you may like where the menus are so you know get the one that works for you so we got new batteries in there the best pocket wizard is the one that's with you and so do you maybe explain just for two seconds how to use those um sure. Uh how do you say they're pretty it's a pretty simple um thing here back in the old days we had a cable and plug into the camera and then went to the each of the flashes on something to trip over like like this court that stuck under my foot at the moment on the the tether cable here, eh? So when the camera fires it's just like having a strobe on the camera it if it triggers this and it sends a radio signal immediately to the power pack and we'll fire the strokes let's turn this one on and so I can fire that off there so let's put this back on and I'm gonna do one without the model without the lamp in the background first probably help if I turn the lights back on I'm noticing trends very dark here so let's put this all back together the wonders of velcro here hey, I'm gonna turn the modeling light off on this so it doesn't add to the shot on exposure should still be set from before I s o four hundred four five in an edith of a second and let's so there's without the strobe uh wait for it to come up and now I'm gonna turn the strobe on and I haven't measured it yet it may be too bright yeah, that completely blew the background and when that comes up you'll see that there's a haze but that's what happens when the background is too bright uh when you try to light a white background and make it too bright it just puts the wraps the slate around the face and just hayes's everything out so we wanted to make sure the power goes down on that unfortunately the powers all the way down so I'm gonna again try neutral density filter so and back it up some so this might not actually work there seems to be enough light in this room that looks great and we get into focus there and it's still a little bright on that side where the light's coming from I may do this with two strobes to to balance out the light if I was going to do this but that's a way to get a pure white backgrounds to kick the back with a little strobe um I can also say come down here to I s o two hundred and forty fifth of a second and now I got a make sure train doesn't move in there and she's been doing a great job it's saying still on now I'm not blowing out the background anymore um but again I've had to come down to a to a low shutter speed of a fortieth of a second I've got to worry about her moving me moving there still uh yeah it's it's closer to the eye yeah it's right in there I think you got it that no almost don't worry it's easy to take out like it's gone now that's great so um so I just moved this light in to brighten your face and I want you to turn your face into that light again and eyes at me that's great just bring the chin, al just a little bit and forehead toward me, turtle that's great! So there we are adding the strobe just white in the background I'm going to turn off the stroke, began and do another shot just like that and hopefully gone the over the internet, you'll be able to see the difference that we've gone now too a little little bit grey, er, dirty or background um, while we're here let's, take one of those fabrics that we had around earlier and throw it over and just show what happens when we get a different color background in their crib apple box or you're on the apple box, so here we can wait, I'm not going not like the background, so the strobes not going to fire us, you could be in front of that if you want for this one, I want to get a little bit tighter, and I think the green goes well, with your hair there on then we're at f force that's wide open for this lands on we'll see almost a totally different background. Normally I'd iron or steam it, uh to make it a little cleaner, but, you know that's quite a different look in just a couple of seconds, change their, uh, point your knees out this way this time chin down a bit, that's it beautiful, turn even a little more and kind of look over, turn your body a little more and kind of look over your shoulder at me through the hair back there. That's, great. Come back to me, a little more beautiful and just working on getting the eyes and focus here so that's it, afford a fortieth of a second, I'm gonna go back upto s o four hundred speaking, stop down a little bit. We'll see how that changes the background. Um, if you can hold really still let's, go toe to toe three to eleven it's going to be a tenth of a second exposure, so there may be some movement, but you'll see the difference and how much and focus the background is there. So that's. One of the advantages of the the fluorescent lights is that I can open all the way up on this lens and really throw the background out of focus.

Class Description

A photography studio is expensive to rent — especially if you don’t use it every day. If you've been wanting a studio that's nearby and convenient, what could be more convenient than in your own home? Spend a day with John Cornicello looking at how to up an effective home studio.



John... you are an amazing instructor! Thanks for doing what you do :) Keep up the great work.. and having fun :)

Michelle B

John is a walking encyclopedia of information on cameras , lenses and lighting. His mild manner makes him easy to understand. This home studio class that John has done has inspired me to set up a studio in my home. John teaches if there is a will there is a way and he shows you how. This a great class for anyone wanting to set up a home studio even in the smallest of spaces! Thank you John you are a true creative!!

Vitamin Dee

I love this class, but I believe it's time for an updated version. We love John and his easy, no-frills approach makes learning fun.