Miranda: Headshots for a Professional Journalist

by Harlan, November 16, 2014

Freelance journalist Miranda from the Philadelphia area came to Princeton this weekend to pose for new professional headshots. Her previous headshots were created several years ago, and she wanted some new options that better represent her today.

She and I both have a preference for natural, outdoor portraiture for professional headshots, but different types of professionals have different needs. The style of the headshot should be appropriate for the type of professional. For actors, I like black-and-white studio headshots that are formatted perfectly for 8×10 glossy prints. For business CEOs, business attire either in a studio or in their own environments looks the best. For a freelancer like Miranda, we both believed that the campus of Princeton University would be a perfect setting, appropriate for her type of work.

I brought a Canon 5D Mark III, a new-to-me Canon EF 135mm f/2L, a flash for some fill-in assistance, and a reflector which I didn’t end up using.

We immediately encountered some challenges besides the cold weather. It’s late in autumn and the ivy wasn’t as thick as I hoped it would be. Also, working with the sun on campus is a little difficult due to the many buildings and trees that partially block the light, throwing shadows in difficult places. Despite these obstacles, we still found some great locations in Prospect Gardens and by Murray Hall.

By the end of the afternoon, my toes were freezing, but I was happy with the results. I used minimal post-processing to fix basic contrast, find a consistent white balance, enhance the fall colors, adjust shadows, all handled between Lightroom and Color Efex Pro. Between us, we settled on fifteen final photos, five of which I’m including here. I’ve also added a couple to the headshot gallery in my portfolio.

If you’re interested in headshots and are local to central New Jersey, San Diego, or Phoenix, contact me. I’m based out of New Jersey but I will be in the San Diego area for several weeks around Thanksgiving and I will be in Phoenix for an extended period of time towards the beginning of 2015.

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