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Lighting A Headshot

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Why do I need to light a headshot? Your headshots show people who you are and if they are not top quality shots they’ll get glanced over quickly. Being able to shoot reliable, well lit headshots shows that you care enough to put some time and effort into your image.
There are at least a hundred different way to light a headshot. Setting up a headshot is one of the easiest setups to learn. You’ll need a key light, hair light, background light and a reflector (optional). All of these lights don’t have to be used but if you have them I’d recommend using them. So here’s the basic setup.
You’ll want to position your key light relatively close to you subject. Whatever side they are turned to you’d want it there. Your reflector should sit on the other side. If doing this with speedlights, I’d position the speedlight to shoot right at the reflector that way you’ll get light on both sides of the face. Your hair light should be positioned behind your subject opposite side of the key light. Background lights get pointed at the background.
Here’s a diagram of the setup I used.

And here’s a picture of the setup.

And here’s the final image.

There’s your basic headshot setup, it’s easy to do and it’ll improve your headshots, just make sure you find a subject that won’t make goofy faces at you.

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