How To

Headshots in my Studio?

Do you have a client in need of headshots and then realize you don't have a studio?  No big deal, move the shoot outdoors and take advantage of the natural sunlight and warm air.  Wrong!  This is January and for the first time in months the temperatures finally decide to drop into the single digits.  So what must a photography do... you improvise and get creative.  This recently happened to me and everything turned out just fine.  Take a look at a few of my photographs and see if you can figure out my new location.  (Answers and explanation following the photos)

So did you guess where I shot these images of Bill and how I pulled it off?  Well, if you guessed a small, cluttered garage with low ceilings, you would be correct! I manged to work inside of a space measuring 12ft long x 6ft wide x 8ft tall. That space easily fits inside of a home if you move some furniture around.

Now, how did I light it? 
Starting with the background, I hung a white bed at the back of the garage so that my work bench was covered up.  Then I dialed in my camera setting to (f9, 1/200s, and ISO 100).  Boom, no background or white bed sheet sitting just 7ft behind Bill.  Now for a key light, I stuck a speedlite in a softbox and added a grid.  After powering it up to about half power, I had Bill lit. Using just one light, I made the first image at the top of the page.  To mix it up, I added a kicker light over his right shoulder.  That gave the highlight to his face and cut him out of the background.  With the pictures looking a little bland, I went to work by adding color to the background.  I ended up adding a blue gel to an extra speedlite, setting it to it's lowest power, and shooting it on the bed sheet.  That's how I ended up with the last two photos. 

The main point to me writing this is just to reinforce the idea that you don't always need a fancy studio with an open floor plan and 15ft tall ceilings.  Sometimes a small room, kitchen, or cramped garage work just fine as long as you're willing to give it a try.  If this helped anybody or if you have questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.  Thanks for reading!