Two-Light High Key Headshot with Female Model


The Business of Professional Headshots


Lesson Info

Two-Light High Key Headshot with Female Model

Okay, so we're gonna go straight on. What I want you to do, is I want you to shift the weight onto this foot. Yeah, perfect just so. I want you to just relax your arms at your sides. Now tilt your head a little bit. Drop your chin. Okay, cool. That's perfect. Okay, I'm just gonna come and fix your hair, if that's alright. We've got a few flyaways. Take an extra second. Oscar, are you jealous that I didn't fluff your hair. Yes! Sorry, dude, you just got a lot less of it. Okay. Alright, we're gonna go with it. Perfect. And what's cool about horizontal or landscape format for these types of shots is that when you have both shoulders and the whole head in, these crop really good square for social media. So keep that in mind, too, when you're shooting. Alright, I want you to lean towards me a little bit, like so, drop that chin a touch. Here we go. (shutter clicks) Perfect, yeah. That is gonna be pretty great. I want you to relax that jaw. Let your lips part just a little bit. A little ...

breathe, (inhales) let it go. (exhales) Alright. Now give me a little intensity in the eyes there. There you go. Drop the chin a little bit more. Tilt your head this way. Yeah, right there. Perfect, good. Now, if we're starting a law firm of, like, angry people, this would be really, really good. You see how that creates a more modern look? And you could do the same thing. To do the high-key classic in the same way, all you have to do is take this setup and put the lights like this, and it's the exact same thing. You have the signal light in the high-key setup, or no? A signal light? Yeah, with one? Oh, um, no, I don't. This is what I have. (laughs) And then, I was wondering, since we are, people aren't in the room here with us, if you could, Gary, go through... I know we have that gear list that's available for people. But just kind of point out which is which of what we're seeing here. This is gonna be the SweetLight three by four stand up reflector. And I have two of those. I have a large SweetLight four by six stand up reflector. This is the SweetLight 20 by 20 soft box. What's really cool about this is that you buy one piece of equipment and this will either work with a speed light or a studio strobe. It has the backplate to mount either one of those things, so you kinda get two light modifiers for one. And then we got my pop-up five by seven background, and I don't, man, you can get those all over the place. You can get them pretty much, B&H, Autorama, all those places. And they're not that expensive. I think I paid like about 125 bucks for those. I hope that you will take better care of yours than I have of mine. And I bought them probably like eight years ago for a corporate event, and I got two sets. I use them all the time. They're really useful for shooting on location. I don't really use them in the studio. I have seamless paper for that. But when I go on location, it's so much easier than taking a nine-foot roll of paper all the time. Especially when you're only shooting head shots. Great, and then in terms of the distance, can we talk again about the distance from your camera to where our subject was standing and then again to the background? I wanna throw enough distance between the subject and the background to where the background, you're not gonna be able to see the wrinkles. But I kind of want the background to be out of focus. And I want there to be enough distance between the subject and that backlight, 'cause if you put too much light on that background, what's gonna happen is on your subject, you're gonna get a white halo, kind of, all the way around the edges. And especially if you shoot for extraction, you're gonna have a really hard time cutting someone out of the background, when there's just that sort of blurred white between them and the background. So leave enough distance. Think of it almost like a green screen. When you shoot for a green screen, if you don't get them far enough away, they're all green around the edges. So it's gonna be the same way. We want enough distance to where the light that's hitting that background is not bouncing onto the back of the subject. Yeah, go ahead, Cliff. Cliff? Speaking on this, what was the power that you start with on that typically? Yeah, um, typically, I'm gonna find, that's a great question and I meant to say it out loud. Typically, I'm gonna find that in this setup, that I'm gonna have this light is gonna be half the power of that light. So it doesn't matter what they're set at, but I find that if that's at half power, which it is right now, this will be at quarter power, which it is now. If this is at eighth power, that would be at quarter power. In order to do this distance with this particular setup, I find that that is almost always a great way to start. But choose your settings on your camera, your aperture, your shutter speed, based on what you want the image to look like, before you start worrying about anything else. Knowing your equipment is the most important way to do the job properly. If you get a new piece of equipment, please, dear god, don't test it on the client. Test it on other people. If you got kids, or a spouse, or a partner, or a pet, or something, just don't test it on your client, because you're gonna find you're gonna run into frustrating problems all the time. So do practice. It's very, very important.

Class Description

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.


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



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!