Headshots: Face Studies


Last night I spent some time studying portrait photographer Martin Schoeller's iconic photos. His close up, straight-on and honest portraits of celebrities, twins, and even female bodybuilders are one of a kind. I love how his portraits focus solely on the person (more specifically their eyes and mouth, which make up their facial expressions). His lack of gimmicky clothing, props, backdrops, or poses puts all the focus on a well lit, glowing face. And it's perfect.

Today I tried replicating his lighting setup to shoot portraits of my classmates. I didn't have strip LED's, so I couldn't open my aperture as wide as Martin does. To make up for that, I zoomed all the way in on a zoom lens, but the perspective no longer seemed to be as close up. However, despite the technical differences, I loved the results. I've never seen a person's face so evenly lit from every angle to the point it glows. With these close ups, you can study components of facial expressions, skin complexions and undertones, hair color, and so much FACE!

I can't wait to shoot more with this setup, and learn more about headshot/beauty lighting from masters (like Peter Hurley, whose videos I just discovered). Stay tuned! :)