head shots


Old 02-01-06, 12:53 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2
head shots

how do i do a professional head shot or head and shoulders shot for a website what lens should i use and lighting and backdrop colour
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Old 02-01-06, 04:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Fruit Heights, Utah
Posts: 280
Lens will depend on a few things. Personally, I would go for a 135 without a 1.6 crop and 85mm for a 1.6 camera. Do you already own any lighting? Or would you be using lamps around the house? If you don't have a lense at the focal length you need, you can always crop using an editing software later to get rid of the surrounding included in the shot.

What does your collection of camera, lenses, flashes, etc...look like? That would help others answer your question as well.
Old 02-01-06, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: United States
Posts: 2,535
A telephoto lens like Rapturewas referring to gives a more flattering shot. It also focuses on the subject, not the background.
Lighting should be indirect. Avoid harsh lighting.
Avoid high contrast shots. ie) don't pose the subject in front of a white house in the bright sun, especially if the subject is wearing black or other dark colors.
As to backdrops - whatever complements the subject and doesn't take the eye away from the subject. Be aware on things sticking out of their head like a tree branch or lamp post.
Old 02-03-06, 04:19 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 9,628
I'm not sure how much trouble you want to go to but my preference for a studio shot is to use a black background.
I've only just started experimenting with studio lighting but before I order a pro backdrop I am experimenting with various colored fleece blankets and bedsheets.

You might find that the simplest setup would be to take an outside picture on a bright day.

When you ask about lens choice I will assume you have an adjustable film or digital camera.
What works well for portraits is to set the camera on the widest lens opening (smallest f number) and be as close to the subject as the perspective you want will allow.
Being too close will over emphasize facial features. Too far will make a person's face appear flat. 100mm to 150 mm film equivalent lens usually gives the most pleasing look.
You should also try to position your subject a fair distance away from what is in the background.
Using a wide lens opening will blur the background and make your subject stand out.
I also find an outdoor background color with green folliage of some type tends to be complimentary.

I would agree it would be helpfull to know what equipment you have.

This is all just my idea................. Experiment and have fun.
Any more, just ask.

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