Actor Headshots

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Graham Hart 2 months, 1 week ago.

  • Author
  • #398083

    chris pook

    Home for a few days.  Actor pal of mine asked for a headshot refresh.  We had fun with it.  For me, with his beard, everything we did makes him look like a Viking.


    Canon 5D3, EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM, 1/400 Sec at f / 2.8, ISO 100.

    Edited in LR.  Auto correct on tone, medium contrast on Tone Curve.  Sharpening at 25/1.0, Masking at 89.  All from habit really, no thought.  Converted to BW in Silver FX Pro.

    I like it, and think it has some character, but it is probably not a great actors headshot.  We did some colour as well, which are probably more useful.

    What do you all think?

    Click to flick, if half an interest;

  • #398097


    not usually a fan of people, but this i like.  the grittiness and shallow dof really compliment the contrasty b&w tones.

  • #398110


    Yep Chris he has a great face to photograph. Looks truly lived in, possibly by a large family. Ideal for a nice gritty B/W conversion. For me the depth of field is too shallow here, focus on his eyes is perfect but the out of focus ears distract. The sweater he is wearing is fighting for attention with face and that’s not helped by some of the pattern being out of focus as well. A plain top may have been a better choice. The shine on his head is generally considered a no  no for portraits but looks like a bit of slick PP work can cure that

    • #398146


      the sweater is a shemagh (a kind of scarf).  if it were a sweater i’d agree with you that it’s distracting, but that he’s wearing a shemagh tells you a bit more about who he is.  it should stay.

  • #398131

    Richard Barnard

    Strong portrait and I like your b&w conversion here. Shadow DOF works well to keep bringing my attention back to the pin sharp eyes and I like the directness of his gaze which is very engaging.

    Lots of character in the textures of his face, again complimented by the use of b&w. Perhaps a little more clarity and focus required on the beard but still an excellent portrait in my view.

  • #398149

    John Thompson

    Chris I think a black background would have made you subject stand out more.  The b&w conversion and PP seem to want a darker background.

  • #398166

    chris pook

    Thanks for the feedback everyone.  Appreciated.  I will get back to you after Mothering Sunday / Wifey’s birthday.  Got a 0415  wake up for 0900 wheels up and have to be social between now and then.  ‘Put that phone down!’

  • #398229


    Hi Chris, like everyone else I think we all like this head shot.  Personally I think it might be a little too direct.  I get no feeling and therefore am not drawn to this actor.  When I look at his eyes something is missing, the connection.  Even considering the type of parts he wants a little twinkle, a little insight to the man would encourage me to look at his head shot a second time.  I think as photographers we should also help our clients achieve the shot they want, maybe just by suggesting they think of something funny, or something they love, or something that makes them happy to help them let a little of themselves shine through. (no smile needed)  Hope I am not preaching to the choir, just my personal thoughts.

    • #398230


      So, I was preaching to the choir! 🙂  Just finished checking out Flickr.  Now I wonder why this was the shot you chose.  Definitely like the b&w. I actually like the b&w vs the color. There were a few others that let his personality show through that would also look great in b&w.

      I think I like the first b&w in the second row even better than this one.

  • #398272

    Kent DuFault

    I’m in agreement with Richard. Excellent portrait and a superb job in the conversion.

  • #398318


    Hi Chris…..yeah more than half an………face and eyes look really good………….but either 2.8 or post processing has left his shoulders looking fuzzy and bottom l/h side is a distraction.

    would of preferred the subject sharp against the out of background

    still nice! 🙂

  • #398320

    Graham Hart

    I really like the grittyness of this pic Chris and I think his stare conveys a lot to any prospective talent scouts. He has a ‘Jason Statham’ thing going on.

    I think John hit the nail on the head with his comment about the BG though. The darker regions of the lower third of the pic seems a little dominant and lessen the impact of the head itself. To this end perhaps a little vignetting (reflective, not radial) to better balance the lights and darks?

  • #416563

    chris pook

    Out of interest, my pal got into Coronation Street on the back of these head shots.  Probably doesn’t mean much to non UK participants, but this is one of the longest running main street soap operas here.  (To be fair, his acting skills probably helped!). He’s only a got a few shows but it’s a good start for him.

    • #416569

      Rob Eyers

      Big feather in his and your cap Chris. Corry is well known here in Canada.

  • #416582

    Federico Alegria

    I really like Graham’s suggestion, but I’ll get rid of the sepia tone.

    • #416583

      chris pook

      Aaah, Federico, my friend, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and right now we are already on the Brandy and Cigars.  🙂

    • #416646

      Graham Hart

      Wow, haven’t seen this thread for a long time and I agree with you about the sepia tone Federico. Not sure what’s going on there actually because the centre of his face is B&W which fades to sepia on the outer edges?

  • #416593

    Erik Fransman

    It’s a headshot! Period.
    I look at many actors headshots before we invite actors to a casting and this one is fine.
    Obviously, your choice to make him rough will get him certain parts. More likely a fighter or mobster than Romeo. Although these days there is a lot of anti-casting so you never know.

    Good shot. It does what it has to do.

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