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The Importance of Professional Headshot Photography

The Importance of Professional Headshot Photography

In the industry, how you present yourself even before you show up for an audition can be a deal breaker. If you can’t get an agent to open your mail much less booking auditions, your problem could be that your headshots are working against you.

Getting New Headshots

When there’s been a significant change in your appearance like weight loss or gain or if you feel you look more mature since your last ones, it’s time to get new shots. Your pictures should look like you on your best day. If there hasn’t been a significant change in your appearance, you’ll want to get newer headshots every one or two years. Regularly updating your headshots keeps them fresh and stylish.

What Makes a Great Headshot ?

Just because the photo your friend took is great doesn’t mean it will make a good headshot. Depending on whether you’re an actor or model, a combination of ingredients has to come together to show agents and casting directors just how marketable you are. Creating a great headshot depends on three basic factors:

  1. The Look – The skill and craftsmanship of creating a professional, refined look can’t be achieved with amateur equipment. This requires expertise in lighting, focus, color correction and other techniques.
  2. Natural – This is why your choice of headshot photographer can accentuate or undermine you. It’s very important to be comfortable with your photography because he is more attuned to your sincerity and can capture that.  His attitude, the peaceful environment he creates greatly impacts how natural you feel.
  3. Personality – You are the only one who can bring your personality, your attitude to a shoot; the photographer is the translator.

Finding a great headshot photographer is easier these days but it can also be tricky. It’s not unusual for someone to buy some inexpensive camera equipment and offer those services so you’ll want to do more research. If you see a professional photo that you like, find out who did it and contact them. There are more than a few professionals out there who would gladly show you their portfolios.

Being prepared for your session is very important.  Getting plenty of rest and eating right can help you stay alert and look your best. Avoid radical changes to your skin and hair the day before the shoot and make sure your makeup is well done. Clothing that’s all white tends to wash out and busy patterns are distracting. Stick with simple colors that you know will help you look your best.

Here are few the latest actor headshots I took.

 

 

 

 

 

To see more about headshot photography or to find out more about headshot photographer Pawel Spolnicki just click on the link.


Fashion Photography on Location

Fashion Photography on Location

Yesterday I had a location photo shoot which I planed few weeks ago.
As you probably now the biggest challenge for photographer is not the actual session but the whole preparation and putting all the parts together. I started by choosing a good model for this project. When you spend money on the photo shoot you want to make sure that everything is by the plan and you don’t want to find out on the day that the model you have, doesn’t really know what to do.
Luckily I knew right person for this who agreed to work with me. I have work with Karolina Bil on several project and I knew that she won’t let me down. Next step is make up artist and if you are long time enough in fashion photography you know who is good. For that reason I always work with my favourite makeup artist Gosia Peruzynska who can do absolutely miracles if comes to hair and make up.
Good model and good make up artist doesn’t come cheap but hey now body said is going to be easy…
So you have the right model and make up artist, now you can scout for the location and look for the good outfit. This time I knew exactly what look I’m after so I didn’t need any wardrobe stylist and if I want to find some good designer clothes I often go to TK Maxx.
You buy it, use it for the photo shoot and return it the next day. No problem…
So, when every thing is ready and planed down to the smallest detail and you are ready for the worst scenario and you think that there is nothing which can go wrong, guess what ? I didn’t think about wind.
It was so strong that we couldn’t even go to original location I choose for this shoot. Not to mention that we were using giant 2m shoot through umbrella from Westcott. Any way, we finally end up in another location somewhere between glass buildings having instead of two hours photo shoot just 15 min. But it was worth it. They say, Even the worst day in the field is much better then the best day in the office…
Below you can see some of the images from the day with the descriptions on how was done.
To see more articles regarding fashion photography just click on the link.

On both of those images I have used giant 2m shoot through umbrella from Westcott with Elichrom Qadra positioned on the left side of the model.   Camera settings: 200mm, F3.2, 1/160, ISO 50

Here is one more article about photo shoot on location and all the challenges I had to overcome.


Photo shoot with S.O.P – Music Photography London

Music Photography London article.

Few days ago I had a pleasure to photograph this  up and coming independent UK based rapper, singer and songwriter S.O.P  for the cover of his debut hit afrobeat single “Nwannem” (also known as “Speaking In Tongues” to fans that are unable to pronounce the African title).

