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Setting Up a Home Studio

Lesson 5 of 11

Shooting Headshots (Troy)

John Cornicello

Setting Up a Home Studio

John Cornicello

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Lesson Info

5. Shooting Headshots (Troy)


  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 (Troy)

Ah we're going to start basically where we left off we have the the forty sanctions soft lighter here as a main light and I've got this little soft box here it's a two foot square as a kicker light to just fill in a little light on the face but a little bit from behind um look at this little shine to the side of his face I'm not lighting the background we have weight paper back there and we're just gonna let that go to a soft gray uh you see we turned off one of the video lights here so we could see we're not lighting the background with anything other than what we've got on set here um so this lets people often ask about this so I'm gonna find out what this is set to this slight iss about thirty inches away from trois knows this light is also about thirty inches away and he is about eighty inches from the background uh cameras subject now it's exactly four feet and I'm working again full frame with the um twenty four two one o five lens and I'm at one hundred five millimeter and we we...

did an exposure test before the break I'm just gonna frame troyan here chin down just a hair kind of turtle your chin out a little bit and down to your foreheads twenty that's great and here I'm looking at his eyes and focusing on the I and there's our our first shot in here. Um when I do head shots, I don't mind cutting off a little bit the top of the head and keep it in tight. We'll do something, some portrait and horizontal ones. Um, you know, for years, the portrait version has been the standard head shot let's go into that position here, but more and more head shots are being done vertically horizontally these days. So, um, let's, try it this way too that's looks great just eyes at me and give me your look of surprise. So we're working with actors it's really great, because you're gonna ask him to do different things and, you know, I'm going to keep us a chin out and down a lot. They're just that's it give me your most sophisticated look, and a lot of times we'll get the shot after that one that had that really works, you could see those coming in, I believe, uh, into light room over there, so I'm going to switch back again to the horizontal here I'm using a ball head here not not normally a tripod person, but I'm trying to get used to using one, especially in this situation here, um, this is a great little ball head it's lightweight and, um if you notice the ball is actually on the camera and not on the tripod and so I think it helps keep the center of gravity aiken keep it kind of loose and it'll stay that stays in place but it's still loose enough to move uh this here who's this made by this is anarchist wis um p zero mondo ball uh, so I'm gonna change my focus point again and get that eye and focus in there and left that loud at me and said that's in them that's a fake smile come and give the real one you know, got it there there you go see and we're just going to work with him like this and you'll see we're getting a nice, clean, neutral gray background I'm going to add another light to this now and see if we can change the background out a bit um we're just going to amman a block strobe here uh just to make it easier for for us instead of fucking another head into the pack and I have no idea how this is gonna work. We didn't test this at all that's how it you know sometimes is and we're going to use one of these flags within a clamp so I'm gonna do this to keep this light from hitting the background too much soon jonah yeah pipin, please with a question from miss christa mula you are rocking it but she also has asked why is it that you use a tripod um for here because I'm moving around a lot normally when I'm shooting on my own I rarely use a tripod but I'm just I'm trying to learn uh give it a shot and uh there's christie's coming to dio uh workshop here creative life in a few weeks sometime in february so I hope you're going three twelve okay, so I've I've just blocked the background I even turned on the light in the background yet I don't think it's yes, I did um so I'm gonna turn that off for a second so you could see this background should be just slightly darker than it was before uh there's a lot of light bouncing around this room but I want to make that background go totally white so I've added this extra strobe here I'm not sure if I can turn down the power enough uh to to make the background not blow out so we'll give that a try uh you were saying earlier sometimes it's when getting lights you want once you could turn down more than you can turn up when working in a small studio so let's see what happens here just goingto be quiet and let him feel nervous in there and get that nervous smile uh and here I've totally blown out the background um when we're shooting with the white background you wanted to be white maybe a half stop brighter than the subject no more than that some people throw a lot of light into the background and what happens there is it ends up flaring the light comes back into the camera that softens the edge of the person so I'm gonna have to turn down the background light a little bit and to do that going to check the power level here it is down all the way so luckily I have a neutral density jill here it's just neutral gray gonna put it over and that should drop us down about a stop and I mean going to back up the light a little bit and I'm gonna feather it across the background so we get just a little less light on it so we could just go to a pure wait without blowing out having fun joy oh good