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The Business of Professional Headshots

Gary Hughes

The Business of Professional Headshots

Gary Hughes

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Class Trailer
1 Class Overview 13:07 2 Getting Headshot Clients 27:23 3 Headshot Pricing Models for Individuals 24:47 4 Headshot Pricing Models for Groups and Companies 13:05 5 Payment and Delivery for Groups 20:49 6 Six Styles of Business Headshots 38:31 7 Headshot Lighting Gear 11:31 8 Posing Basics for Headshots 08:03
9 Basic Standing Pose for Headshots 05:10 10 Basic Seated Pose for Headshots 03:22 11 Head Position for Headshots 04:25 12 Expression Sells the Image 06:45 13 One-Light High Key Headshot with Male Model 35:42 14 One-Light High Key Headshot with Female Model 09:01 15 Two-Light High Key Headshot with Male Model 10:08 16 Two-Light High Key Headshot with Female Model 04:58 17 Two-Light Standing Pose Headshot with Male Model 19:17 18 Two-Light Standing Pose Headshot with Female Model 13:47 19 One Light Low Key Headshot with Male Model 16:18 20 Two Light Low Key Headshot with Female Model 14:55 21 General Q&A 11:03 22 Constant Light: Low Key Classic Headshot with Male Model 31:47 23 Constant Light: Low Key Classic Headshot with Female Model 21:56 24 Constant Light: Standing Pose Headshot with Male Model 17:22 25 Constant Light: Standing Pose Headshot with Female Model 10:45 26 Setting up the Background for Extraction Shoot 10:49 27 Shooting for Extraction Headshot with Male Model 12:06 28 Shooting for Extraction Headshot with Female Model 13:53 29 Shooting Low Key Modern Headshots for Extraction 12:28 30 Basic Headshot Facial Retouching Techniques 23:48 31 Basic Headshot Eye Retouching Techniques 12:14 32 Basic Headshot Retouching Techniques: Dodge and Burn 07:40 33 Basic Headshot Retouching Q&A 11:18 34 Extracting a Single Subject 20:01 35 Creating a Headshot Composite 15:07 36 F-Type Headshot Lighting: Equipment and Principle 10:36 37 F-Type Headshot Lighting: Execution 21:29 38 Shooting Headshots in Volume 18:49

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Professional headshots are in demand! Learn how to break into this lucrative genre of photography in The Business of Professional Headshots with Gary Hughes.

Professional headshots are an easy addition to nearly every photographer’s list of services and in this class, you’ll get up-to-speed on everything you need to know to launch a headshot business. 

You’ll learn:

  • 6 Primary styles of corporate headshots
  • The gear that gets the job done
  • Basic posing theory
  • How to get clients and manage inquiries
  • Retouching, organizing, and delivery tips and techniques

You’ll also get to watch Gary in action as he demonstrates shooting and retouching a variety of headshot styles.

If you want to bring home more money and book more business during your slow times, don’t miss this comprehensive guide to running a lucrative headshot business from Gary Hughes.


Melville McLean

Gary Hughes is possibly the best teacher I have seen here and that is a very high compliment. His business analysis is simple and to the point. His set ups and techniques are simple and straight forward, no easy task in itself. His interactions with his models/clients are finely developed and reduced into the fewest but most important key exchanges. He teaches by example how to interact and direct. If you are a high volume photography with brief time per sitter, you might especially appreciate his tips. It is extraordinarily difficult to keep a tight, well structured class going live for so long at a time. His intelligence, wit and personality are all in his favor but it is the content itself that is most impressive. I am not a portrait photographer but I have 30 years of commercial studio experience. He knows what is most important, leaves out the rest and has organized the material in anticipation of most difficulties that arise so that it rests in a seamless, smooth, coherent learning experience. All of his practical advice is excellent. Just understand that his work is about doing a relatively large number of shots in the most efficient way rather than a lot of time spent on a few clients for a completely different format [presentation like very large prints. In fact he is especially pragmatic. He emphasizes that you do not have to own the most expensive equipment but you absolutely do have to know how to use the equipment that you already have. And I am telling you this as someone he makes fun of in his course with fancy cameras and Profoto lighting gear. He is an advocate of all thought out approaches as well as relying on skills and knowledge. You will understand how and why to make all of his key, conventional light and posing set ups. He makes everything sound simple and doable -- and with his help -- it is. What you have to appreciate is that it is up to each individual to acquire the specialized skills to make our work compelling enough to be competitive. The unspoken truth that we all face is that talent plays a key role as well and that it takes time to become every accomplished. But I have also seen concentration, commitment and hard work result in developing innate talents that blossom in very successful careers. Mr Hughes reduces every step into the clearest, most essential components. He is self effacing both as a photographer and post process retoucher but he is very good indeed and does not waste time overdoing images that cannot benefit from a larger format presentation. Everything is appropriate and practical. He has already removed everything that does not matter for his purposes for us that would only interfere with the concise, clarity of his presentation.


I am so glad that I had the opportunity to watch this course. It has not only provided valuable lighting set-ups, but also great basics for posing.!. The Photoshop extraction technique Gary demonstrated was icing on the cake. Gary did a great job teaching and I greatly admired the technique in which he taught. Thanks for a great class!


This was an excellent class! The class covered so much information and great tips and ideas. Gary is funny and has an easy going approach, which makes the class that much more enjoyable. As a struggling pet photographer, I have been trying to find something to supplement my business with that does not involve children/babies, or shooting weddings again and headshots seemed to be a great option. After watching this class, I feel confident building up a headshot component to my business. Definitely recommend this class!