If you don’t have a good headshot, you need one in today’s business world. For actors they need them for all the shows they are in. For the average person you need one as part of your resume, which many use LinkedIn as the way to deliver a resume.
I have steered away from picture backgrounds, because they can look really fake. However, recently more and more people want photos outside on location.
So while the traditional solid background works for inside portraits, outside portraits on weather challenging days is difficult to do with your model.
So this is the setup I was using to do actor headshots at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia.
Before I shot the models with it on location, I did some testing in my house.
I tried a few lighting setups. I went with the Pall Buff 86” Soft Silver PLM™ Umbrella. It produces a controlled, feathered falloff with very soft shadows.
I had two setups. One with a large white muslin background that I could make grey or white depending on the light I put on the background.
Here is a video my wife took when I was shooting my daughter on the brick background.
Here are some of those photos:
I did less coaching with Chelle since she has done this many times before she needed no real direction. For others who are doing this for the first time I did more direction.
I shot with my Nikon Z6 with the focus setting on AF-S and Auto Area with the AF face/eye detection turned on. If you use the Nikon ViewNX-i software it will let you see where you were focused when the photo was taken as you can see here. This is great for trouble shooting your focus.
I find that actors/models love having the freedom to try new expressions and just experiment.
This was the setup I finally used after experimenting.