How to Take a Pro Headshot at Home

I recently had the opportunity to produce some headshots for a budding actor named Andrew Pagliara.  Being based in Wilmington, NC which has the largest film studio outside of Hollywood (so I’m told) in the US, the headshot market has the potential to be significant.  So what are the considerations when you are looking to produce a viable headshot?  Subject, location, and style.

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Child Photography, an Element of Luck Required?

I had the opportunity to photograph one of my girlfriends grandchildren recently.  I set up a black background in the spare room as I like dark and moody.  I utilized a Nikon D200 and an 85mm F1.4 at F8/125th second.  For lighting I used an Alien Bee 800 with a 22 inch beauty dish with a sock on it, and an SB900 camera left with a David Hobby serial box snoot.

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Something from Nothing

I was taking a stroll recently by the new convention center in Wilmington, NC where I snapped this shot.

It was taken with a D200 and a 14-24 F2.8 at 24mm, F2.8, 1/1600th sec, ISO 100.  It was somewhat of an overcast day at around 11AM, and I ending up producing a rather dull and ordinary photograph.  What to do with it, discard?  Well I remember Zack Arias in one of his seminars jokingly refer to a mundane photo as something you convert to black and white and label as ‘fine art’.  Well the fine art label is not for me to assign but I decided to play around with some creative cropping and Nik Silver Efex, along with some burning to produce this.

 

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What is in a name?

Having been blessed with perhaps the most common last name in the English speaking world I thought it would be appropriate to come up with a company name.  I tortured myself for the best part of a year to come up with a name and bounced various ideas off people.   I settled on Delectapix.  This is a play on the Latin word Delectus meaning chosen or elite.  Also it is the root word for the English delectable.  I’m not overly warm to the name but it does have something going for it.  Number one being it is easy to spell which is important when looking to garner web traffic.

“Professional Photography”

What is the yardstick of a professional?  When does one cease to be an amateur? This has been much debated and it is not my intention to do it here, but perhaps it is a personal interpretation.  I have not derived my living from photography but I have been paid for it, quite well in some circumstances.  I suspect that if deriving a living from photography is the yardstick then many professionals would be relegated to amateur status.  Currently, a significant proportion of my income comes from photography and it appears to be an increasing amount.

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A Recent Shoot

We had the opportunity to photograph a recently renovated house last week.  It went fine until one of my light stands left a scratch on the floor!  I have three stands, two Manfrotto 5001B’s and a thirteen footer from Paul C. Buff for the Alien Bee 800.  Yeap you guessed it, it was the thirteen footer.  The scratch was superficial and was easily buffed out but I learned my lesson.  Each of the feet on the thirteen footer now has cardboard slippers wrapped in masking tape, ugly but effective.  Here’s my favorite shot from the shoot.

 

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