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Lighting Technique And Camera Settings For Dramatic Studio Headshot

Casual Headshot On Charcoal Gray In Raleigh NC Studio 4476

I'll give you the details in a moment of how the headshot above was taken, but first, here's a list of the gear that was used.

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 Lens
Dark Gray Seamless 9ft Wide Paper Background
Profoto B2 With One Head
Profoto OCF Silver Beauty Dish
Profoto Air TTL Trigger
Standard Silver Reflector

Please keep in mind that it's not always about the gear. You should do the best that you can with the gear that you have. I know a photographer that has a Canon 70D, a portable Wescott 26 inch rapid box that works with a speedlite and other gear that he could use to mimic this shot. I will admit that I love the light produced by the Profoto B2, but don't get hung up on the gear.

Lighting Tools Profoto B2 - Profoto OCF Silver Beauty DishThe two Profoto images above were copied from Adorama camera. You can check out the Profoto B2 and the Profoto OCF Silver Beauty Dish on Adorama.

You'll find the details below of how this shot was setup and taken:

1) The subject is about 7 feet from the background which helps the background be a little darker because of less spill over light from the beauty dish.

2) The camera was set on manual at 200ISO,  at 1/125th shutter speed and f/2.8 was the lens setting. I was about 6 feet from the subject.

3) The beauty dish was to my left, just over 6 feet high and pointing down toward the subject which is why you see the right side of the subjects face lit more. There was a silver reflector to the subjects left adding some fill light to keep the shadow from being as harsh and dark as it would have been without the reflector providing some fill light.

If you have any questions, please email me at David [@] DWPPC [dot] com. Please feel free to connect with me on Social Media:

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David Williams

About The Author: David Williams is a professional still photographer and videographer focusing on corporate and commercial work. His love for still photography began in 1982 while still in High School. David started making money at photography in 1982. David and his wife Brenda started working together in photography in 1988 when they met and were married in 1989. Brenda is the photo editor for the business. David and Brenda have two daughters in their 20's. Please be sure to get a quote for services if needed: our goal is to respond as promptly as possible. You may also call David direct at 919.628.2902. You may share this content using the larger social icons above this bio section. You may find David on various social platforms by clicking the smaller icons to the left of this paragraph under David's headshot. Please visit our home page as well.

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