Welcome to the forum!

As an adjunct to the Tangents blog, the intention with this forum is to answer any questions, and allow a diverse discussion of topics related photography. With that, see it as an open invitation to just climb in and start threads and to respond to any threads.


Hi - I do not do any type of Portrait Photography, but I would like to start responding to requests that come my way for Head Shots. My feeling is this could be a way to get comfortable with portraits, thinking that a head shot, used for Linkedin, websites, social media, etc. might not be as involved as a portrait session.

But is this a naive way of thinking? Are head shots just as involved as a full-blown portrait?

Can any one point me to a good book or on-line tutorial which gives a really good basic understanding of what makes a good head shot - the type of lighting, suggestions about different backdrops and/or locations?

Thanks - Dave


  • Dbruno.... I learned how to take headshots via an FStoppers tutorial that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Dylan Patrick's "The Cinematic Headshot".  You can check it out on the FStoppers website.  My headshots are a result of this tutorial.  You can view my headshot portfolio at my site, which is www.mydavidhall.com if interested.


    P.S. check out the work of Peter Hurley as well.  He's the 'guru' some say.  
  • Thanks, David. I had heard of Peter Hurley, and did actually see the link for "Cinematic Headshots".

    So, after watching and practicing, watching and practicing, how did you actually get a first job? Did you have friends or family members sit for you, and use those for samples?

  • How I got my first job... I developed a relationship with my local camera store owner. Over time, he and I have become friends. I've bought a lot of camera gear from him. One day, I was sitting in his office and asked him if he knew anyone that I could reach out to for the purpose of photographing them. What I was asking him, do you know where I can have a resource for models?  I have this desire to photograph people but limited resources in finding them. 

    Fortunately, he was good friends with a local area talent agent here in my area. He introduced me to her. At first, I offered to shoot for free so I could build my skills and my portfolio.  Over time, she started funneling talent my way anytime they needed a headshot. She actually became my agent. I gave her a percentage of my fee's back to her for every model/actor/actress she sent my way. Needless to say, the models just kept coming and coming. A talent agency is a great resource for talent.... go figure :-) 
  • That's good! I volunteer as a photographer for a couple of organizations. I might send them an email to tell them I would like to branch out, and if they need new headcsots, keep me in mind.

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