Todd Duncan - Actor Headshots



Shoot date: May 23, 2020

Photographer: Todd Duncan Assistant: Sheldon Nand

Actor: Ella Totino Hair & Make-up Artist: Leah Roberts


On this shoot we used no more than two lights. One with a thirty degree grid that was gelled with orange. The other with a parabolic soft-box or an umbrella with a diffuser attached to it. For some of the shots the sunlight was enough to give a nice edge light to the Actor.


Ella came prepared with the shots she wanted which made the shoot go smoothly. We shot inside Todd's studio and various locations that were walking distance to get the looks Ella had in mind.


Todd's communication on the shoot was very different from mine which I found interesting. Since he works with actors a lot, he told me that its good to talk the actor through a scenario to help them get into character. It's a good technique because to get the right expression and feel for a headshot the actor needs to be in the right mind set to get their character to project through the photo.


This was the first time in my photography career that I've seen a light meter be used. I've learned about light meters but never consider using one because I thought of them as impractical and time consuming. Something that was old photography tech. Seeing Todd use it for this shoot and how beneficial it was opened my mind to using one myself!


Light meters don't just tell you what aperture to shoot at to get a proper exposure. You can get creative with it by adjusting your f-stop higher or lower to create a different look and still maintain the quality. For example, say you're shooting outside on a cloudless day and its noon. And you see a location that would be great if only the lighting wasn't so strong. With a light meter you can find the proper exposure adjust your f-stop a few stops down and get the look you want without having to wait for the sun to go down or using a scrim. It'll be something I'm adding to my photography arsenal!





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