Orange County | Los Angels | Luxury Architectural | Real Estate Photography | Wedding – Family Photography | Commercial Photographer | 800.943.0414 » Orange County | Los Angels | Luxury Architectural | Real Estate Photography | Wedding - Family Photography | Commercial Photographer | 800.943.0414

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Tag Archives: Headshots

The Color Checker Passport Is Your Friend

The Color Checker Passport Is Your Friend

Never Leave Home Without It

Accurate skin tones and accurate color is a must when photographing executive portraits and headshots. To ensure accurate skin tones I always take my Color Checker Passport with me to my shoots.  Before the Passport was around I took a large 8.5  x 11″,  clunky and often damaged Gretag-Macbeth Classic or Original color checker with me to portrait sessions.  It was oversized and difficult to bring outside of the studio, and it came in a paper cover sleeve that always got torn and was easily bent.

ColourChecker

The old school Classic – aka Original Color Checker

 

A few years ago, along came the Color Checker Passport a scaled down version that is protected in its own hard plastic, clam shell, case.

Before each executive portrait  and headshot session I do some test shots. When there’s no assistant to stand in for me, I’m the test dummy. I want to make sure two things are just right. 1) Make sure the lighting is dialed in perfectly. And 2) take a test shot with my X-Rite Color Checker Passport. This will ensure that after the session post production is sped up by not having to guess about the color balance.  Instead,  I click on the grey patch {at the very bottom}  just to the right of the white square. This neutralizes the image of color casts and typically dials in a pleasing skin tone. I’ll occasionally need to tweak the image a bit, by warming it up, or cooling it down and sometimes removing some red from a ruddy complexion.  Its a bit pricey at $99. But I’ve had it for a few years now and look at it as a necessary tool, which its still in pristine condition due to the hardshell plastic case.

The Color Checker Passport Is Your Friend

The new improved smaller and mighty Color Checker Passport.

Here’s what I like about it.

  • One click color correction.  Mostly.  Sometimes, It needs to be dialed in and tweaked just a tad
  • Grey card included on the flip side for custom white balance
  • Software included to create a custom camera calibration {from the Color Checker Passport desktop application} and store it in Adobe Lightroom
  • 5 x 3.5 inches in a hard palstic case
  • Compatible with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom
  • Compatible with both PC and Mac
  • Takes the majority of guess work out of color correcting skin tones and color management

Marc Weisberg is an award wining photographer based in Irvine, California specializing in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Weddings & Family Photography and Commercial Photography. He’s fun to work with and produces beautiful, timeless, emotive images. Marc’s wedding and commercial photography is published in over a dozen books. You can contact Marc by phone at 800.943.0414…. or email.

Orange County Executive Portraits and Headshots

Orange County Executive Portraits and Headshots

Simply the Finest in Executive Portraiture and Headshots

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been working an a promo piece in the from of a thirty page magazine.  Just finished it today and will send it to print tomorrow.  Here’s one of the double page spreads promoting headshots and executive portraits.

Let’s face it.  Every one is judgmental.  It’s true, but I wish it were not. A recent Princeton study states: “That within a 10th of a second someone forms an opinion or first impression about you.” The Princeton study found that: “…People made judgments about the attractiveness, likeability, trustworthiness, competence, and aggressiveness of other people after looking at their faces for 100 milliseconds.” That’s mind blowing and the exact reason why you need to make a great first impression. In today’s digital age with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and online marketing, your face is your brand.  It is the first thing that is seen.

Orange County Executive Portraits and Headshots

Marc Weisberg is an award wining photographer based in Irvine, California specializing in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Weddings & Family Photography and Commercial Photography. He’s fun to work with and produces beautiful, timeless, emotive images. Marc’s wedding and commercial photography is published in over a dozen books. You can contact Marc by phone at 800.943.0414…. or email.

Executive Portraits with my Sony A7II

Executive Portraits with my Sony A7II

Tips For Photographing Executive Portraits

Executive Portraits with my Sony A7II: One of my passions is creating compelling executive portraits. When an executive or prospective headshot client contacts me for an executive portrait or headshot, they want to look their best. Its either a direct referral or they took notice of the quality of work on my website. Below is an outline of my though process for executive portraits and headshot sessions.  A little pre-planning goes a long, long way. As a professional photographer its part of my job to ask allot of questions and listen to their my clients needs before their portrait session.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I recently sold all my Canon gear and moved over to Sony.  Below is an inside look how I go about setting up and shooting my executive portraits and headshots.

orange county executive portrait photographer

A killer portrait of me {above}, if I do say so myself.   Taken by my good friend and PPA Cert, Master Craftsman photographer Kevin Connors. Shoot with the Sony a7II and FE 70-200 f/4 G OSS and Profoto strobe with a 3×4′ softbox in his backyard during the last light of the day in San Diego. I applied the lo-fi look while post processing in Adobe Lightroom. Kevin a long time Canon shooter, mentioned to me after viewing the images in Adobe Lightroom in his studio that he was amazed at the sharpness of this image which was photographed at f/4.

