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Sunday, December 20, 2015


Everyone needs a good-looking headshot these days! With profile photos on several different social media accounts, your headshot may be seen by potentially thousands of people before they ever meet you in person. Your headshot makes an immediate impression so it’s important that your online presence is carefully curated to create the impression you want the world to see. The world has changed and boring headshots aren’t going to work anymore! You need a headshot that will stand out from the crowd of boring profile pics and amateur looking cell phone selfies. Lucky for you it’s easy to stand out for the right reasons if you hire a professional portrait photographer, especially if you find a photographer that understands the art of the headshot. When you find the right photographer make sure and give them some creative leeway, after all you’re hiring them for their taste and expertise, don’t hamstring them by requesting a boring “safe” look. Let them make something exceptional for you. At Paul Bellinger Photography we specialize in badass portraits and headshots that will help make your online presence pop! To book your sitting visit www.portraits.paulbellinger.com.

Tips for photographers: This headshot lighting is inspired by Peter Hurley’s lighting technique. I initially set out to replicate the Peter Hurley look, but then quickly got shadowy. So I started with three lights on the face, to create a triangle catchlight pattern in the eyes similar to one that Peter Hurley uses. Essentially I created a right triangle out of light modifiers with a two or three foot opening in the middle to shoot through. Bringing the subject close to the lights creates something of a big ring-light pattern with quick falloff on the face and catchlights that can be very striking. But in my opinion there is too much fill in the shadows when the subject’s face is surrounded by big lights so I tweaked the ratios between the three lights until there was a clear shadow pattern that creates dimension on the face. Camera left I used a large 5 foot octabox in a vertical position perpendicular to the subject’s face as the key light, with the power set about 3 stops brighter than the other two lights, which will act as fill and catchlights. Underneath the camera a few feet below the subject’s face is a 4 foot softbox pointing straight up at the ceiling, creating a right angle with the octabox key light, forming two sides of a right angle triangle. The third light acts as the hypotenuse of the right triangle, connecting the other two on a 45 degree angle. You can see each of the modifiers in the catchlights if you look closely, although the key light is most prominent. To finish off the look I added a silver reflector behind the subject out of frame to the camera right that creates the edge light you see on the camera right side of the subject’s face.  See more headshots, including tips for photographers by clicking here.

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