The Headshot Introduction
My name is ken klosterman and welcome teo the headshot with peter hurley. Peter hurley is the premier headshot photographer on the planet. And he was just named a cannon explorer of light. Congratulations, peter. That is awesome. Congratulations. He is also the skipper of the headshot crew. Everyone, please help me. Welcome back to create a live peter early. Thank you, guys. We're going to have to kick this off with the shebang. Do you guys all know? My word should bang. Okay, so you're going to learn it right now, it's going to be there's gonna be a lot of shit banging, going on and creative live today, so I'm going to go three, two, one and we're going to yell shebang, okay? And those at home just do it with me just for the heck of it. Why not? Ready three, two, one should bang that's it that's how we got it started. So guys, I am sure banging today for one particular reason and I'm here to talk about this. This is ah book that I did call the head shot. This was two years in the maki...
ng. All the concepts that I use every day to build my headshot business are in it, so we're going toe work through this out you've got three hours we're going to go through the book we're going to go through my techniques we're going to get you guys firing on all cylinders in headshot land okay let's talk about what we're going to we're actually going toe due today so this is going to be a three hour adventure all right? We're gonna immerse ourselves I like to call it headshot land so that's my space that's where I live and every day I shoot out of my new york studio I travel around doing headshots the climate for headshot photography has exploded so if you're a portrait photographer out there and you haven't added headshots to what you're doing you're missing the boat on this action so today you're going to learn a little bit you're gonna get fired up about head shots we're gonna rock and roll so we're gonna go into that we're going to go into the book and head shots has always been my platform because it was a way for me to get this information out there but for me this is about photographing people I do this I'm a portrait guy I go on shoot portrait I do stuff all over the place I get out of the studio I shoot my portraiture whether that person is three feet in front of me or thirty feet away the stuff that I'm going to work with you on today is valid all right. And as a portrait photographer, I think there's things that you can figure out, right? All you guys have cameras and they do certain things. These cameras air really great. They allow us to do our job really well on dh I love working with the equipment, I can get really focused, and I think I can master the equipment. One thing you will never master in your photography is your direction. I'm a better director today then I was standing here a year ago, and I'm a wet like I'm like light years ahead of where I was when I started for me. It's all about how you interact with people in front, your camera and you each have tohave your unique way of doing that. So we're going to talk a lot about it about that, um, I will be firing live shooting there. I'm goingto snag a couple. You guys, I'm going to get you in front of that camera and we get serious, all right? And we're going to see it happening. So for the viewers out there, if you have questions fireman, I liketo I like to fly by the seat of my pants it's kind of the way I work, I work with a psychologist. We started this new company called scientology and I was working with her she's a psychologist. So she said, you know, you're like a lighthouse and I was like, what does that mean? She goes one when the beam is on you, it will be there, but then I'm gonna go, okay? My brain is just going to go off and it's going to go on a tangent and it's going to come back around to you and you'll be you'll be there, but I am going to go. And when I go, I need you guys. You guys are gonna have to help bring me back. I'm going to say why? Just forgot why I was saying that hunts higher thing and somebody's gonna have to bring me back. You got it. Okay, I'm going to need your help with that because that's, the way it goes and for the viewers at home that's what I do, I go. So this is I'm not I'm a little bit haphazard. So that's just what you get when you get peter early. So that's the deal um, by the end of this three hours, I really want to get your mind churning on how you're going to run your operation the next time you point your camera at somebody I want you to think about what you're doing when they're in that I call the er when I looked through the viewfinder and there's a human being in there that's my turf I call it my turf so when somebody's on your turf how you going to behave how you're gonna react what you going to do how you going to treat them in order to capture what shebang right and what is this shebang? Well well first if you want to follow me on social media or tweet anything during the day broadcast or whatever found me on instagram and stuff on peter underscore hurley I also run the headshot cruise you could see on my shirt will talk a lot about the head shot through its my coaching platform on dh I'd love everybody signed by over a thousand photographers on it's free you could sign up getting account going we do photographer searches you could see that we'll talk about it later but I have a hashtag joined the crew and of course hashtag shebang any time you think you've got one lace you bang on me I want to see it I will check it out so there it is that's the word how the word exists what does the word mean? Why the heck did I say this work? I hate to tell you but I like I wasn't looking for a strange word to yell out of crowds when I when this happened, what it really was is that I'm in the studio every day and I started out shooting actors so actors are a little bit of a funny bunch, you know? They have a lot of pressure on them to get a good head shot because they can have all the town in the world, but if they don't get in the door to that casting director with the number one marking tool, the headshot there out of luck so they come in front of my camera gets how much pressure's on what did the manager say? Look, we can't you can't do I can't work with you without a good head shot, right? Then the other thing about head shots is they are my end customer there, the customer that's paying me it's coming out of their pocket, it's not like I'm shooting for a magazine and they set me up with an actor who's already established I'm shooting cover and I'm doing