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Thursday, October 29, 2015


Here’s another great example of a badass headshot that we’ve made recently! The dramatic lighting and bright eyes make for a very striking image that stands out from the crowd of boring headshots in Billings Montana. It may be a little too dramatic for some industries, but it’s great for actors, models, artists and anyone looking for an eye-catching edgy editorial portrait. It would also make a great professional portrait for anyone wanting to convey power with their headshots, such as lawyers, business managers and CEO’s. But the main point is that at Paul Bellinger Photography we can make a headshot or portrait that is unique just for you, so you will always stand out. Please get in touch with us if you haven’t updated your professional business portraits or corporate headshot in Billings Montana recently, we’d love to make something just for you. www.portraits.paulbellinger.com

Tips for photographers: We always make cool portraits and headshots whenever my friend and talented photographer Zak Jokela comes to town. We love to hang out in the studio and test different lighting setups. We never test out new lighting techniques on paying customers, so we have to do a lot of testing with models, friends, assistants, etc. to work out a new lighting technique before using it on clients.

This portrait was inspired by Martin Schoeller and the basics of the lighting setup are similar to his. The key light is a pair of 8ft strip boxes just a few feet in front of the subject and the camera is actually right in between the two strip boxes, which are parallel to each other a little more than shoulder distance apart, pointed directly at the subject. So you shoot this portrait standing in between a pair of strip boxes. Schoeller gets his lights very close to his subjects’ faces, and surrounds them in black so that the light falloff is deep and natural. We took it a step further by placing a pair of black flags in-between the strip boxes and Zak’s face to deepen the shadows on his cheeks and ears. It became our goal to silhouette the ears, because I guess we don’t like ears to be lit anymore (see my previous post here for more on that). One tradeoff for using these flags was that they cut into the strip boxes in the catchlights, making for narrower catchlights that what Schoeller usually achieves. Schoeller shoots very close to his subjects with a large format film camera, so the depth of field is usually shallow. We replicated that shallow depth of field by using the Sony-Zeiss 55mm at f/2.5 very close, nearly at minimum focal distance. The background is just a 4x8ft white reflector a few feet behind the subject. The falloff is so fast that you can make the background go black pretty easily too, but we liked having the gray background to create separation from Zak’s silhouette.

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