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As the Head Turns

Natalie and I decided to update her headshots (good idea for everyone!). 

The style we generally employ is appropriate for actors, dancers – those in the performing arts. It’s suitable for printing and submitting for auditions. It could be deployed elsewhere, I suppose, though I see a different approach to business  or social media usage. 

I use a lit, white or gray background, and what is essentially beauty lighting for young women, short loop for older women, and Rembrandt or a variation thereof for men. It’s not the lighting I want to call attention to – it’s the personality (and looks) of the subject. Therefore keeping technical issues formulaic lets us focus on posing issues, although in this case I went a little wider aperture than I normally would (this creates a greater focus falloff as you move back from the plane of the face).

I use the smaller Elinchrom MiniSoft, a 17″ beauty dish, as opposed to the more traditional 22″ or larger. I find the chin shadow and falloff more to my liking with the smaller dish.  

I did notice something else rather formulaic: every select had the head tilted, shoulders slightly turned, chin forward and down. I always crop to the head or slightly below to draw attention to the eyes.

Even with the formulaic approach to posing and lighting, there is still great variety in the short session we had. The first 2 are subtle, the rest convey very different attitudes. I think that’s important – there’s one image that is probably a favorite, but others to draw from as the need arises (or the mood strikes). 

All from a simple, structured, approach.

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