My wife Cheri is currently enrolled at Old Dominion University in a doctoral program in English. She, and a number of her fellow students, attend this program at a distance via a combination of video conferencing software and other online teaching means. But in the summers, the distance students attend a two week Summer Doctoral Institute wherein they all stay in a dorm on campus and attend class in person. While visiting Cheri this past weekend, I set up my lighting equipment to take headshots of those who wanted them done.
Read more after the jump!
I decided that the common lounge area of Cheri’s suite was a suitable place for the headshots. I wanted to do them indoors since that let me control the light a lot easier. I set up a two light system, marked on the floor with gaffers tape where I wanted each person to stand and shot away.
For this set up, I used two speedlights. The first was my Nikon SB600 with a Lumiquest LTp softbox at camera left. The second light was my Lumopro LP160 with a shoot-through umbrella on-axis above the camera. See the lighting setup diagram below (I drew it myself!)
Anyway, as you can see, there was a large window to deal with. When doing test shots I realized that those wearing glasses would get a really big distracting reflection of the window in their lenses. I first tried to get rid of it by closing the blinds and turning on the overhead fluorescent lights. But since I wasn’t correcting my flashes with gels, I didn’t want to do that.
Then I opened the blinds back up, turned off the overhead lights and just killed the ambient light in my camera by decreasing the aperture size. That way the only light being captured in my photo was that provided by the flashes. That did the trick.
After I was ready, I just had everyone come by when they were ready. Each person’s shot only took about 2-3 minutes, if that.