As the pictures were taken, I wanted to find out more about his music and this “Nwannem” project in particular as the concept was rather intriguing. I also wanted to find out why “Speaking In Tongues” was used as an alternative title. During this conversation, S.O.P whose real name is Emmanuel Ebokosia revealed that the afrobeat single “Nwannem” features a combination of some languages often spoken in Nigeria including English, Igbo, Yoruba and ‘broken/piggin english’. He also went on to explain that the language spoken by a person’s mother or parents is referred to by Africans as the “mother’s tongue” so therefore since he was rapping in a combination of languages its accurate to say he was speaking in different tongues hence the alternate title “Speaking In Tongues”.

“Nwannem” was produced by a Nigeria based top producer Tha Suspect of Capital Hill Music and is scheduled for official release on iTunes mid-July following the release of the video 12th July 2013.

You can find out more about S.O.P and support his music via:

Website- www.sopxcel.com

I have been doing music photography for quite some time now, and people start to recognise my work which really make me feel good because there is nothing better then knowing that some one like your work and knowing that you are being recommended to more and more people. Any way, the reason I am writing about is because I wanted to show you how i have done those images and I hope you can findsomething intresting in this post.

Here are some final images of  S.O.P.

 

and here is how I have done it. On the image below you can see that I have started by setting key light. I took large soft box with grid and I have placed on the left hand side of the camera. I use grids on most of my lights which allows me to have more control and I don’t have to worry of any light spilling to the background. As you can see on the image above I also put it in front small table so I could hide the legs behind it and add bit of depth to the image. On the second image I added one more soft box on the right hand side to lit other side of his face. I also put one more light to lit the background and  one more to lit cigar smoke. To insure that the smoke is well visible on the picture you have to make sure that the light is coming from behind the smoke.

 

To see more articles about music photography click on the link shoot with Jayvic and Jahilez


Modeling Portfolio – where to start.

What is a modeling portfolio ?

A model’s portfolio – also called book – is a collection of the model’s best, professionally taken photographs. Depending on where you are in your career, your modeling portfolio would contain photographs produced specifically for the type of work you are likely to do. For example, if you are fashion model your images should be about fashion and so on.
A portfolio is most likely to be online. There is many good places where you can easy create a good online portfolio.
One of the best I know is 500px and the latest Flickr. They have fantastic design and many options to showcase your work. You may want have also old fashion print portfolio,

Most common sizes for a print modeling portfolio are 8×10″ and A3. You can present your portfolio as a collection of individual prints or in a book. If you go for individual prints, you need a portfolio box to store and present them. If you planing to print a book you may want to try a Graphistudio, they specialise in printing fantastic book with high quality and very good competitive prices.

Whether you need a model portfolio to get started in modeling agency or you are planing to do freelance work.
Would be good if you start by collecting group of images of your self, they don’t have to be tiptop professional images however it would help, but they also can not be snapshots from you latest holiday trip.
Most modeling agencies would require few photographs: one headshot with a without smile and no makeup and hair done. One full-length body shot and a half-length body shot and most likely one wearing a two-piece swimsuit.

Before you sign up with any agency, check if they have a good website, address and contact numbers. If the website is under construction or if is poorly done it maybe scam. There is many so called agencies who just want your money promising you carrier in the modeling industry and moment you pay them money you will never hear about them again.

Here are some of the images I took for some of the London agencies.

Your modeling portfolio should be about quality not quantity.
Ten or twenty strong photographs will be much better than 100 average ones. I know that you are emotionally attached to your images and you like them all, but good idea is to have some one who knows about photography to help you make a good selection of the best images.
Remember quality not quantity !!!
Every time you do photo shoot ask the photographer to put together a small selection of the best images from a shoot. You do not have the experience to make that choice from a large selection. Every photograph should be different, unique and look like it was taken on different session. Avoid repetitive poses and facial expressions.

More articles about modeling portfolio.


Fashion Photography – My job as a fashion photographer

What is Fashion Photography.
Fashion photography is not only about the clothing, or brand that is being shown, it’s about the message that the image projects to the viewer. To make beautiful and interesting fashion picture you need to put few very important ingredients together.
First and the most important is model, then the outfit, makeup and hair, location and the last will be lighting and photographer.
Obviously skills of the photographer are very important but no skill can help if you have a bad model, not knowing what to do wearing really bad outfit and makeup.
My journey with fashion photography begging some time ago, that was the time when I didn’t understand how important is this whole thing. I could put a model in front of the camera and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my pictures.
Took me some time to realise that it wasn’t about my lighting or my skills it was all about the models and the outfit. But I think this is the way we all start, and the more we learn the more we begin to understand what is all about. It takes time to built confidence, creativity and the understanding for the Fashion Photography. I the past I have been shooting for several companies with verity of clothing form lingerie to bridal and many others.

