Monday, January 10, 2011

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Last Thursday I participated in the first of a weekly industry forum at Reproductions. I was on a panel with two other headshot photographers, and we had a lot of fun. The event was sold-out, and we covered all issues relating to actor headshots. Very lively discussion!

At one point the moderator, Tony Nation (yes, that's his real name), asked about natural light vs. studio light. The two other photographers primarily use studio or mixed light, so I was outnumbered! I made a passionate (and lengthy) defense of natural light and location photography. In my mind, it's the most flattering light possible, and outdoor locations offer the most vibrant backgrounds. Plus, I'd go crazy sitting in a studio all day, and my photographs would all look the same (I discuss all of these issues thoroughly in the FAQs section of my website).

Of course the studio photographers had a different opinion. They argued that natural light is unreliable and yields inconsistent results, but I couldn't disagree more. To my mind, if the results are inconsistent, you're not doing it right.

You know how sometimes you actually say what you're thinking? Well, I did. And that led to an even more lively discussion. So lively, in fact, that an audience member actually videotaped the tail end of the disagreement and emailed it to me the next morning. Take a look.

Below are a few images from the Before and After section of my website that illustrate my point about natural light vs. studio light. See the difference?

Anyway, keep an eye out for these forums at Reproductions. I think they're a terrific resource for actors.