let's see what we get here good I could see that I he's learned to turtle already he's got that thing going you know the chin out and down we'll be hearing that a lot coming up to I learned a lot of that from soup rice and some interviews with her howto had a turtle people and get that going in I believe su is coming up into creative lives so can I give you that information while we're we're working here so I'm gonna have you kind of turn on the chair now and just let's see what it looks like from the other side uh kind of got this straight on look here I'm just going to take your head and doing there we go and really point your knees out that way a little more and drop drop this front shoulder really kind of lean into me there there we go and we need to change my focus point again I am using auto focus here uh my eyes were that point where the autofocus is much more reliable than and slide back on your chair so just that way to that side of the frame on again I'm working with this horizontal format here and I want to get the guy closest to me to be the one and then I'm focusing on and let's see what kind of look should we ask him for um what's your devious look there we go chin up just a little bit though that's it on looking at this here I you know we're lighting from from this side of the face now I think it looks better for for you to be looking into the light so keep your your head pointing that way but now now point your mean your body pointing that way but you turned your head more into the light there and shut up just a hair that's great a little bit of there you go I'll see knew where he's gone from now I'm gonna have your turn again um on the chair there and we're going to really eyes to the late zach would say and now I'm going to switch the focus point catch the guy that's closest to me and I'm not seeing the stuff coming up there so is everything house that all looking do you have questions about what we've done here so far yeah they're coming scared him there they weren't quite ready for me I want didn't know we were going to questions yet uh we have lorraine coming in hey, pull up some of the questions that you have a lot of great questions for you today it's pulling that up over here now um did you say you're using the camera's auto focus? I am you are okay, I am I'm changing the auto focus point to fall on the eye. Okay. I want the eye closest to the camera to be in focus I'm shooting at I believe f ate here uh which is as you may recall, we're down to uh fifty watt seconds in each head and we're getting a you know I could go to thirty two easily with the eight hundred watt second power pack so we don't need twenty four hundred in a studio like this okay, great. Um radio is curious about how you clamp that black card the light stan did you put something on the end of the light stand pole it's just a regular a clamp in a piece of foam core okay, so this is coming on here an arm there okay? And then, um other gear talk people are wondering what tripod you have uh it's a man fratto looks like it's called a carbon one four four one uh it's many years old I just probably a new name for it now you know the cute changing model names every couple of years and is it a special ball head you have on? Yeah, the ball head eyes always mention I just got recently I've been looking at it for like two years but I had I wasn't able to find anyone locally head in stock and finally broke down over christmas and and bought it so I could try it out and it's um anarchist swiss p zero mondo ball uh what's different about it is most tripod balls the ball is attached to the tripod in the camera's cantilevered out and swings around on it. This one here the ball is attached to the camera and I think just gives it a better centre of balance and moves around more easily on the ball it's kind of similar to people use the man photo pistol grip heads like those two again, it's the same concept the ball is attached to the camera set up the tripod and I think it's easier to goto horizontal and vertical tze with that instead of using l plates and have to take the camera off and reattach you never got used to using plates. I'm not even used to using tripods. Great. Thank you so much. Um, let's see a and pen girl. Oh, three is wondering if you tend to do tethered capture when shooting, um, and your home like I do not, um if only used tether capture once at home again, it goes back to the dune it's, thirty years who used heather? I mean, I was so happy years ago when we got the wireless flash, nate, and have a sink cord, you know? And now that there's a tethered cord to the camera there's another chord. I'd rather just shoot with it and run over the computer with the high speed memory card reader and put it in. I don't like the idea of having the always cables hanging off the camera, but so use your cf cards then. Yeah. Okay, great. Um, see who else has some great questions here? Um, did you photo, but by frank, if you can't turn down the power enough, would you use and nd filter or polarizer, I wouldn't use a polarizer on people because I don't like the effect of it on the skin it's gonna cut some reflections and make them look like the mannequin so I would stay away from the polarizer it gets in the full off polarizing position, you're still gonna lose a stopper stop and a half and it won't get the polarizing effect, but you know that I got a fidget with it, so I'd rather go to a neutral density filter. Uh, but neutral density does make it did more difficult to focus I mean it's darker to look through the lens, so you're taking we're starting with an f four lines here and maybe making it a five, six or an eight with a to stop filter on it, so it makes it more difficult to work with, so I try to try to bring the lights down if possible, ok? And summer de gonzalez is one dream. Ugo