Monday, 7 September 2009

Actors, headshots and bonus photos

This week I had the great pleasure of photographing Sam Cassella. He’s a young chap who’s in the middle of his university career where’s he’s studying drama. Sam’s no fools and has realised that to make it as an actor requires experience and one way to achieve that is to become an “extra”.

That’s where I come in. One thing that every aspiring actor or actress needs is a decent head shot for their résumé. By and large these tend to be fairly routine images. From experience I know that a decent head shot has a few key ingredients.
• Be a fair representation of the individual rather then an arty portrait.
• Be black and white (which seems rather odd in these digital days)
• Be taken against a plain background.
In other words something like this…
Ok, lets be honest that wasn’t exactly the most difficult portrait to light and take, in fact any half decent photographer can take a picture like this the hard part is getting the sitter to relax.

So with a decent headshot in the bag of the casting directors, I had plenty of time to take the kind of pictures that I like. When it comes to portraits most of my clients want a pure white background, but for male portraits I tend to shot against a black or great background and use light that has a harder edge.
Sam was an amazingly easy to photograph. He arrived at my studio with a range of clothes from very casual to rather smart. He even bought his “trade mark” hat.

I’ve always had a problem with hats in the studio. Hats with brims cause shadows. Hats with big brims cause big shadows which go right across the eyes and are very difficult to fill. Sam loved his hat and wanted it in the pictures.

After a bit of head scratching and time adjusting the lights, I got some of the best shots of the session.


Anonymous said...

Nice blog. You should promtoe it or at least trade links with us.

Our site is:
The Film Casting WebSite

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the training... please do something regarding this kind of studio photoshoot.... great job!!!! max

Katt said...

Hi Gav,

Could you perhaps do a photography to photoshop utube video for this sort of portrait photography? Been wanting to learn.

Anonymous said...

this is such a cool website, thanks gav, but how have you managed to light him and nothing else in the room, please share this secret if you can

Unknown said...

Hey Gavin, great post! I'd love to see a diagram of the equipment setup you used for this shoot. Thanks!!


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