Archive for July, 2010


Photography Exhibit!


Headshot Styles

There are perhaps an infinite number of styles and approaches to headshots. When I get a call from a prospective client, I often hear, “I just want to do some standard headshots.”  Really, there’s no such thing.  The images in this post are from a recent shoot with a model friend, Tori. We had a few ideas about headshots we discussed before the shoot but we also used some creativity and imagination once we starting taking pictures. In the first image , above, I used soft and flattering light. Tori had very little makeup on – we were going for a natural, relaxed look. The slight turn and tilt of the head,  the subtle smile  and the styling of her hair were all part of the plan for this image.  Tori looks directly into the camera lens, helping  connect the viewer with her.

In the image above, we were going for a more dramatic look.  To try to achieve a dramatic feeling, we used a black background and lighting with more contrast, and a straight-on pose. The pose is more serious, more contemplative. I often try to get one or two hands into a headshot – hands can be as expressive as faces.

In this image, we were going for a fun, candid moment. I asked Tori to laugh out loud.  Even with her eyes closed, the image (hopefully!) engages the viewer with its spontaneity.  A note about bare shoulders – I like this look when shooting women – it puts the focus on the face, can add a sense of femininity – and has a timeless, classic quality.

The image above was shot just with window light. (All the other images in this post were lit with studio strobe lights.)  Window light has a wonderful soft quality that’s hard to replicate with artificial lighting. I like the very subtle colors in this shot.

And, finally, the image above is a super close-up. It is actually cropped from a much larger picture. It’s perfectly OK to cut off the chin and the forehead. Getting close adds intimacy.

These are just a few concepts for headshots. You can see many more on my website, in the gallery of models and actors, by clicking here. And you can see more images of my shoot with Tori by clicking here. I’d welcome any comments on these images. Thanks for visiting my blog!


Fabulous Photography Comic Strip!

I just discovered a terrific comic strip, called What the Duck,  about photography. The strip is written by Aaron Johnson. You can see some of his classic strips by clicking on a recent blog post by Scott Kelby – click here. To subscribe to the strip, click here.

Some of the humor may be a bit technical for those who aren’t avid photographers. Please ask me if you don’t understand one of the strips. I particularly like the first two shown on Scott’s blog, under Man vs. Machine.


Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini!


Do you remember the old song – Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini? The song came out in 1960, and was written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss. Vance was inspired to write the song after seeing his bashful 2-year-old daughter in a bikini on the beach. Brian Hyland, the singer, was 16 years old at the time of the recording. Actually, you can hear the song and watch an old 45RPM player by clicking here.  The song was Number #1  on Billboard in early August of 1960 – almost exactly 50 years ago. Are you feeling as old as I am?

 This was an image from a recent shoot with a friend and model named Tori. I like a lot of things about this image. First, Tori’s eyes are really engaged with the viewer, so the viewer will be more likely to stay engaged with the image. I like – and am always drawn to – bold colors when putting a shot together – the blue background, the yellow swimsuit, the bright red lips. I like the fact that her face is in sharp focus but the rest of her is a bit out of focus. I like the fact that her lovely  hair is a bit unruly – as it would be on the beach. I like the fact that it seems as though Tori is about to – or has just – said something light and funny – creating more of a connection with the viewer.

What do you think? Comments always appreciated!


Tips for Shooting Fireworks

here are some great tips for shooting fireworks, from one of my favorite websites, The Mindful Eye. For the video, click here.

Best wishes to everyone for a safe and fun 4th of July. Give thanks for this great country we live in!