What is my job as a fashion photographer ?
It is not only to photograph clothing but also to illuminate the ideas and associations suggested by the seasons, the range of clothes, the designer or the design brand.
Fashion Photographer work both in studio and on locations to create original and eye-catching photographs that illustrate and advertise clothes, accessories and lifestyle.
Photographer must understand each client’s brand image and be able to work closely with other creative people to fulfil the idea. Fashion Photographer usually work in busy studios, and must have good experience in lighting and be able to work effectively under pressure.
Most of the time photographer has to work very fast to capture the entire collection within the hours.
The demand and pressure from the client is growing while the budgets for the photo shoots are shrinking every year.

Here are some of the images I took recently for few of my clients.

 

 

Please click on the link to see some more interesting articles regarding fashion photography.


London Portrait Photographer-shoot with Jayvic and Jahilez

Here are some of the images from the latest session with Jayvic and Jahilez, two very talented singers and writers from London. As a London portrait photographer I knew that this will be very good session. The moment I saw those two guys I knew I have to come with something good, something which really show those two artists. I knew that there is potential and that both of them will do them best to get good result. The competition is massive, a specially in place like London so to make them stand out from the crowd I had to create something different. I decided to go for little bit moody look. The biggest challenge was to find the right place to shoot, and since I couldn’t find anything I want I had to do ti myself. So I went to B&Q I bought plaster board, paint wooden panels. Two days of work with few of my friends and here we are inside the room ready to shoot. I was probably more exited about building the set then taking the picture… However as in life even London portrait photographer can learn something new every day.

To show the wall lamps I had to drag shatter speed and set ISO to 400. Canon 5D mark2, 70-200 IS I also used one soft box placed in front and above the subject.

In this image I used to soft boxes in clamp shall position with two strip boxes behind the subject to create rim light.

To see more about London portrait photographer Pawel Spolnicki just click on the link S.O.P


Rembrandt Lighting-Portrait Photographer London

Few things every portrait photographer London should know.

Portrait photography has been around since the invention of the camera. Much lower cost of the photographic process in 19th century and much shorter sitting time for the subject, led to a general rise in the popularity of portrait photography over painted portraiture. Early portrait photographers had to meet lots of challenges, like long exposure times.
Subjects had to be seated on the chair with no move for a very long time. Most of the times sobject was lit with the soft light of an overhead window. At first portrait photography was very limited due to lack of technics and equipment limitations.
Today’s technology and easy access to Internet and books allow us to take us breath taking images wether it’s a studio or location photo shoot. Not many of today’s young generation photographers even now how difficult it was back then.
When portrait photographer composes and capture image in a studio, has full control over the lighting and the composition of the subject and can tweak direction and power of light. There are lots of ways to light a subject, but there are one most common lighting setups which are described below.

Three-point lighting
One of the most known lighting set is called three-point lighting. This set uses three lights to fully model the subject’s features.
Key light also known as a main light, is usually placed to one side of the subject’s face,  around 45 degrees off center and above than eye level. The key light is the brightest light in the lighting plan.
Fill light
Placed opposite the key light, the fill light is there to soften the shadows on the opposite side of the face. The brightness of the fill light is usually around 1/3 of the key light.
This lighting setup was created to mimic the natural light created by placing a subject in a room near a window. This type of lighting can be found in the works many best painters and early photographers and is often called Rembrandt lighting.

Back light
Also called a rim light or hair light, the rim light is placed behind the subject higher than the Key light or Fill.
The point of the rim light is to provide separation from the background. The rim light should be just bright enough to provide separation from the background, but not as bright as the key light.

To read more about Portrait Photographer London please click on the link.


London Portrait Photographer-photo shoot with ballerina.

