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FREELessons: 15Length: 1.8 hours

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4.2 Studio Light

Sometimes natural light is not an option, or maybe you want a lighting setup that doesn’t change with the time of day and the weather. If that’s the case then you will need to create artificial light. In this lesson you'll learn how to create a mobile studio that you can use to get great headshots.

4.2 Studio Light

Hi, I'm Scott Chanson. Welcome back to Headshot Photography. In our last lesson, we were using natural light to get really great headshots. And, that's fine for most people, but maybe you live in an apartment that doesn't have windows with natural light. Or, maybe you live in a basement with no windows at all. Or, maybe you have a day job, and you have to shoot your headshots at night. Or, like me, maybe you just want more control over the light that you're using. In any of these cases, the best thing to do is to use studio lighting. When this is the case for me, I have a small mobile studio that I run to every time. I love my mobile studio because it's so small, because it's lightweight and easy to carry, and because it's so quick to setup and take down. Here's a really quick time lapse of me setting up my mobile studio. This whole process really only takes me about five minutes. And, it's about the same amount of time to tear it down as well. Let me quickly show you the components that make up my basic studio. First, is the background stands. You'll need two of those, and you'll need one cross support to hold the background up. Next is the light stand. And, on top of that, you'll want to put a 42 inch umbrella, and an umbrella holder. Put this all in a bag, and add a roll of seamless paper, and you're ready to go. So, let's see this setup in action. Okay, so we are back in the living room again, and we've changed things up just a little bit. In this lesson, we're going to be using my mobile studio, which is basically just a flash, an umbrella, a light stand, two more background stands and a background. It's a very simple setup, and it's very easy to use. It's very easy to move around. It sets up really quickly, it tears down really quickly. And, what I've done is just draw the drapes to just kind of bring the light level down in here. If I take a quick picture of Shane without the flash, as you can see, none of the light that's actually coming through the window right now is affecting our shot at all. In fact, the only light that you're really gonna be seeing having any effect on the shot is gonna be coming from this single flash. And, the way that I'm triggering the flash today is with a sync cable, which is by far the easiest and cheapest way to get your camera off of your flash. If you are going to be doing a lot of this, I would say that you should get a wireless way to do it. Cuz, this thing just get tangled up, and it gets tripped on. You're liable to pull your flash off the stand, all kinds of stuff like that. But, for today, I'm just showing you how to do it this way because it's really easy, really simple. So, let's make sure our flash is turned on, all right. And we're just going to grab a couple of shots really quick, make sure that everything is looking good. [SOUND] Perfect, I like that light. So, as you can see, we're shooting with Shane again, this is not an actor's headshot. This is Shane acting like he works in a corporate environment, and is having his headshot done for the corporate website. So, you can quickly adjust the light. I'm gonna bring it down just a tiny bit. Loosen here, right there. All right, and then Shane look right here. [SOUND] Go ahead and bring your chin up just a little bit. These are gonna be nice, happy, not full on smile, but friendly. [SOUND] Perfect. All right, I like that. And so, the only other thing I'm gonna have you do, Shane, is just turn your body like to my hand here, just a little bit towards the light. Not so much. Come back this way. Perfect, just like that. All right, that looks excellent. Very happy. [SOUND] Kind a guy you'd like to hire to do work with. [SOUND] Perfect. That looks excellent. I'm gonna bring the power down just a little bit. So, the beauty of working with this light is that I have full control over it. I can do pretty much anything I want with it. Right now, [SOUND] I really like what I'm getting. I can look at it, and say yeah that's great. That's the kind of shot that someone's gonna want on their website representing them. And, that looks great. But, if it wasn't what you wanted, you can very quickly move the light around just for the sake of showing you, we can easily move the light down here. And we could do [SOUND] something like this, [SOUND]. And, of course, that's not a very good look, but it's a different look. And you can change, it and you can adjust it. And you can get it to where it's just where you want it to be. [SOUND] So, I like it right there. Nice and tall Shane, I want you to go ahead an make your neck nice and long and tall. There we go, that looks great. [SOUND] That's the kind of guy that people want to hire. Okay, so that's pretty much all that takes place when I do one of these types of headshot shoots. Sometimes, I'll have to shoot 50 people in one day, and so that means I don't have a lot of time to spend with each person. Like when we were doing Shane's acting headshots, that can take maybe two hours for one person. In this case, I only have maybe ten minutes total with this person. And, I want to spend some of that time looking through photos with them to make sure that they like them. So, I usually spend maybe four or five minutes taking pictures, if that. And then, I usually shoot tethered, so that we can then immediately look at the pictures. And then, whoever I'm working with can tell me, I really like these pictures, or I don't. I wanna shoot some more. And so, maybe we'll shoot a couple more, then we'll come sit back down, we'll look at pictures. Once we find one that they love, and they say like that's the one, that's the one I wanna use, I mark it. And then, I'm done. Then, I don't have to go through the whole proofing process, especially when I have like 100 different employees that I need to work with. So, this is really the quickest, easiest way to get this done. And, the setup, and the background, and the lighting, is the very simplest and easiest way to get that done. I like to streamline this whole process to make it as easy as possible. So, that's pretty much it. At this point, I would be getting ready for the next person to come in. And then, we would be shooting their shots as well. As you can see, shooting high volume corporate headshots with this setup is super simple and quick. And it also produces really consistent results. Which is a huge timesaver in post production. In this next lesson, I'm going to show you my post production process for these high volume shoots.

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