Headshots / by Conor Cunningham

Headshots have never really been my thing, but as I become more and more interested in portrait and strobe photography, I've decided to give headshots a go. Now, I'll be completely honest, I've borrowed quite a substantial amount from Peter Hurley who has quite a reputation for headshots.

I don't have his equipment, but what I do have are three flashes (2 x Lumopro 180, 1 x Canon 430ex II), a Canon 85mm f/1.8 and my camera.

To get the white background I've used a bare wall and in this case, one Lumopro LP180 on about 1/32 power (didn't have the room for two flashes). I put the subject about 1 metre (3 feet) in front of the wall and I was about 1 metre from the subject with the 85mm at f/1.8, ISO 100 and 1/200 of second (some were at 1/40 - more on that later).

It is apparent in some of the shots that the background has a gradient of to the right. Of course, this can easily be fixed in photoshop, but I would rather get it right in camera. Saying that, we didn't have much of a choice due to space limitations.

And finally, for his light source, I had an umbrella with the 430 exII to camera right on about 1/32 power.

Before I go on: 1/40 of a second with an 85mm at f/1.8. I don't know how it happened or why I did it. But I was wondering why some of my images were soft. Well, I think we know now. As a general rule your shutter should be as quick as your lense is long, i.e. if you have a 100mm lense shoot at or above 1/100th of a second.

 My favourite image, although a bit soft on the eyes.

My favourite image, although a bit soft on the eyes.

I'm happy with some of the images and so is my mate. I'll work on improving them as much as I can. I've a few other friends lined up for a shoot so hopefully I'll get some top shots with them. Fingers crossed.

Below is the resulting set of images that we came up with. Some are chosen by me, others by my mate.