Headshots: how to shoot passport photos social media profiles and other informal portraits

Headshots: how to shoot passport photos, social media avatars and other informal portraits

How to set up your flash to shoot headshots

Set up your flash, making sure it’s softened and in the right position

How to set up your flash to shoot headshots: step 1

01 Camera settings
Set the lowest ISO. In manual exposure mode set the fastest shutter speed that will work your triggers. Set the aperture to f/5.6. Take a test shot. If you can’t see the subject, move on. If you can see the subject clearly, reduce the aperture.

 

How to set up your flash to shoot headshots: step 2

02 Soften the flash
To reduce harsh shadows from the flash, use a softbox or umbrella. The larger the apparent size of the light source to the subject, the softer the light will be. We used an 8x9inch LumiQuest Softbox III which costs around £38/$42.

 

How to set up your flash to shoot headshots: step 3

03 Position the flash
Even with the softbox in place you need to position the flash close to the subject in order to get the softest results. This should be around two feet (60cm) from the subject, and slightly above their eye-line and to one side.

 

How to set up your flash to shoot headshots: step 4

04 Set the flash power
Once the flash is in position you need to set the power level. With the flash close to the subject start by setting a low power, such as 1/16 power, take a test shot and then adjust it until the main subject is correctly exposed.

PAGE 1: How to set up your home studio to shoot headshots
PAGE 2: How to set up your flash to shoot headshots
PAGE 3: Shooting headshots with a one flash setup
PAGE 4: Shooting headshots with two flashguns
PAGE 5: How to shoot passport photos
PAGE 6: Capturing informal looks for social media profile pictures

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