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Christina Revisited... Head Shot

Discussion in 'People' started by Samer, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. Samer

    Samer

    527
    Sep 19, 2006
    Jupiter, FL
    I posted a shot of her a couple of weeks back. Today I shot with her again to get an 8 X 10 head shot for her casting director. This is one of my favorites from today. Look forward to your opinions and comments.

    DSC_0040_b.
     
  2. LupineGrace

    LupineGrace Guest

    Wow, beautiful shot! It looks perfect to me. Her casting director will be impressed. I know I am.
     
  3. Samer,
    This is a nice shot. I think it could use a bit of a contrast and saturation boost as it looks a little flat on my calibrated monitor.

    I also find the leaves to be quite distracting. The one adjacent to her head is too focused and draws my attention away from her eyes. The one over her arm is also a distraction.

    Interestingly, I just took an identical photo of my daughter using natural light. I had her stand 3-4 feet in front of the greenery and shot wide open with the 85mm, f1.8 (which you also have). It really provided a nice, unobtrusive background. Which lens did you use?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Samer

    Samer

    527
    Sep 19, 2006
    Jupiter, FL
    I don't mess with constrast and saturation... maybe I'll give it a try, thanks

    I disagree about the leaves being distracting. I think her eyes are in focus so the leaves which are also in focus are on that same focal plane. I suppose I could blur them in post processing. Thanks for your opinion.

    I used the 85 1.4
     
  5. Samer

    Samer

    527
    Sep 19, 2006
    Jupiter, FL
    Thanks for the kind words Grace :biggrin:
     
  6. Well, we can agree to disagree here. That leaf next to her head seems to command all of my attention!
     
  7. Samer

    Samer

    527
    Sep 19, 2006
    Jupiter, FL
    To clarify,

    I was going for integrating her into this shot, hence the leaves were a part of the shot on purpose. Now does it matter that I was aware of the concept of background isolation. Does that change one's opinion of the shot?

    Sorry don't mean to over analyze this, but I'm an engineer and that is what I do.

    Mitch, here is another shot from today demonstrating the 85 1.4's isolation ability

    Left eye is in focus

    DSC_0005_a.
     
  8. frede

    frede

    Dec 9, 2006
    Princeton, NJ
    Beautiful image Samer. The leaf does pull my eye, but the image is still splendid. Nice work!
     
  9. srwatters

    srwatters

    Feb 27, 2006
    Plano, TX
    I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble here, but headshots with anything recognizable besides the subject won't get more than one second on the casting directors desk. These images are not made to show off the photographers skills, but to showcase the actor's ability to capture the attention of the viewer. Take a look at any successful actors headshot and you'll see what I mean.

    http://www.headshot-photography.com/
    http://studiomark.com/headshots.html
    http://www.alanweissman.com/actors.1a.html

    If you look through these professionals work I think you'll see a common thread.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Samer

    Samer

    527
    Sep 19, 2006
    Jupiter, FL
    Thanks Fred. Point taken about the distraction of the leaves.

    Scott. Thanks for the input. Actually, I had done a Google search on the subject ahead of the shoot and I saw the first two of your links.

    I wasn't sure how much background was O.K. for a headshot, but as with the second shot I posted, I have some that do isolate her quite a bit. I wasn't trying to show off my skills, for sure. Here is another shot that may be closer to that mold. Is this any closer to what we need?

    DSC_0008_a.
     
  11. srwatters

    srwatters

    Feb 27, 2006
    Plano, TX
    In my opinion that is an excellent shot. Personally I'd like to see a touch deeper DOF. The ring might be a distraction as most of the images I've seen are jewelry free with the exception of stud earrings. Since there's very little of the blouse showing, the pattern isn't distracting, but typically something with less contrast to the BG will draw more attention to the actors face.

    I'm not a big fan of the hand on the face for actors, but for a young lady it's not bad. Might make her seem a bit older, if that's the goal, they it's good.

    It's interesting how much thought goes into the actors headshot. At least two different coaches have come to me with very specific instructions on exactly what pose and angle they want for their client. Just as a business man would design their ad, the actor must thoughtfully prepare their headshot. And of course they have to do this 2 to 3 times a year... More often for kids.

    As always, YMMV.
     
  12. frede

    frede

    Dec 9, 2006
    Princeton, NJ
    Wow Samer! This one is even better. Excellent work. Moreover, an excellent thread packed full of useful info on headshots. I always learn so much from these type of discussions. Thanks all.
     
  13. Wow, wonderful shots of this young lady. I like the last one best. Some very good observations in this thread, very constructive. Although there may technically be some issues, to my eye this is gorgeous!
     
  14. The last one is clearly the best of the bunch and isolates the subject very well.

    I have to agree with Scott here regarding what you are trying to achieve. While I can appreciate this shot as a nice natural light portrait, I wonder if most casting people don't expect the standard studio head shot lit with several well placed strobes.
     
  15. Samer

    Samer

    527
    Sep 19, 2006
    Jupiter, FL
    Thanks again Scott. I will suggest we go forward with this one. I appreciate your advice on this matter.

    Thanks for the compliment Fred. :wink:

    Frits, you are too kind! thanks for looking. Glad you liked them.

    Thanks Mitch. I may try to use the first shot for something other than the head shot as you suggest. I still like it, but after all the input from this thread, I realize it doesn't fit as a head shot.
     
  16. FLXM

    FLXM

    181
    Mar 15, 2006
    Jupiter, FL, USA
    Hey Samer,

    Let me start by saying these are all excellent shots.

    I will have to agree on the leaves being distracting on the first shot. I think leaves in general are a great tool for framing, but your shot just doesn't have enough leaves to constitute a frame and so thsose leaves just seem to intrude in the shot.

    The second and third shots you posted are also excellent, the only thing I think might improve them is a little more DOF. Although the 85 1.4 can beautifully blurr the BG, for a head shot, I typically see the entire face (and hair) in focus.

    All that being said, I do like the pose in the first picture the most I think its the one that best reflects her age, but then again we've had this discussion before...

    Well done, keep them coming!
     
  17. Samer

    Samer

    527
    Sep 19, 2006
    Jupiter, FL
    Thanks Flavio. I appreciate the comments. But it's about time you posted.

    So I'm gonna take a break until I see a photo of Lucas up in here. :biggrin:

    Or maybe of a fine bartender if you're so lucky... :wink:
     
  18. The last one gets it for me, but if it were mine I'd sharpen it more and adjust the levels.
    Levels 15/1.00/243
    USM 150/.3/0
    Healing Brush that stray hair on her lip too.

    See what you think.
     
  19. As a casting director and photographer I agree with SRWatters. When looking at headshots, I want to be grabbed by the person, not the artistic nature of the shot. Of all the pics in this thread (including Mitchell's) I would be most impressed as a director by the last image posted above this post by Samer. It is focused clearly on the actor/actress and the background is minimul. I also see emotion and focus on the part of the subject.

    Yet another man's opinion... :) 

    www.dramatapix.com
    www.brettmallard.com
     
  20. Samer

    Samer

    527
    Sep 19, 2006
    Jupiter, FL
    Thanks for taking the time Woody.

    I am usually pretty conservative with USM, but since I think we are going forward with this photo, I will certainly try all the adjustments you suggested.

    I thought about getting rid of the stray hair. Now that you brought it up I guess I should. Thanks again.

    Brett, Thanks so much for your opinion on this. It means a lot to me and I'm glad that you liked that last photo. I hope I'm giving her a decent shot at getting work with this.
     
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