an inside spread the actors just like, yeah, let's, get this done day, this will be fun! Great! You know that person is diving in their pocket, paying a lot of money to be in front of my camera and the pressure is on, you know what the pressure did for me? Maybe the best made me have to be the best that made me the best with people I can handle any human being that steps in front of my camera because of fifteen years of handling actors that are nuts it's true, you know, if you got a little nuts as an actor you gotta you gotta give me a little crazy. I tried it I was terrible. I wasn't nuts enough, I guess no, but then so what I do is when I'm shooting at you tethered and, um one day I was shooting and I started to video myself and I said this I said, oh, that's a good shot was like, boom! And then I was like, shot, boom and I found this video and then I say shebang and it was this really old video. So then I did the jawline video and I said shebang and it went crazy, but for me, um it became this phenomenon, so I made I made up of little whatever I might change this, but I make up make up words. I'm a little bit of a wordsmith you'll get that today of other words that you're going to learn as we go okay, I've got plenty of words, but I like to say so for me a shebang is a characteristic contributor trait that an image possesses producing of this rotgut reaction of approval in the artist who upon viewing it for the first time rejoices by yelling shebang into top their lungs all right, so it was essentially this for me I look I shoot tethered into a computer I'm always tethered because I use it as a coaching so I think it's really important when you're photographing people if you can show them something and coach them through it it's great to show them when I shot film I didn't have this ability I had a polaroid which was taken at the beginning right? I would take a polaroid couldn't coach him off a polaroid and then so I'm like shooting and all I'm doing is like watching them and seeing how they're behaving and then just telling them how wonderful they're doing like and that's just giving them we'd all do it it's photographers I called positive reinforcement right when you get somebody in front of your camera you know it's like it's like you take the camera let me take it off the I'm always on the track well let me take it off the tripod I'm nineteen ninety percent ninety five percent of the time I'm on a tripod so I'm gonna be a fish out of water for a short period of time guys I got my feisal three four seven two oh viv right there love it all right so right, it's my favorite piece of gear. I got to talk about it. This thing, this thing is, like three years old. It looks brand new. Does that thing look like I used it? I use it every day. It's a feisal ct three four seven to lv guys, why not? I mean, the gear lets us get the job done. So I'm going to talk a lot about here today because I'm psyched about getting the job done with this stuff in fighting. I can't do my job is well without this thing, I love this sucker. I mean, I think that's the best tripod in the world by far and I never take this thing off it. So this is weird for me. I never do this either. I'm always I'm always landscape, but it's very, very rare that I go portrait boat, but so maybe you ready? If I point the camera at you and I go like this and I go all right now that's terrible. Just do something else. It could be better. Uh, no, I'm never going to get a picture of you. Can you try something different? It's never gonna work. We're not gonna get anywhere today. What do we get so I'm shooting film, and what if I did that to the person they're going to be a mess you think they're going to get better? They're gonna be worse right? But what if I went to vienna? Okay chin down on my gosh that's a ridiculously good side of you holy smokes your parents hooked you up guys that's perfect I'm getting your amazing shots how do you think he's going to feel a little better but what if I did that the entire shoot you think it's gonna last it's gonna wear off isn't it worked for two seconds what's going to wear off so is photographers I like to say we have a bag of tricks or or a tool box and I call it a director's toolbox or whatever one of the tools in the toolbox is positive reinforcement we can't live without it we've gotta amp up our people and make sure they feel cool and they feel like they're getting good stuff. But if that's the only tool in your toolbox a lot of photographers that's all they've got and it's gonna wear off and then you're going to be in hot water so you wanna have ah bunch of things that you can do I actually do kind of what I did with me and I kind of abuse people a little bit break him down and then pump him back up like I have fun with them I'll be like man, what do you do do you know how I'm gonna work with these nostrils? Easy making it tough on me today, so I mean, we're all human, you know, we got stuff and, uh, you know, people have flaws, and people tell me, uh, you know, if you see me working with somebody it's all I'm I'm working on, I have tio capture the best image of that person I otherwise I'm not happy if I don't get a shebang, I'm not happy, so I I always say this I'm when you work with the clientele where the client is the end is the customer they're paying me, you have to make them happy, right? But at the same time, my artist inside wants something, it wants a good shot of them and and I can't go off of what they're thinking about themselves because we all have this self acceptance gap. We have a gap between the way we see ourselves and the way the world sees us. So this gets into my seif atala ji thing, which I'm going to get into a little bit. I did attacks talking at my tea on on bridging the self acceptance cap, so I need to make that person you know I need him I didn't need to make them feel something in front of the camera but if they don't like the pictures or they're trying to guide me one way and I want to be in my artist wants to be guided another I have to bend I have to be flexible and then I have to start to do what I consider psychology which is which is kind of get them going and bring the best out of them and it's through what I like to call therapy a little bit of a little bit but I did this thing and this is from zero to shebang when somebody first gets in front of my camera I consider them a zero I don't care how good they are in front of cameras until I've directed them I really don't feel like I owned that that image or own that expression like I'm trying to