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Jason Kindig, Dallas Photographer Blog

How To Create Great Dallas Headshots

Jason Kindig
By Jason Kindig
on October 19, 2015

 

There is often a look of incredulity when my photography cart rolls onto the scene? “I thought you would just pull out a camera and start taking pictures!” “That’s a lot of gear!”

I’ve been a photographer for over twelve years, so the standard equipment that I use for the majority of my shoots seems pretty normal.

I mean, there is plenty of stuff on the cart, but I prefer to keep things as simple as I can, and not go crazy with gear. However, most people don’t regularly work with a Dallas headshot photographer, so I can totally understand why they would be shocked. There is a lot that goes into taking great headshots, and having the right equipment and enough of it is a big deal.

Having a creative eye is critical for sure, but the headshot photographers that are worth their snuff have to have the right gear as well.

Here is a breakdown of some of the equipment that goes into Dallas headshots, and why it’s important:

The Light

Lighting is everything. Whether consciously or subconsciously, we all know this. People are drawn to the photos that have pop to them, and where the lighting is as perfect as it can be. This all starts with the strobe, light generator, flash, whatever you would prefer to call it. As with anything, not all brands are created equal, and you can actually tell a difference in the type of light that different brands produce.
Without a quality strobe that can put out really high quality light and with enough power, you don’t have the proper start to build on. I’ve found what makes the light I like best. The strobes are remarkably consistent every time they come out of the case.

Modifiers

Now, most of the time you can’t use the light straight out of a strobe. It has to be shaped to create whatever look you are going for. Soft light, hard light, a focused beam or the need to illuminate a large area: whatever it is, light modifiers do the trick. Most are familiar with umbrellas, which are a very popular modifier.
My personal favorite are the softboxes. They totally live up to their name, and if you look in the time-lapse video above, you will see my personal favorite: The Octabox. It sounds intense I know, but the light is seriously amazing. It is 5 feet tall in that photo, and can expand to 7 feet, which creates some ridiculously smooth light for portraits.
Ask any Dallas headshot photographer, and they will tell you that soft light is the way to go for the majority of headshots. It’s more flattering, and I think I can safely say we all like be seen in the best light possible.

Cameras

Cameras, and the right lenses, are super critical as well. Without high quality gear, the photos may not be as clear, have the proper resolution or have unflattering distortion. Investing in professional cameras and lenses goes without question for Dallas headshot photographers, so that the client can have crisp, sharp photos with great color and minimized distortion.

Computers

I am an unabashed Apple fan, and in true nerd fashion, I liked Apple before it was cool. I was raised on Macs, and have always loved the interface and quality. There may be some Mac haters out there, but after working with several MacBook Pros over the years and seeing the abuse they took, their quality is without question. 
That could be an entirely other blog, but for now, suffice it to say that it is critical to have computers or tablets onsite for proofing. People who are being photographed need to see so that they can make sure they are getting exactly what they want. It eliminates guesswork, and ensures that everyone is happy at the end of the shoot.

Lastly, I couldn’t leave you without sharing one of my favorite phrases: “It looks like you are moving in!” 

Truthfully, I kinda am.

It takes quite a bit of gear to make great headshots, and by the time I’m set up, I have in essence an entire studio located in someone’s atrium or conference room. Don’t worry though, I promise to be a good roomie while I’m here, and won’t bring any cats with me. Once I leave you’ll never know I was there. Well, except for the fact that the coffee pot may be a bit lower, but otherwise I’m pretty low impact. Hopefully though, now you can see a bit more on why it takes what it takes for great photos. Enjoy!

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Jason Kindig
Written by Jason Kindig
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