 

One day photo shoot with ballerina by London portrait photographer-Pawel Spolnicki

Last summer I was photographing this fantastic ballerina and I decided to write few words about it. Firstly before the shoot I had to find ballerina which turns out not that difficult, there is lots of people up there willing to pose for you as long as they have some good picture. We decided to do the photo shoot in Greenwich Park. I normally take to the shoot  half of my gear from the studio just to make sure is there if needed. From my experience on location I know that you always need something you forgot. Any way I knew that we are going to walk a lot, so I decided to use only one light with deep octa which was perfect for this image. I had this on  Elinchrom Ranger RX 1100 just to make sure that I have enough of power if needed. In portrait photography lighting is very important and since there was a very hot and sunny day and very unpleasant light I had to bring lots of diffusion to get rid of  harsh shadows. I found very good place for the picture and as soon we set everything up the weather changed, and as usual you have to be ready for every thing mother nature throw on you. I this case the sun was coming and going from behind the clouds through the leafs giving me ugly patches of light on the model however I quickly fixed this using diffusion panel which I didn’t forgot.

Here you can see two images from the shoot and some information on how I have done it.

In this picture I set camera to underexpose the image and I lit the model with deep octa. I placed the light on the right hand side 2-3m form the model. Camera settings: 1/160, F5.6, ISO 100

 

 

 


Headshot Photographer London

I have been doing headshot photographer for some time now and I would like to share with you some of my experiences and also technics I use to make a good picture. Every time I have new client in the studio I start simple. Most of the time with white background and nice soft bright light I always play a good music for them and take lots of pictures to worm up the clients and to relax them little bit. Being a headshot photographer London its not easy coz there is massive competition and you have to do everything to stand out from the crowd. Key to success is good lighting and expression you can pool out of your model. If one of them is not right there will be always something missing in the image. Here is my favourite set of lights for the headshot photography. I set two lights in clamshell position, on the top I put soft box or beauty dish and on the bottom soft box of reflector.  To make light nice and soft I place them as close to the model as possible plus close lights give you beautiful catchlights which are absolutely must in headshot and portrait photography.

Im shooting wide open to create great dept of field but remember when you shoot 2.8 or 2.0 make sure that your focus is perfect other ways you will find lots of soft and blurry pictures. I focus on lower eyelid and most of my pictures are ok. I shoot full frame and most of the time I use 70-200 F2.8 lens, for some reason I feel like that is the best lens for the job. Its nicely compressing the background behind the subject and it helps to get read of all the distracting things in the pictures. I always place my model far from the background that the key light does not affect the background. I just like to have full control over the lighting.

Here are some of the pictures I took using clamshell lighting set up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Glamour Photographer London

Few week ago I was asked to do the photo shoot for a fantastic lingerie designer Sonata Rapalyte – Sonata Lingerie.
As a glamour photographer London I had to think of something special, something which would really show the beautiful new collection.
We did not have much time to get ready with the whole shoot and after few reschedules and problems we have managed to choose the date. And since there was not much time to look for the location we have decided to do photo shoot in my studio which was quite challenging.
I had to make the studio look like some hotel room and since the studio have four white walls and a bit of background it wasn’t easy. But I think that every glamour photographer have on some point problems like this and have to deal with it.
Here is how I have done it…We bought some furnitures and lamps and we have made this beautiful wall from plaster boards to imitate a large room. We new exactly what we want and slowly started to see the effects. We had a fantastic model Keeana Kee knowing exactly what to do which is a big plus during the photo shoot, and extremely talented hair and make up artist Gosia Peruzynska and you can see the effects of them work below.

Click on the link to see more of the Sonata Lingerie

On this picture I positioned model on the floor around 3m from the background. I placed horizontal strip with grid above her head very close to her ( just out of the frame of the camera) and I added one strobe and I pointed to the floor as a fill.

 

In this picture we need to add a little bit more feel of the glamour photography. We have bought furnitures and lamps and we place them in the way so they look like they are in side the room.

I set camera to to F2.0 to make a very shallow depth of field. I have placed to vertical strips with grid on each side of the model to narrow the beam of light and I pointed one strobe with reflector with grid on the furniture to make more visible.

All the strobes were gelled with half CTO to mach colour temperature of the table lamp.

 

In this glamour picture I placed again to strip boxes on both sides of the model. The one on the left was very lose to the models face to imitate the lamps light and the one on the right was approximately  2.5m from the model to give me a nice rime light on the leather jacket.

I have set the camera to make sure that I can see the light from the lamps. The rest was adjust accordingly.

 

As a Glamour Photographer I have to say that I love the simple window light. I have a large windows in the studio which I use quite often.

In here I placed model next to the window. Camera settings: 85mm, F2.0, ISO 200, 1/320

 

I hope that this short article will help you to become a better glamour photographer in London where competition is really big and you have to make your way through.

 

Click on the link to see more work from glamour photographer London

Also you can find here some useful information about Fashion Photography and Glamour Photography.


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