in the early days of opening a photography studio in nw washington dc, I had the chance to do a shoot for this promising young black actor who wanted some actors headshots for casting calls. he explained to me that he needed basic headshots for acting as well as regular pictures for his business as a real estate agent. I told him that it really didn’t matter what style of photos he wanted as long as he did 3 looks and not exceed one hour shooting time. he stepped in wearing a dark blue jacket and a white shirt. he opted on a mix of casual and formal photographs. so we proceed to do a first series of shots with an unshaven look in the initial outfit. warm up time was very short but after a series of pictures, he decided that we could pause for the next batch.
he then proceeded to the restroom to get a clean shave while I was reviewing the shots that I had already taken and repositioning my lighting for a change of mood. a few minutes later he was back, all smiles and changed his wardrobe to a white t-shirt. He was wearing blue jeans but since we were shooting just head and shoulders, it was not really a concern. in this batch of snaps, he had quick changes of clothes which were limited to t-shirts of different colors: white, grey and black. we had a few variations in angles, expressions and a little bit of lighting changes. after we captured a fair amount of images, it was time for the next pause to allow him to wear a suit and tie for a more formal look.
in an instant he shifted from casual to very formal by wearing a navy blue suit, white shirt and tie. all was accessorized by with a wrist watch that made a grand statement. I looked at him for a while and tried to come up with a business look that will make him friendly, yet credible. I changed the light to make it more neutral. he was looking confidently at the camera with poise. most of the headshots in this batch were formal, with arms crossed but the overall attitude was still relaxed. At that point we had agreed that we had enough good shots in the camera and the next move was to process the images and let him make his selection before final touch up.
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