Headshots are a staple of business for many portrait photographers. While they may seem relatively straightforward, there is actually quite a lot you can change particularly when varying the lighting. As you select your lighting you’ll need to make decisions that flatter your subject and help to communicate their personal brand.
The Headshot Lighting Recipe Guide consists of 21 ‘recipes’ for a variety of headshot lighting setups, and as with any recipe, you can add in your own twist to create something unique or catered toward your subject!
Some setups are more high key with lighter tones, lighter background and fewer shadows. Other setups are more low key with darker tones, darker background and more shadows. No one setup is better than the other. As mentioned above, the ‘right light’ depends on a combination of the mood that your subject wants to convey about themselves and the lighting that best flatters their features
How many lights do I need?
In this guide I provide you a wide range of setups with 1, 2, or 3 lights. How many lights are ‘right’ or necessary really depends on which style your client prefers, how much space you have to work with, and how much gear you own (or can rent). You can absolutely create great headshots with just one light. You can create more stylized looks with 2 or 3. I’ve even included a 4-light setup to show you what can be achieved with more strobes.
This guide is not intended to make you feel like you need to have a huge space, lots of gear, and fancy modifiers. Whatever you’ve got to work with is going to be just fine!
I love Lindsay's step by step recipes complete with measurements of subject and light placements. Your fan, Laurie
I spent 3 days setting up all the different headshot lighting set ups. What an amazing way to practice my head shot lighting. I now have many more looks / options and will be able to offer them to my clients. The guide is thorough and also well laid out. I recommend it highly.
I love this guide! It is an unbelievable value for the price! It is full of so much information. It's like you are getting the opportunity to sit and pick the brain of an accomplished professional for all the tips and tricks that she has acquired over the years. In addition to lighting diagrams and behind the scenes information, you get tips and professional observations about the proper use of equipment to accomplish your "head shot" goals. So far I tried the "Large Umbrella with Diffusion Close" and found the tips about moving the umbrella far off to the side to increase drama. and full on to reduce shadows was very interesting and educational.
Absolutely love this lighting guide, so precise, direct without unnecessary “water” information. Exactly what I was looking for and hoping to get. Thank you Lindsay Adler for creating perfect guide.
I used this guide for an organizational headshot session this past weekend. The guides were a great reference.
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