Learn These Three Lighting Setups for Headshot Photography

Explore in this lighting tutorial three ways of stepping up your headshot photography game.

There are many potential clients who can benefit in their respective field from a nice professional headshot to lead up their brand. With so many clients in the need, offering headshots can be a great way as a photographer to build business. One of the things I enjoy about the straightforward lighting examples on display in this video by photographer Tommy Reynolds is the realistic shooting scenario he offers. For many photographers, running a portrait-based business out of the available space in their homes is the reality. And while having lots of extra space in a large studio setting would of course be ideal, with headshot photography, it’s not completely necessary in order to pull off consistent and clean, repeatable looks. And as Reynolds shows us, with as little as one powered light source, a reflector, and an understanding of a few lighting techniques, you can certainly achieve professional lighting results for use in your images. Also shown in this lighting tutorial are the use of multiple lights and modifier types, all put into use with the goal of toning down shadows and smoothing out the light falloff on the subject. 

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16 Comments

Derrick Ruf's picture

Helpful for those who are building up a portfolio in less than ideal spaces, and want to grasp some lighting technique. If the work is good, a non professional setting should be tolerated by the client. Keep in mind headshots are often taken by photographers who travel to clients homes or offices, which again can turn out to be similar to what is shown here.

Tommy Reynolds's picture

Thank you Derrick and thanks again for my first feature on Fstoppers

Phil Wright's picture

I've read a few comments from you today on various different articles and I don't think I've seen a single one that was nice or constructive. You just sound like a cantankerous grumpy old man!

Tommy is a great photographer and isn't just 'some kid who shoots in his parents back room'. Not that that would matter. He shot here to show you what you CAN do in a simple setup. However, who cares WHERE he shoots, it's the results that matter.

If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.

Phil Wright's picture

Who says I wrote it? :) again, nothing nice to say John. I pity you.

Yo John you miserable bugger this is Tommy working in a bigger space.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFDq3rS3LkU

Could say the same about you bud

Don't flatter yourself mate, you'd need to be good and post stuff to get a follow. Besides, everyone can see that you only have 3 followers, don't be a fool online 😂

Bored of you dude, enjoy being downvoted constantly. I have no followers as I signed up yesterday, and haven't posted anything lol. Have a day off mate, still not following you 😂 A follow is following your profile (of which, you have 3), replying to a comment, is called a reply.

Your idea of how social media works is laughable really

Mutual feelings mate 😎

Jeff McCollough's picture

I think I don't have any followers either and that makes me sad.

Someone who is getting likes to his comment and NOT unlike's like yourself :-)

Jeff McCollough's picture

Tommy is awesome.

Tommy Reynolds's picture

Thank you Jeff dude :)

Karsten Schilling's picture

Always interesting to see what setup others are using. Reflections in glasses can be easily avoided by changing the lights either up or down.

Tommy Reynolds's picture

Thank you for watching Karsten :)