One light, Black & White Headshot Project (part 1)


I recently haven’t had a lot of work on the photography side of things :( so thought of putting together a photo project. I don’t know where the Idea of photographing head shots of humans heads came from but it certainly sounded like a good idea at the time.

The theme of the headshot’s would be black and white, lots of shadows and only one light source. I also want to just stick to one particular style of photograph.

I don’t have a studio or own expensive lighting etc, although I do rent a flat with a living room which has a white painted wall and two Nikon SB700 flashguns, with a soft box I bought off amazon a year ago for £20, which to be honest I have only used once until now.

To start with to get the style I wanted I played around with the flash and camera settings andshot a few selfies :) (see Below) I don’t usually take topless pics of myself (I promise) but this particular day was hot.


This photo^(selfie)^ was shot @ 1/200sec f/4.5 ISO 100 with a 105mm 2.8 nikon lens. The flash gun was giving off 1/32 power with 105mm zoom. I positioned the flash gun with soft box about 45 degrees to my selfie right and just veryslightly above my eye level. I was also around about a metre away from the wall so the background would go grey.

I love the shadows created with the one light and adds a real dramatic effect to the head shot. Its not really a style I would use on a shoot for a client because of the heavy shadows. But because this project is just for my own enjoyment and fun ( I <3 photography) I decided to invite family and friends around to get some similar type of shots. I would also like to add that asking family and friends for head shots was the hardest part of this project as they all seem to hate having photos taken of themselves. 

To start with I just wanted to use the same type of settings and maybe try get some more light on the face and some shadows on the jaw. All shots below are shot at exactly the same camera settings as the selfie above although just with me asking the subject to move their head slightly and me moving the flash/soft box around so the light would hit in different places on their face. I have uploaded some images below.

In order of heads: Alice, Anton, Dad,Oliver(bro) , Richard, Colton

As you can see most of the shadows on the face are easy to change and I think It adds a unique look. After these few head shots I wanted to try something new for my next subject Emma. I asked her to stand closer to my white painted wall and closer to my other wall. In other words I asked her to stand in the corner of my living room. This was so the flash would now bounce off the side of the wall back on to her face but still add a few shadows. Result below \/


As you can see the left (Emma’s Left) side of her face is now in a really light shadow. Emma is very photogenic and believe it or not this was the first snap I took of her. Her eyes in this shot are very glaring and she also has (I hope she doesn’t mind me saying this) a now very fashionable gap in her teeth.

These are all my shots so far but I am hoping to have around 50 head shots of different human heads. I was also of thinking of making a book just for myself of the 50 head shots. 

I have posted most of the head shots to my facebook page asking for morehuman heads for photos and so far I have had a positive response. So I am hoping to share with you more head shots in the near future :)

Also if you would like a headshot your self for free just message me :)

All the best

Scott

website: www.ss-photo.co.uk