capture their expression on my own I otherwise like that's what that's what it is that's why I know it's my picture because of the expression because the white background not because the lighting although the white backgrounds gorgeous the lighting's fantastic but it's not the white background it's not the lighting it's the expression for me it really is capturing their best self at that moment so for me to get to shebang um I got to start at zero with people and to me zero looks like this it's kind of I call it out to lunch itis so she's out to lunch right now, I did this one on purpose just but people, if I put somebody up like somebody gets for, I told this is nicole and I said, look like you're totally at the lunch, you know, I just, you know, for entertainment purposes, I hope you guys enjoying it, but the fact is, is that the first picture I always taken people generally looks very close to that zero expression, nothing going on in the face. I call it zero our jobs photographers is to get them to this shebang in my world. You can call it whatever you want if you don't like the word obey, I don't care, you could call it whatever you want. I'm not tryingto push shebang up the wazoo on your something. What I am trying to get you to understand is that at some point you have to take your technique, is a photographer and put it aside and figure out how you're going to get that person, too, to behave for you, and it doesn't have to be like I have my way of teaching in the book I talk about this a lot, I talk about my way of teaching it, which is one thing. It's just laying out concepts for youto gnashing your personality toe work in your way of doing it now I'm loud and crazy and fun and say crazy things to people when I'm shooting and do crazy things when I'm shooting and you may be sitting there I would never do anything like that and that is great that's fine. What I want you to do is I want you to look at the concepts that I'm putting out there and go well, I get the idea, I want to go this way with it or I want to go that way with it I want to do it my own way and there's a story in the book about a buddy of mine who goes his own way with real quiet, timid guy named victor velasquez he's in he's in milwaukee is a really talented for tarver and the story the book about him is amazing, and he was the first one that I coach that I went like that guy that was hiding in the corner over there just took a shit bang and I don't know what he did to like mental telepathy what the dude he was shooting, but it really works so you're method might not be as aggressive his mind it might be you might let the person behave the way that they behave and then kind of tweak it a little bit a lot of tired for some people just don't even like talking to the person for me and headshots to get a commercial headshot photograph it's a little different because I have to they have to convey something which I believe is very important which is a um I like to say it's confidence coupled with approachability it's those two things mesh together which is for a commercial head shot for marketability use but for portrait ce you can have any you could have out on lunch itis and have a gorgeous picture it's fine that's not what I'm talking about I want you to understand that this is up to you as an artist as toe what expressions you want people to give to your camera so scientology is I met this uh psychologist I was doing a job for microsoft which was really close great job and they said I was in an off site with this microsoft crew and they said, look there's a psychologist here who's helping us do this off site she does all that our leadership training and would you photograph and I was like, yeah photograph in get her in there, you know, and I photographed her and she was like blown away by the experience because of the way I work she start to understand that a lot of what I do is not technical camera stuff and we got together and started this company where we now mesh psychology with the tyre v and we go into companies and new leadership type stuff with this which has been phenomenal and and it's amazing and we got to do it uh ted x talking m I t guys I did a ted x talk at m I t the reason why I'm making a big deal out of this is because I was on the five year plan right across the river at b you and I had to go to night school and was a failed out now I'm talking in a mighty with the head of cancer research and the head brain dude at harvard and psychologist is amazing dr anna rowley and me little me with a camera phenomenal anyway, that was pretty cool um but what it says is worthwhile so I want you to go check that out um so what we what I do say in that I want to talk about p s p s is a situation that I outline it in my book to this guy comes in the studio and I'm like and he was with his wife and I was photographing his wife and I said I said hey just guys when you this is another thing that I really like to talk about when you are photographing somebody and I do a headshot and they come in with a significant other I don't care if it's a mother with a daughter ah family kid whatever how long would it take you to get them together in front of cameron? Take a couple extra snaps for them how long what's the investment time two minutes maybe you know, some people don't do it sometimes I don't do it that's ridiculous. You know what the most important pictures are going to be from that session in ten years those of them together why would you not do that? So I always say I under promise and over deliver if somebody comes in with them I force them to get in from the camera in this case um the guy had a good look and I was like, did you hear I gotta shoot you too and he's like no you can I'm like why he's like I just can't get in front of cameras I'm like why he's like I've got p s I was like, what you got a p s I was on the floor I was like, you do not understand how far I'm going to run with that. Do you mind if I use that? I am totally taking that. So tom webster created this ps thing and I ran with that I wrote about him in the book I put him in the book actually, I'll bring the book up we'll show actually I've got well, I'd have to search for it. We'll find it later, and you'll get to see tom, but I got him in front of the camera, and I did the same moves on, and, you know what, guess what went away. His ps. Why did the camera change? Did his did his, uh, did his feeling of being photographed? Did anything change is the only thing that changed was the fact that he was in front of my camera. That was the change.