So yeah, last week I’m sitting at the hair salon place waiting to get my hair chopped off and I become instantly bored (my mind wanders) so I start flipping through the magazines in the waiting area. Of course there were TONS of hair and makeup pics splattered throughout, and while my friend that was with me (pictured above) was checking out all the hairstyles, I (being a complete camera nerd) found myself trying to figure out the lighting setups for the shots! I noticed that the majority of what i saw was the glamour style headshot done with a basic clamshell lighting setup. It’s a totally simple technique I haven’t had to use in a little while that requires minimal setup and produces really really cool results, so I thought I would revisit it and show you how it’s done!
First you need to find a head to stick in the frame. At my home studio I used myself (using an intervalometer) and grabbed my friend. When I got back to the shop I was lucky enough to pull Allea out of the lab for a quick shot.
For all of these shots, I was using a DSLR with a 85mm lens (my personal favorite for headshots in tighter rooms). The nifty50 works really well also but you will be a bit closer to your subject. The idea is to fill the frame with the model’s head. You don’t need or want too much “dead space”. With a compact camera, just zoom in a bit.
Set up the lights with one ABOVE you and the subject facing down at them at about a 45 degree angle. This will be your main light. You can use any light source really, but a constant photographic light, speedlight, or strobe in a softbox works best. For these shots I was using a speedlight in a ProMaster Easy Fold Softbox.
Now we need a secondary light UNDER the subject facing up at them, also at about a 45 degree angle. This will be your fill light, but for glamour shots we do turn this light up to nearly as much power as the main light. Something as simple as a reflector will do just fine but an additional light does allow for even better lighting. It’s easier to dial in the perfect amount of light.
Okay, so watch this video we shot of the gear we used for these shots and where they were placed Here we pull it all together for you!
Gear we used:
(note the links to find where they are in the shop)
Paul at Porter’s (sportin’ a new hairdoo)