It was a real pleasure doing this actor headshot photoshoot Sam.
I used a basic two flash setup. One flash (with a large softbox) was placed in front of him at an angle. The other flash (with a smaller softbox) was placed slightly behind him. This lighting setup creates beautiful and interesting shadows in the face while emphasizing the silhouette at the same time.
Sam is in his early twenties. He has a very expressive face with a strong jaw line. We started with a few friendly looking photos. But we both agreed that he looks stronger when he doesn’t smile. Creating meaningful actor headshot photography does involve a fair amount of working with the actor to find the right facial expression.
I asked him to look angry into the camera, which really worked well. Often I asked him to first look away and then look into the lens again with a fresh expression on his face.
We made his actor headshots in front of a variety of backgrounds. We started in front of a cream white wall. Sam had several outfits with him, which allowed us to create many different actor headshot variations.
After the white background we tried a pitch black one too. We both agreed that the black background created a very strong contrast in his actor headshots. I had to increase the intensity of the flash behind him in order to get a stronger silhouette.
At the very end of the session we move outside. We used the stairs at the Thames just outside the St. Georges Wharf in Vauxhall in London. Even though these pictures are not exactly actor headshots (too wide) we both agreed that they are a good addition to his portfolio.