Peter Hurley: The Art Behind The Headshot

Back in 2010, Fstoppers teamed up with a relatively unknown photographer  who was completely crushing the New York City headshot market. The resulting Fstoppers Original video was an instant hit among our readers (you can see it below). The problem with the video was that it barely scratched the surface of Peter's technique for getting his highly recognized headshots. At the time, Peter was already one of the most successful headshot photographers in the world, but he had never shared any of his secrets on how he captures people looking their best in front of his camera. With a little persuasion, we were able to get Peter to finally share all of the lighting tips and coaching techniques he had been holding so closely to his chest. 

Peter Hurley's The Art Behind the Headshot was history in the making as it was the first time Fstoppers ever produced an extended, professional digital tutorial, and it also was the first time Peter taught any of his techniques to the general public. Years later, Peter's career has reached unimaginable heights as he is now not only one of the top photographers in New York but he is also one of the most in demand instructors teaching photography. The Art Behind the Headshot has become on of the most popular tutorials ever produced by Fstoppers, and it continues to help photographers learn how to take better photos of people. Since 2010, Peter has produced two more tutorials including his intensive lighting workshop Illuminating the Face and his revamped coaching tutorial Perfecting the Headshot. If The Art Behind the Headshot captures Peter's techniques early in his teaching career, Perfecting the Headshot chronicles Peter's evolution as both a headshot photographer and photography instructor. 

Who Is Peter Hurley?

 Peter Hurley, one of the most successful and well known headshot photographers of all time has teamed up with Fstoppers to produce a 4 hour tutorial exposing all of his tips and tricks that he has learned over the past 8 years as a professional photographer. This video touches on all aspects of running a successful photography business but Peter's main goal is to teach the average person about the subtleties of the human face so that you can make any human in front of your camera look interesting.

Peter Hurley spent the early part of his life traveling the world as a professional male model. During that time Peter was photographed by some of the top fashion photographers in the world. As a model Peter was forced to understand the subtle movements of his own face but he was also able to learn the technical side of photography from some of the best in the world. Peter moved to New York city and saw a nitch in the market that he thought he could fill. "I thought that if I could shoot actors headshots like commercial photographers shot celebrities I could be successful." Over the past 8 years Peter has become what many argue is the top headshot photographer in the world.

Learn how to create dynamic lighting for men

In this 4 hour tutorial Peter reveals everything that he uses to produce not just technically sound but "interesting" images day in and day out. Although this video does touch on a number of topics, this tutorials main focus is on coaching those in front of your camera into producing the best possible images. We have also decided to bring this tutorial to you as a digital download so you can enjoy Peter's lessons in 720 HD resolution without having to have a Bluray player! This video is suggested for those who are already professional photographers who want to take their portraits to the next level.

  • How To Make Anyone Look Their Best
  • Starting Your Business From Scratch
  • Natural Light vs Studio Light
  • The Peter Hurley Signature Look
  • Shadowed Lighting For Men
  • Alternative Studio Lighting (Strobes)
  • Tethering
  • Camera Gear
  • Understanding The Human Face (Mouth, Eyes, Eyebrows, and Body Position)
  • Coaching and Facial Expression
  • Creating Different “Looks” During Each Session
  • Marketing
  • Retouching/Printing
  • Makeup/Hair
  • Clothing
  • Pricing

*No refunds allowed for bundle deals. See Terms of Service for refund details.

UPDATE: Want a free 20 minute peek of a small part of the tutorial? Check out the Free Video below:

"I really enjoyed, and learned a lot by watching Peter interact with his subjects, which is really an art unto itself. He is fantastic at making his subjects feel relaxed and comfortable, which lets him draw expression and emotions out of his subjects that make a big difference. This alone was worth it for me."

--Scott Kelby, Author, The Digital Photography Book Series

"If you are a headshot or portrait photographer, this is a must-have tutorial, and will enable you to immediately take better pictures." Read Entire Review Here

--Pye Jirsa, Author, SLR Lounge

"If you haven’t seen Peter’s DVD I highly suggest it mainly to watch how he interacts with his subjects. He’s a master at that!"

--Zack Arias, Photographer

Download this 4 hour tutorial
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Previous comments

Downloading now..  I am pretty picky with this stuff.. so I will be sure to add my review as well  :-)

Peter Hurley is a master people photographer. A live workshop with him is $1,500 and worth every penny. This video has enough material for two or three workshops and is only 1/5 the price.

I'm not a traditional headshot photographer, but I shoot plenty of portraits. After watching Peter's video, I'm looking at faces differently and also taking a more active role in posing my subjects.

If you photograph people, this video is one of the best investments you can make for your career.

Huge congrats to Lee and Patrick for doing this. I know how much time and effort they put into my fstoppers 11-minute Bon Jovi video. For Peter's four-hour video, I was expecting two minutes of rolling credits at the end. But it was just Lee, Patrick and the music credit. Amazing.

David Bergman

Definitely going to get this.. one of my biggest struggles has always been getting the exact look from a model or client that I had envisioned.. hopefully this will help me on that path!

