Sneaky Pete

After 3 straight years of Scott donating to Dana-Farber in support of my Falmouth Road Race fundraising efforts (and me not getting around to making a new Linked In profile for him), I got this frantic text message:

Help! I need a "professional" headshot! ... I need a pic before Friday!

A few joking messages back and forth confirmed that yes, he actually was serious and needed a decent, up-to-date headshot for a bio which would be printed along with all the other speakers at a conference he was asked to present at.

Sneaky Pete (hair light)
Sneaky Pete (key light)
Sneaky Pete (in print)

So I set up a "thunder" gray background in the dining room and started to build my lighting setup. I stuck a "hair light" up above the background and colored it warm because, well, because I wanted to and I think it looks cool, that's why. Obviously the "hair light" would be used to light his hair, but it would also hit his shoulders and neck, giving a little separation from the dark background.

Then came the key light. Since he wears glasses, this light would have to come from hard angle so its reflection off the glasses wasn't visible to the camera lens. For a little drama, I stuck it up above him, pointed straight down - but after a few tests, I didn't like how it spilled onto the background making it much too bright. To fix that, I just tipped it away from the background a bit, as you see it here. Easy peasy.

Once he arrived, we shot from a bunch of different angles with different expressions until we had a few we both liked. We were able to sneak everything in in time for the bio to make the book, which coincidently appears underneath that of his former boss's boss's boss's boss's boss!

Strobist info: The main (key) light is an LP-180 with a 1/4 CTO warming gel in a Photek Softlighter II boomed overhead on a C-stand, zoomed to 24mm and fired at ~1/4 power. The hair / separation light is an SB-800 with a 1/2 CTO warming gel, high and behind in a Lumiquest SB-III, zoomed to 35mm, and fired at ~1/8th power.

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