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I do a good share of entertainments headshots and promo photography. I recently got a call from comedian Jonathan Burn www.flexiblecomedy.com who wanted to refresh his promo photos. Jonathan's thing is making awkward funny. He wanted to start out with in studio shots then next time around do some on location images. We threw around some ideas and he really wanted to make sure the lighting was edgy and different than a standard headshot. So this is how I did it. Step by step.
First we picked a background that would compliment some of the clothes he wears on stage so we went with a really cool blue. Now comes the lighting. I always start with my main light which is a medium sized softbox camera left.
Then I added my fill light to fill in my shadows. I decided to use a ring light above the camera and angled down a bit. I like the way it just slightly brings the shadows up a bit (you can see both the main light and fill light reflections in his glasses here. I wasn't too worried about it yet since it was only test images)
Then it was time to spice up the background. I used another strobe with a 20 degree grid on it to give me a nice gradient circle behind my subject
Then, rim lights to really set off the subject and give me some shape and highlights. I cross lit from behind with bare strobes from either side at the same power.
Here is what the final set up looked like
And here is the shot from straight on
This is just a look into how I light for this situation. I sometimes only use one light, sometimes I use seven. It all depends on what you want to make the shot look like. Here are some of the final shots. These are pretty much straight out
of the camera.
In the end, we had a great time and the client was happy with the shots. You can see more of my work at www.ericforberger.com