Got it, watched it and guys, this tutorial really well done. Peter rocks, his technique rocks and that was a well spent four hours and $300 bucks. I am ready to sit down and do it again to see what I might have missed the first time. Fortunately, Peter is entertaining to watch. I am even more excited for my next headshot client to see what I can pull out of them. 

Thanks again, for a great tutorial. It was well worth the money.

I just love watching peter talk, he can make everything sound interesting! That's just his charme i guess.

Love the DVD, and love his facebook page for all the people who bought it!

I just wanted to say that I bought your Headshot Intensive DVD. HA! I
learned so much from that damn thing it's kinda crazy! Just wanted to
say that I've always liked your head shots but never really knew why...
NOW I KNOW! Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Peter!

Thanks for producing the DVD - "The Art Behind the Headshot by Peter Hurley."   I watched the DVD and the next day had one of my best portrait sessions ever. Peter included so many great tips! I will have to watch several times to absorb it all.

thanks so much for providing the best class on photography I've ever
seen! After immediately watching the DVD, I couldn't wait to put it to practice
and so I pulled my 81-year-old grandad aside for his headshot.

I'm just over half way through "the art behind the headshot" and I'm blown away it's fantastic, cheers!

M. F.'s picture

Just finished the DVD.  It's really great.  I will definitely refer to it again as I move forward and practice what I've learned. 

Peter is fantastic.  Really shared valuable lessons from years of experience.  I appreciate that he chose to add value to this video by being extremely open and direct.  That's what you are paying for with this video, unfiltered Peter Hurley. . If you want to learn much of what makes Peter successful and have a chance of applying that to your work, this is the video for you.  Like the scene in the Matrix where he learns Kung Fu in three seconds.  This is sort of like that... with models.  

I just finished another DVD series that was very technical, so this was a perfect compliment.  On it's own, it won't help you very much with strobes and shutter speeds.  It says so very clearly in the trailer. Believe it.  Once you know that, it's still well worth the money.  Peter teaches you how to look at faces in a new way and work with models to get great results.  

The production values are good.  If I had to nitpick I would say that there are several redundant parts of the video.  It doesn't necessarily have a 'beginning-middle-end' flow.  It's more of a 'fly on the wall' experience of shooting with Peter.  Still, good job on the production.  You guys do good work. 

It's by far the most I've ever paid for something like this, but it's worth it.  It's like a four hour hi-def apprenticeship with a master.   

Thanks Peter.  Thanks FS.  

Great job all around.  

Fantastic DVD with priceless information for only $300! Production quality is top notch and the knowledge contained inside is found no other place. Highly Recommend for any serious photog.

Daniel Swalec's picture

This was the best photography resource that I have found in 5 years of looking for ways to improve my photographic eye. Working in the entertainment industry, and specifically in theatre for the past 8 years, I have taken to photography as a side distraction from the art-factory aspect of my career in theatrical lighting.  I come from a background in lighting, mostly for the stage, and have a large knowledge base of light and how light effects an image.  Peter goes beyond the instruction that most books and instructional videos seem to dwell on, and concentrates on what to do once you have an understanding of the fundamentals of photography, and how to work with the subjects of your photo to get the best out of them.  Through this DVD, he has opened up my eyes about how to relate to and coax a better image out of actors and people in general, and I look forward to seeing what I can do with this new skill set.  This is the perfect tool for anyone that wants to be able to improve the quality of their headshot and portrait work, and take it to the level of what is expected in New York or Los Angeles.  Truly a great DVD, and well worth the investment.  

I recently purchased and watched the DVD. Probably the best investment I've made in a long while. When watching the DVD, I felt like I was right there in his studio with him and he was doing his thing and also sharing his experiences. The way he talks to his clients, making them comfortable in front of the camera, how he manages to get the best out of them in just a couple of hours, his posing techniques, how he manages the business...all were extremely inspiring. I couldn't wait to get back to the studio and start shooting.
The next day, in the studio, I first rearranged my lighting and tried out all the tips I learned from the DVD. I am already very happy with the results. And the bonus came when I checked my e-mail. Peter adds each purchaser to a closed discussion group in facebook where we can share our work and receive critique from Peter and other group members.
I look forward to getting more surprises

Apertura Photography's picture

Imagine having the ability to pose your clients in such a way that they
look straight through your lens and connect with every person looking at the
image; Pete Hurley does this with his headshots! Whether you are a headshot or
lifestyle photographer, amateur or pro, this DVD will change the way you
approach your subjects. Pete's style of teaching will mean you walk away from
this DVD with amazing new techniques and the confidence to put them in to
practice. Buy it; you won't be disappointed!

Buying this DVD was a great investment. I had a lot of 'A-haa' moments, laughed a lot and most of all I feel inspired. One thing I really like about Peter's approach is that he believes everyone is unique and special. That's what I believe! There's a beauty in everyone. Now that I've watched this DVD I can make my clients believe that even more by applying those techniques I've learnt from the DVD. I can pull that beauty out of my client even more now. :) Thanks Peter and FStoppers for a great DVD!

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