So in my last post I talked generally about style in photography. As I develop as a photographer I am noticing my style in portraiture is a combination of lighting and post-production. I light using speedlights. I enjoy speedlights because they are versatile and very portable. My general setup if using a white backdrop is one light to illuminate the background and then 3 lights for the headshot or portrait You can see a basic diagram here. I do not have two striplights at the moment so a use one striplight and a Rogue Flash Bender XL or another Westcott softbox.
This is a general idea of the type of setup that I use. You need to illuminate the background to get a pure white. I find the three light setup on the model provides nice even light and good catchlights in the eyes. Here is a sample of a self-portrait.
Now let’s talk a little about style here. Part of the style is the high key pure white background. One thing I am sure you will notice is the cut off head. I always cut off the tops of the heads. Check out Peter Hurley, professional headshot photographer, to find out more about this particular style. Also note that this is a portrait shot in landscape orientation. I really like this for portraits. Again this is part of a particular style. Now I posted this on a couple of sites and on one I got the comment that the colours were too cool and blue. Now that is exactly what I was going for so that made me happy. I did not want this photo to have warm tones at all. I was thinking of headshots for medical professionals, doctors, nurses, chiropractors etc. I wanted the “scrubs blue, antiseptic type look”. This look was achieved in Photoshop. I also took out some of the wrinkles from the shirt and did some minor skin touch ups to the face. What I was going for here was a headshot for a working professional. I will definitely keep on practicing and trying new lighting set-ups. After all that is what photography is all about – lifelong learning. Next up the dark, moody style, fine art portrait.