I am learning more and more about photography and just this week I learned about headshots. These portrait shots are used mainly for actors who are auditioning for a play or musical. Typically they are printed in black and white and are 8” x 10” photographs.

Just today I shot my first headshot. It was fun to spend time with the family, who gave me a couple sample headshots that were taken in previous years. This gave me a starting point and I already had thought about some setup details prior to my arrival for this shoot.

I used my Nikon SB-900 off camera on a small tripod and used the diffuser dome to help spread the light out evenly and softly. The pop-up flash on my D300 served as the commander unit and it worked beautifully. I setup everything at home first to make sure it was working correctly. Then I loaded my two tripods and camera bag into my truck, followed the directions, and arrived at the shoot.

We used a white sheet as a backdrop and a stool. That was it. My SB-900 Speedlight provided the light, and my D300 captured the shots with ease. I did move the flash around a little bit and noticed that I could eliminate some shadows just by moving the flash. I spent about 45 minutes with the family and enjoyed this opportunity very much.

Once back home, I uploaded the RAW images to my laptop, sorted through them to find the proofs I wanted to share with the family, and created a webpage to show the proofs. An email message was sent out to the family and now they can view the proofs and pick out the image they want to be used for the headshot.

I have a lot more to learn about the SB-900 and plan to do a lot of research on this. This flash sure is powerful and versatile! I just began to touch the surface of what this unit can do and I already am very happy I purchased this flash. In fact, I am planning on buying another one in the near future because I would like to add either a fill light or a backlight to some portraits.

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