Learn How to Shoot a Cinematic Headshot

The cinematic headshot is an eye-catching look that can really stand out from the more standard headshot against a normal background. This great video will give you a look at how it is done and the sort of results you can achieve.

Coming to you from Manny Ortiz, this awesome video follows him as he creates a cinematic headshot in the style of Fstoppers' very own Dylan Patrick. The cinematic headshot is a highly stylized look that can really make a subject jump out from a stack of other headshots, which is part of what made it so popular, particularly with actors. It's also an excellent exercise in managing on-location lighting, choice of background, coaching your subject, and more. As Ortiz mentions, it can be tricky using smaller modifiers, though you might choose them simply because they're more portable, but it's certainly very doable with some careful precision, as you can see in his results. Even if it's not your style, I recommend trying it simply to give your lighting and composition some practice. Check out the video above for Ortiz' full thoughts. 

And if you really want to learn everything there is to know about creating cinematic headshots, check out "The Cinematic Headshot: With Dylan Patrick!"

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33 Comments

Previous comments

Cinematic is the Pumpkin Spice of photo buzzwords.

To me it just looks like a decent headshot, not sure it has any "cinematic" aspect that makes it different from other headshots. Is it the the OOF BG, the use of lights on location, the pose that would make it cinematic?

Lennart Böwering's picture

Maybe I'm picky but is anyone else bothered about the empty space/head direction?
She is always looking to the left and her head is placed on the left third leaving a lot of room on the right that has no interest whatsoever. Having the face looking "into the frame" was one of the first rules of portrait photography i ever learned and after this video I know why. It just looks unbalanced to me.

the photo displayed at 5:26 is not the same with the photo taken at 5:24 :))))))