The Camera Gear and Settings Peter Hurley Recommends

There are few people on the planet who know as much about headshots as Peter Hurley. In this helpful video tutorial, he discusses the sort of camera gear and settings you should consider for your headshot work.

Coming to you from our friend, Peter Hurley, with B&H Photo and Video, this excellent video tutorial discusses the camera gear and settings to use for headshot work. There are a lot of different options for headshot work, and choosing what to use is often about more than your own personal preference. Of course, there are things we all care about as photographers. A good headshot lens will have qualities like excellent sharpness, reliable autofocus, and more, but you should also consider things like how you want to render your subject and how the focal length you choose will affect the look of their facial geometry; for example, there is a good reason why 85mm and 100mm are such popular choices for this work. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Hurley.

If you would like to learn more from Peter Hurley about how to take great portraits, be sure to check out our multiple tutorials with him in the Fstoppers store!

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7 Comments

John Nixon's picture

‘There are few people on the planet who know as much about headshots as Peter Hurley.’ What a ridiculous statement! I’m sure he’s very good but hey, it’s headshots, so are a few hundred others.

Lee Christiansen's picture

Yes... I'm sure Mr Hurley is a great guy, (seems so), but as a headshot photographer, his main skill is self-marketing. Take away the hype, and his work falls short of many many others.

I've got his tutorial, and the one thing I learnt was to exclaim how amazing the shots are at every opportunity - which has in fairness proved very useful. But the posing techniques are generalistic, the retouching is obvious, often fraught with lens distortion because he shoots so close, and the 4x Kino lighting is a horrible solution which limits results in soooo many ways.

Certainly lots of people like his style and congrats to him for that. I'd love to have the commercial success that he's got - and I'm sure it is hard won and earned. He's successful because people like his style and because he has excellent marketing, (not hurt by the endless love from FS). And I've seen some of his other work which shows he knows how to wield a camera.

And it is always interesting to see other peoples' techniques and kit choices. There is always something to learn.

But (particularly at FS), there is far too much hero worship with celebrity photographers. I'm sure P.H. feels a bit cold and lonely on that pedestal which many happily plonk him on.

I'd venture that there are a great deal of people who can run rings around the lovely Mr Hurley, (good as he is), if only FS writers would seek them out.

Michael Steinbach's picture

Just another shared video to add content because they can’t create enough of their own. I have all but stopped viewing fs as it’s just synopsis’s of others work.

Lee Christiansen's picture

Alas this is the way FS has gone. I wrote to them, offering my experience by way of writing some original pieces... I didn't even get a reply.

Like you, I spend less and less time here, most often not reading (sorry, watching), any of the regurgitated content. YouTube searches prove more fruitful. (Ah... that's how they get their "content."

Jan Holler's picture

Yes. Remember the contest where they forgot to present the winners? To me, it looks like a crisis of the genre. It's not just the FS. Maybe its best time is over and the owners have turned to other interests?

Jan Holler's picture

Blah, blah, blah, blah, another completely unnecessary video. If you like big mouths, go for it.

Tundrus Photo's picture

Yup. Waxing on about how much of an ear of shoulder is out of focus - as if that make a headshot "great". This is the photographic equivalent of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.