so, is there any equipment that you recommend owning and all and having always on hand and any that you would just recommend, you know, leaving to rent when needed? What the must have that's a tough one? I don't like rental of renting stuff, I like to have it available it's it's like books, I don't like libraries because they want the books back craig and I were talking yes, I've got a library downstairs of between three hundred fifty and four hundred photography books you know and I can go to him at any time you know if they're in the library so it's it's just it's a mindset for me I know people who who rent stuff way have rental gear here creative lives that's applied to us by somewhere sponsors and you know it's great but with rentals you got arrange for it know when you're going to be doing the shoot a lot of times with the home studio I may get inspired to two o'clock in the morning to test something I got an idea, you know? So I having the stuff around I can go do it, but but again, I've been collecting a lot of this stuff for for many years and you have a variety of sources that some stuff my head years ago um I'll go through craigslist thrift stores, you know, sometimes you're fine photo equipment and thrift stores and I went to a flea market once and got a set of nova tron strobes for really cheap uh, modeling lights didn't work in him and whoever selling and decided something didn't work because the lights didn't come on but their flashes so you never know where you're gonna find stuff well kind of stepping in with some questions can you step? It'd go back and forth so a lot of people in the chat room are asking about glasses. What would you do differently if your model is wearing glasses? Maybe we can get a pair of glasses on him. First thing he wanted they want to do is do what we'd call broad lighting turn the face away from the light. But my mantra, as I learned from zach, is eyes towards the light so that that's a tough one. If we get the light up higher, I remember angle of incidence is equal to angle the reflection. So if the lights will hire the reflections going, go below the camera. If the light's right at eye level and camera level it's going to go into the glasses and back at the camera. So I play with the height of the light a little bit, and some people also say, you know, told the glasses down just a little bit. It doesn't really change the look on the face. The temples are just not sitting quite on the years. Uh, so that's, another way of doing and trying to think, if I have a pair of prop glasses here that we can put on him. So, um, looking a second, you mean you wouldn't be able to see if you put on your glasses on him actually I can see close up uh everything in my camera b out of focus I had the day off to set up my camera right which is really throws me off because everyone's well we're creative live in kenya hands me her cameron and says take a picture of me and the instructor and I looked through and nothing's ever and focus I can't figure it out this is true the diop is just set wrong for me I had my camera we can talk about doctors later people don't know how to set it cool after lunch we could talk about that uh so let me look over here keep asking me questions and I'm just gonna okay ruby marine is wondering when you're doing headshots what do you prefer the actors to wear color wise I don't have a big preference on color um I probably don't want something that matches their skin tone to exactly so so bages and like some contrast but I I want something that represents them we started out with this great button down shirt I believe you have a t shirt on anything we may switch out too the t shirt two and just give a little different look um yeah I don't I don't have a preference on color did you want to do something? I don't know what way have these glasses that have no no glasses so that those trinkets at that point trick, of course better knows is that his look the's a probably a women's glasses. So let me see if I find something else. So, uh, we aren't going to be shooting a female model later, and so, then seventy five the ones there's the ones, then seventy five. What are the main differences between male and female lighting setups? Um, for the male, I'm lighting more from one side, giving some shade to the face when we do the female it's going to be more of a flat light of beauty light, I'm not going try beauty dish today, but instead we're going to go to the complex fluorescence and I do it in to strip boxes and we're we're going to set that up in a few minutes, so we'll see how how that's different, but the female leading will be flatter overall. Um, look, as opposed to this, that is giving some shade across the face. So did the did we see any glare in those glasses that that he had on there just a little bit? I mean, the glare I'm seeing now is actually coming from the video lights. Uh, let me just see what happens. Turn towards the light where it's gonna be the worst and so we see the big umbrellas in their uh so till those down a little bit off the back of your ear and just not not sliding down your nose tilt it down a little bit and let's just see and then with the big light here we're still getting a little bit in the topic I mean there's a gigantic classes switch after the red ones anyway and I'm gonna also just raise the slide a little bit pointed down a little bit library and looked there so look yeah look at me here turn your face into the light more but I was back to may just this and I mean we're not really getting much, much glare in there so again it's remember that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection and we put these glasses on here you're clark kent here and you can also hold the glasses in his hand to you know, do the scholarly thing uh uh zoom out a little bit for that when