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Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Shadya is a smart woman!  She’s getting a jump start on her career while she’s still in college, using a professional headshot to help apply for internships and job interviews.  There is no substitute for a high quality headshot to market yourself in today’s digital age.  Recent studies have shown that quality matters when it comes to photos that people relate to.  People can tell the difference between professional and amateur photos 90% of the time, and are more than twice as likely to interact with a professional photo (click here for the study).  A good headshot can speak volumes in a split second, and in the digital world where decisions are made quickly, what your headshot says about you could make a crucial difference.  Good headshots are hard to come by in a smaller city like Billings Montana, it seems to be a lost art form here, leaving the general public to settle for average or below average headshots that are less impactful for their businesses.  But this is a blessing for people who invest in a high quality professional headshot now, because it will certainly stand out from the crowd in this market.

Here at Paul Bellinger Photography we are committed to the art of portraiture, offering the highest quality portrait and headshot experience in Billings. Contact us to schedule your studio session today (we can usually accommodate last minute and same day bookings with two hours of notice).  www.portraits.paulbellinger.com

Tips for photographers:
How is the first portrait lit?  Can you see for yourself?  Deciphering light is a critical skill for photographers and you should be able to replicate almost any lighting techniques you can see.  But you’ll never learn if you don’t try and figure it out for yourself!  In the first photo the main light is obviously coming from camera right based on the highlight on the left side of Shadya’s face.  It must be a big light source because it’s very soft.  There is also a highlight on the right (camera left) side of Shadya’s face, so there is clearly a soft light source camera left as well.  Be sure to check the catchlights in her eyes for and idea of where the lights are placed.  Have it figured out yet?  The main light is a large window out of frame camera right and the second light source is a large 4x8’ reflector out of frame camera left to bounce some of the window light back onto the shadow side of Shadya’s face.  This is my go to lighting technique because it looks good on everyone!  The light is soft, which is flattering for all skin types, and because the light is coming from the side it has a directional quality that provides dimension to the face with very soft shadows.  It’s a very forgiving lighting setup and when I don’t have a window I use a large softbox very close to the subject to replicate the soft window light.  The larger and closer the light source you can create, the softer the light will be, whether you use a window or a studio strobe.

How is the second portrait lit?  You tell me!  There are three lights.  I'll put an iPhone photo of the lighting setup on instagram @PJBellinger.  For more photography tips on the blog click here.

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