 

 

Ultimate Use & Location Questions: My first  consideration when creating executive portraits or headshots for clients….what is the ultimate use of the executive portrait?  Is it for the web, print, magazine – is so what is the distribution?, brochures etc. Another question is where will the portrait take place and what type of background will be used?  Will it be in their office – environmental?, outdoors – environmental?, or using a seamless?  If a seamless, indoors on location then I’ll need to set up a small foot print studio. About a 8’x8′ semi private space. No one likes to be watched when having their professional portraits created.  I’ll also suggest a few different options for seamless colors. I’ll also need to know if its a head and shoulders, half body, 3/4 body or full body which is rare.  Also a vertical {more common} or a horizontal {which I like allot and is very cool and more contemporary}.

Two reasons asking allot of questions.  1) It serves my clients.  To best understand what they’ll need I need to ask allot of questions.  To a prospective client, its simple.  They need a headshot…period.  As a professional photographer it is our job to guide them through the process. Often bringing up scenarios they hadn’t thought of and educating them along the way.  2) If the images are to be used in a commercial venture, such as print advertising, then licensing will take place. For instance if they are national or international speakers, an attorney who plans on using it in a full page advertisement, on a billboard, or a bus wrap.  Or part of a larger national campaign for XYZ company. For these scenarios I use Cradoc Photo Software, an industry standard photo quote software that provides me with spot on quotes for print usage predicated on ultimate usage, size of advertisement, circulation, type of print advert, regional, national, international and more.  Its a great place to start in negotiating the price of licensing.  And its important to note the licensing conversation always begins with “I use an industry standard software to determine licensing figures.” Cradoc Photo Quote also gives quotes with the aforementioned info and the type of usage license, and period of length of the licensing. At $149 its inexpensive and you’ll make your money back on your first licensing.   “FotoQuote is the industry standard pricing guide for stock and assignment photography with over 300 stock photo pricing categories and a wealth of coach information.”

orange county executive portraits & headshots

A recent executive portraits session done for Purus Wealth Management and Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. I brought along a white seamless as specified by the stylist but opted to use a large white office wall as the background and lit it with speed lights on 1/4 manual power, each bounced into twin 30″ sliver lined umbrellas on stands, camera right and left. You’ll notice a bit of wrap around light coming from the back which add a nice dimension to the executive portraits.  Both portraits taken with the a7II and FE 70-200 f/4 GOSS at ISO 200, f/8, 1/160th sec. Chimera 2’x3′ softbox camera right.

Styling: Finally, we’ll discuss clothing options for men and women: Men:  suit, tie and shirts {my advice is to stray away from patterned shirts and white shirts} and a few choices for casual attire, plus a discussion of what colors could would work best depending on skin tone/color and eye color; for women: I always suggest hair and makeup be professionally done {yes there is a difference between DIY and pro level hair and make up artist}, plus what type of clothing and accessories to wear. I always suggest bring extra ties, suit jackets, shirts, tops, blouses, accessories.  If its a casual look, then several outfits need to be available for wardrobe changes. A client may think they look fabulous in something but it may not translate well to a photograph so brining more clothing is always better.

orange countya executive portraits & headshots

Gear: When I’m photographing executive portraits I’ve gravitated to a one light setup. The exception is when I have to light a white background. See the diagram below.  Its not only simple, its also very effective.  My gear consists of a 2×3′ softbox, two light stands, Profoto AccuteB600R pack with 1 Profoto head, Pocket Wizard III’s, 1 Lastolite 30″ Wescott Tri Grip  sliver and white reflector, a Manfroto Variable Magic Friction Arm with a Manfroto Super Clamp on both studs…for holding the Lastolite to a light stand used for fill with women, a heavy duty background stand…for seamless, tripod, Sony a7II, FE 50mm f/1.8 ZA, FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS, and FE 70-200 f/4 G OSS. Back up gear: Sony a7s with vertical grip, Profoto 300 w/s compact flash head, extra Pocket Wizards, extra batteries, extra SD cards. When lighting a white background, I’ll bring along my speedlights, an assortment of umbrellas, and extra light stands and model release forms.

orange countya executive portraits & headshots

These portraits are photographed with the FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS. I am delighted with the image sharpness and color rendition. There was zero chromatic aberration around the hair and edges of the shoulders and arms. There was a propensity for CA from the amount of light being popped off in the background.

 

executive portrait lighting diagram

For on location shoots of a single individual I’m using a 4′ seamless background. For groups I’d suggest a 9′ or 12′ seamless. When using a 4′ seamless I only use one light, the softbox, camera right.

 

Marc Weisberg is an award wining photographer based in Irvine, California specializing in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Weddings & Family Photography and Commercial Photography. He’s fun to work with and produces beautiful, timeless, emotive images. Marc’s wedding and commercial photography is published in over a dozen books. You can contact Marc by phone at 800.943.0414…. or email.

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