I'm going to get some of the folks in the background you're in this one nico but that's okay, so I mean it's just a little a little tricks of moving light around really affect the look of eyeglasses we just grab a drink of water everyone drink out of their lines all right, so while you are having a sip of water, I will get ready for the next question and that is from nora photo uh do you care if there are two catch lights in the eyes? Personally, I don't know a lot of photographers get all wigged out about it, but I've never had a client type of person uh say I only want one catch light and it's usually easy to retouch out of someone doesn't like it when we do after lunch we're going to do more of a beauty shot where I probably will have a second catch like I'm gonna put a light near the camera to get some sparkle to the eye and it can be taken out but, um I think it's more of a concern for other photographers than for for real people aboutthe uh number of catch lights in the ice so I don't take that shirt off now just go down to the t shirt. Yeah uh so here we get a little little different look again, drop the shoulder toward me lean in a little bit too army that's it I'm getting that I and focus and we're gonna go a little brighter than that that was it f nine I'm going open upto f ate and see what we get here and get the ii in focus there and what's your sultry look so a lot of times I'll ask for a look and get something crazy and then it's the shot afterwards that that works because you're just kind of relax and not thinking about the camp any more what I really want to do with the headshot person is get them to stop thinking about the camera we just have a conversation with, um I mean, it's a little tough here because normally be just the two of us here we got two cameras, the chat people produce everyone around, so, you know, just just that's a different feel different five to the room um, how about snooty, highfalutin, snooty? There we go and on three just make a crazy face one, two and three yeah, that was great sea and then we get this totally relaxed, natural smile on the next one. So, um, that's basically how it worked with the male model and I think we're gonna switch out to work with trend and a minute, troy and trent, I'm going to get all tongue tied here tron is they pulled themselves together collectively, but thank you for coming in and and doing that and we're going, we're not going to take a break, we're just gonna work through as I change some lights out here, I'm gonna actually take that light from you in a minute so do you want me to ask you you can have questions yeah, yeah yes questions as you're doing this is that we're gonna turn off the strobes let's see people again are asking about the full length portrait it's way talked about that yeah we're gonna go to full length after lunch right now working on the head and shoulder stuff we can turn this see question from melissa cruder isn't on twitter who says how do you avoid getting banding on a white background? Does it happen with other backgrounds too? I haven't noticed a knish you with it I'm not not usually lighting a totally directly that we did on the last one here but you see I mean we brought it up there we just get this clean clean background I think the banding happens maybe if you go to bright on the background if you tryto said you want the background to be maybe a half stop to three quarters of stop brighter, then the subject any more than that and you're gonna have use the flare and things were going all move around. Um so what there's so I I'm not seeing the banding thing I so I'm not quite sure how to answer it, all right, all right and a question from sam cox say sam so great sam what's the typical length of time for a headshot session uh different between a men and a woman of men's head shot, we can probably do an hour, an hour and a half and female would probably have time free her hair and make up um and it depends if it's an actor versus a model versus business person and how we're doing the makeup when trin comes out, we're doing very little makeup, like no eye shadow for foreign actors she's just going to kind of even face thing, so it'll be very similar to what we did with troy here after lunch, we made do with more of a beauty shot with a little more makeup, so those had time to it. So why? I'm curious, why? No, um, serious makeup or no eye shadow for actors? Because it's, you know, the casting directors, they're going to come up with the makeup for the for the scene, I want to show the actor pretty clean how they're going to show up what to expect and what you're going to work for the foundation. I'm not saying no makeup, but I wanted to be pretty clean, not a lot of retouching on it and the like great, great to know I mean, I don't get to keep that yeah that's, that's my own self I other people may may do it differently, okay, so fail free to keep yeah, I'm gonna come in on this. I boo stuff around incense. So, yeah, maybe you keep the camera just flowing here is I move stuff again. Um, go ahead and ask questions. Yeah, all right, so I have now. This is probably varies a ton, but, uh, how many shots would you take in a shoot? Maybe to add on to that how many different poses you are, it depends on the person working with that. I don't have a package set. You know you're going to get three looks if, in this amount of time, uh, work with the individual on what we need there number of shots may range from fifty to two hundred fifty, uh, some people, you know, some actors can just come in and hit it. Uh, I'm working with a regular person off the street that maybe need something for their business card or a promo to put on their their website. And they go a little longer when they have more blinks to deal with.

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.